I am a sun worshiper and a sun lover. During the course of the year, as soon as the sun rays are warming up my surroundings, you can count on finding me outside, absorbing their vital energy. In this respect, I live in the wrong climate for sure.
Do not misunderstand me though, I love the changes that each season brings. But I would like to have real seasons, not an eternal autumn, as it at times can feel in southern Scandinavia. Our weather pattern offers very little heat and sun in the summer and rarely any snow to speak off in the winter. I do love snow though, particularly around Christmas. I was born under the foot of the Tatra mountains and I learned to ski at a very early age. There is nothing more magnificent than a clear winter day, when the landscape is covered by a heavy snow blanket, drenched in the golden shine of the sun.
In contrast to southern Scandinavia, northern Scandinavia however has a completely different climate. There indeed is snow in winter. Lots and lots of it, tons! So much indeed that it can be used each year to built an entire hotel. Well, after it has been sprayed with water and turned into ice. This is the very famous Ice Hotel, which is rebuilt each year in the north of Sweden.
This incredible engineering in ice celebrates its 20th anniversary and is an astounding project from start to finish. Each year a new, different hotel is built, and each year it is unlike any other. The building starts in mid November when skillful artist, builders, engineers and designers from all over the world gather in s small town near the arctic circle and lay down the foundation for the building blocks, that are later transported onto the site of the hotel.
The building proceeds in several phases and is in a way an ongoing process. As soon as one section is completed, it opens to visitors and overnight guests, while the other sections are still under construction. The hotel expands and grows until December 30th when it is finished, signifying the onset of it's main season.
Everything within its wall is made of ice. Anything from hallways and furniture to glasses in the bar. There are even fireplaces inside - do not ask me how this works. Nor can I clearly comprehend how it feels to live in a building made entirely of ice.
Once completed, the Ice Hotel stands so in its sparkling crystal clean glory, an amazing sight to behold and to experience, satisfying all our senses. For months it will house guests from all over the world, offering luxury and opulence of the unusual kind.
And then one day, the dry winds from the southeast bring warm air from the continent and the building blocks start to melt away. As the returning spring sun gains in strength, the hotel disappears inch by inch until finally only the original building blocks are left standing. Gone are the stunning artworks, the vaulted hallways, the castle like rooms. They have returned to their place of origin, completing this amazing recycling of the fairytale in ice.