When you enter the area above the Arctic Circle, you will feel different. You may not notice the change immediately because your body is still sensory overloaded from civilisation. Take a few moments to explore the Arctic physiology – and you will feel your own.
Stockholm, main station. Our train will take us to Abisko, a small village north of the Arctic Circle, more than 1000 kilometers further. We make ourselves comfortable in the cabin and while our noses are stick to the window, the train works its way deeper and deeper into the dark forest.
In the evening we convert the six-seater cabin into our sleeping space. I snuggle into the top bunk and listen to the sounds of the train. The squeaking of the rails and the crackling of the overhead line, my bed rocks and rattles incessantly, lulling me into a deep sleep.
The train as a means of transport on long journeys is a wonderful way to come to rest and slowly reach our destination. Rushed by everyday life and overwhelmed by rapid developments, the slow journey brings us to rest.
The next morning we wake up in another environment. The whole landscape is covered in ice and is white and bright.
The trains stops in our destination Abisko. With us a couple of other people get off on the platform. Small houses painted in the typical red, cozy warm light illuminates the windows and a thick layer of ice crystals covers roots, streets and trees. Not far from the station we settle in at the hostel and then the artic experience beginns.
We are at the base of the Arctic and immersed in a new world of ice.
- Schritte im Eis 00:00
Countless ice crystals transform into flower buds and cover every part of the ground, cover stones and delicately wrap branches. In the light of the torch they glitter like precious gems. If we touch them with our feet, they break with a clink of thin glass. If we take their fragments in our hands, they melt immediately.
Only where they have grown they are beautiful to look at and valuable. We wander through the ice forests and crush some of these crystals as we step on them. I feel like an invador, destroying a piece of nature. The crystals remind me how precious nature is and what magical shapes nature can produce. Only by observing them carefully you can truly experience their beauty.
The fog is slowly clearing and reveals rocks not from this world. Humbly and silent we wander through the landscape.
- Krass 00:00
The Northern Lights are not denied to us. Inconspicuously they rise in the evening, hardly visible. It’s too bright in the village, so we head inside into the night. The huskeys start singing as we pass their enclosure.
- Krass 00:00
Further into the darkness we move away and the dogs calm down again. Slow ribbons of light pass overhead, suddenly growing into a fast powerful spectacle of light. They dance and paint colorful lines on the sky.
It is cold. A different cold than in Berlin. As I slowly make my way through sparsely populated woods, I come fully to myself.
In the extremes, you fall back on the basics. Staying warm when it’s frosty cold. Staying cool and hydrated when you’re under scorching heat. And it’s even more extreme in other elements, being underwater or in space.
It’s all about taking in oxygen. Everything else takes a back seat. Staying warm, drinking water and breathing. Worries or material desires move into the background. Being in extremes makes you aware of what you need to life – it’s not much. It is almost banal.
Some photos of Artic Tomography are published in the Flora Fiction, Literary Magazine.
Flora Fiction. A Literary Magazine. Vol 3, Issue 4.
Format: DIN A4 hoch