Art Anthropologist

Be Amazed By Art

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Photo credit: Anne Marie Fallon

Swedish Lapland is filled with surprising treats for all of our senses.

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Visitors are given tips to ensure all their senses are indulged. Keep your eyes to the skies as sightings of the Northern Lights create unforgettable memories. Lift your face to the arctic air as the cold, clean, crispness rejuvenates your soul. Listen to the distant howl of the sled dogs and imagine where they may take you if given the opportunity.
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At ICEHOTEL, in Jukkasjarvi Sweden, a guests taste and smell senses will explode with the food provided by executive chef Alexander Meier and his staff. ICEHOTEL restaurant manager, Lotta Ramstrom welcomes tourists as they enter the restaurant. Pastry chef Pernilla Smedquist, sous chefs Mikael Bergtsson and Chris Hopkins join Chef Meier as they prepare pure culinary magic. In this winter wonderland, Chef Meier provides a warmth reminiscent of a kitchen hearth. Chef Meier’s passion, irresistible laugh and boisterous personality spill over into his inventive menu. Originally from Switzerland and trained in France, Chef Meier states ICEHOTEL’s menu invites its guests to sample local meat, fish, berries and herbs. Visitors experience the regional, cultural cuisine.
Age old ingredients prepared in the most modern way using molecular gastronomy to create a wide variety of edible foams, gels and “spherificated” foods. Arctic Char served with lemon foam, dill powder, bleak roe, crème fraiche, white tomato gel, and white garlic reduction creates a kaleidoscope of texture, color and taste. Dill powder as light as a snowflake as it melts on your tongue, lemon foam lingers on your taste buds as the ocean waves linger on the shore, and bleak roe signaling ancient beginnings make this Arctic Char meal an unmatched delicacy. This is a culinary experience you will not soon forget! In addition to a varied, a la carte menu, ICEHOTEL offers its ICE MENU, a 5-course signature menu where several of the courses are served on ice harvested from the nearby Torne River.
One experience that should not be missed is the Chef’s Table. Each night a lucky couple is invited into the kitchen to dine. This is an interactive evening that allows the guests to see all the action; the intimate, insider, conversations and mechanics as dinners being prepared, plated then dressed before they leave the kitchen. It just makes sense – all of our senses!

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Recently, I was fortunate enough to visit one of my favorite places on the planet – the Arctic Circle and cross of all the items on my Arctic Bucket List with Greenwich residents, Terri and Maria Haidinger.

If you have the Artic Circle on your bucket list, here are my top ten favorite sights and experiences you don’t want to miss!

10. Ice Sculpting Class – While visiting ICEHOTEL taking an ice sculpting class is a must! You will be mesmerized as the chisel moves across the ice, serenaded by the delicate music created as the ice crystals fall to the ground.  They say the sculpture is
already within the ice; you just need to find it!


9. Icelandic Horseback riding – Want to go on a Big Game Safari?  Riding Icelandic horse with Kerstin Nilsson and Mats Berg through the Nordic forest in search of moose is just the thing to satisfy your safari dreams!

8. Skiing in Riksgransen – Imagine the breathtaking vistas you inhale while skiing back and forth off-piste (off trail) across the Norwegian and Swedish borders.  Having the Northern Arctic Ocean as your snow blower creates some of the best skiing in Sweden.

7. Reindeer – Sami people of the Arctic Circle have lived in harmony with the reindeer for thousands of years.  Through most resorts in the Arctic Circle you will have a variety of activities with these majestic creatures. And just think, you’ll be able to tell your children and grandchild that you actually met Rudolph!

6. Dogsledding – The physicality, vistas and natural sounds enveloping dogsledding make it instantly addictive.  Experience driving your own dog team through snow-laden forest and tundra.

5. Snowmobiling to Laktatjakko, Sweden – It is nearly impossible to feel completely “off the grid” in this modern world.  Laktatjakko in the Arctic Circle is Sweden’s highest elevation mountain lodge at 4,029’ above sea level.  Look in all directions and you will see – well – nothing – but the arctic horizon.


4. Glass Igloos – Sleep in an ice igloo and watch the Northern Lights dance across the Arctic skies in the comfort of your bed.

3. Treehotel – Need to have the “child within us” awakened?  Treehotel owner’s Kent and Britta Lindvall commissioned 6 of the leading Scandinavia’s leading architects to design hotel suites to be built in the trees.  The results are pure magic.


2. ICEHOTEL This winter wonderland includes ICEHOTEL, ICEBAR and ICECHURCH constructed entirely out of ice and snow.  Each year artists from around the globe gather to create unique “Art Suites” making ICEHOTEL an art experience unlike anything you have ever seen.


1. The Lights!  Yes, the Northern Lights are truly majestic and captivating.  They should not be missed.  Also, the Kaamos Light; translated from Sami into “low light” is the kaleidoscope of colors that appear when the sun sits below the horizon during the winter months.