Many paths lead to Rome…and also to Abisko, the starting point of our hike on the Kungsleden. Alexander and I travel by car with the three dogs. Our first destination is Gällivare. There we plan to park the car and take the train for the last stage of our travel to Abisko. I can tell you that 2.500 kilometers and about 36 hours of driving (including breaks) are quite exhausting. Meanwhile Manuel chooses the comfortable way to fly to Kiruna and then joins us on the train to Abisko.
We set off on Saturday morning, drive through the whole night to Sunday and finally arrive in Gällivare on Sunday evening around 6 pm. Our little car is so packed that we even have to take a roof box with us. The trunk is for Lando, Balou sits on the back seat and Louie in the passenger’s footwell. So we already have the first adventure completed before we start walking.
Our tents get wet during the first night already
The night on the campground in Gällivare gives us an idea of what to expect on Kungsleden: in the evening the mosquitoes are eating us and at night it gets bitterly cold and wet! The next morning we dry our tents provisorily, then we take the train for the last part of our travel to Abisko. In Kiruna Manuel will join us.
You can count on the delay of the Swedish railway
If there is one thing you can rely on up here, it is the fact that the Swedish railways are always late. This becomes a stroke of luck for Manuel today. He navigates from the hostel to the station in Kiruna with Google Maps. When he arrives at the station, he can only observe stunned how the building is being torn down right in front of his eyes. Also the tracks are already gone and he realizes that there is probably no more train leaving this station.
Accommodation recommendation for Kiruna
If you want to spend a night in Kiruna, we recommend the SPiS. It is situated in the city centre and within walking distance from the bus station or the tourist information office. Here you can find cheap shared rooms with hostel standard, but also hotel rooms. You can also bring your dog, just make sure you inform the hotel in advance. Don’t miss the breakfast and the delicious food in the restaurant!
In Kiruna a town is completely displaced
Background of the relocation of the station is the gradual move of the city of Kiruna. The town is situated on a huge ore body, which is the main employer of the region. The whole town will therefore be relocated in the next few years and the station move was one of the first projects. Just north of the centre there is a temporary substitute railway station. Fortunately, Manuel reaches this station before the train, so that we can continue together from here. In Abisko the train empties and we are surprised how many people start walking the Kungsleden from here.