The team was to meet in Stockholm airport for the same onward connecting flight to Kiruna, en-route to our final destination at the Abisko Research Station. Jorien was travelling in from Utrecht via Stockholm, whereas Paul and Sam were flying in from London. Courtesy to a delay to the London flight, the team finally met to everyone’s relief on the tunnel boarding the plane, after some frantic running through airports.
Despite the minor panic, the rest of the journey went by smoothly. After arriving in Kiruna we were happy (and amazed!) to see that our baggage had also made the break neck journey. We jumped into our luxurious hire car and headed for the centre of Kiruna to stock up on food and supplies for our short week stay.
We then started up on our one-hour journey to the station, which was slightly extended by stops for photos. After driving for only around 40 minutes, the imposing sight of Lake Tornetrask came into sight providing us with our first glimpses of our study site. Lake Tornetrask is the largest mountain lake in Scandinavia and second deepest, yet despite its importance very little research has been conducted here especially in terms of the microbes living with its sediments.
Before long, we were arriving at Abiskso Research station, where we happily let ourselves in and explored where we’ll be living for the next few days. Walking into our kitchen we were greeted with spectacular mountain views and an incredible view over the lake. It can be said that the research station offers excellent accommodation for visiting researchers in a unique setting.
The rest of our evening was spent preparing sampling gear, getting familiar with maps of the area and enjoying our first meal of Reindeer Stew (?!)..
We hope to start sampling tomorrow, weather permitting..