A few weeks ago, Jirapan and I were lucky enough to be invited to explore Sweden with Daniel Wellington on their first ever expedition. During our 5 day trip, we witnessed and experienced some unforgettable things along with a small group of awesome creators, as well as some of the Daniel Wellington team. Our journey started in Stockholm but we soon ventured north to view some incredible snowy landscapes. Here is what we got up to on this incredible trip!
DW Expedition North
The trip began in Stockholm where we met the other amazing creators, Iiris, Long, Pablo and William , who we would be spending the next few days with. We also met the lovely ladies who are behind the Daniel Wellington social media team. The trip was already off to an amazing start as everyone got to know each other over dinner at the beautiful Diplomat Hotel.
Our first day of exploring took us to the colourful old town of Sweden, Gamla Stan. Gamla Stan is known for its winding cobble stone streets with bright yellow and orange buildings. Since we visited in December, there were christmas markets located in the main square as well as small lights and christmas trees all around the town. After wandering around the old town and stopping for a quick traditional Swedish FIKA (coffee and cake), we slowly made our way to the Daniel Wellington head office where the team had set up a lovely lunch. We all stopped multiple times on our way to the office so that we could take photos on the beautiful Stockholm streets.
Once we finished our delicious lunch, we all decided to visit the famous Stockholm subway art. The subway art is a super popular attraction in the city and definitely makes a great backdrop for some photos. In total there are 14 beautiful decorated subway stations, although we just quickly visited 3 of them which were T-Centralen, Odenplan and Hötorget. T-Centralen is located on the blue line so the subway is perfectly painted in blue with different flowers and leaves.
Odenplan was our favourite as the roof of the subway was filled with beautiful white jagged fluorescent lights.
Hötorget is similar with fluorescent lights along the roof although in addition, the rest of the platform is covered in baby blue square tiles.
After a long day of exploring the beauty of Stockholm, we quickly rushed back to our hotel before making our way to a cooking class where we would be learning how to make some Swedish appetisers. We all got into a taxi and visited a cosy food studio called Mosebacke Matstudio which was run by 2 lovely ladies who taught us all about making ‘Toast Skagen’. Everyone got involved in cooking and we all had a really delicious dinner. After such an awesome day seeing and trying so many new things, we all made sure to get some rest before flying north the following day.
We arrived nice and early into Kiruna to start our adventure up north. As the plane started to approach Kiruna, we could see endless snow covered trees and mountains which made us all very eager to start exploring and taking photos. Walking out of the plane and seeing snow fall from the sky was such a crazy and beautiful experience. At the airport we were greeted by Anders from Arctic Guides who would be taking care of us for the next few days. Once we started the car trip to our first activity of the day, we only made it 10 minutes before asking Anders if he could pull over so we could take photos on the road.
Our first activity of the day was a surprise that the Daniel Wellington team had put together for us, and we were really excited when we found out that it was dog sledding. With all our camera gear and drones ready, we set out onto the dog sleds.
It was amazing to watch how happy the dogs were while out in their element, being surrounded by nothing but snowy landscape. It was incredibly quiet and peaceful and definitely an experience we will never forget.
After spending plenty of time with the dogs, we were then taken to a quick lunch at the famous Ice Hotel before getting a private tour of the Ice Hotel. The sunlight was already disappearing fast because there is only a few hours of daylight in winter time, so by 3pm there was almost no sun.
Being able to learn everything from how they collect and store the ice to how they come up with the designs for each unique room was super interesting! The Ice Bar (which is located inside the hotel) also uses cups, tables and chairs made entirely of ice. The Ice Hotel is definitely a special place to visit.
Once our tour came to an end, we began the 1 and a half hour drive to Abisko where we would be staying at the beautiful Lapland Resorts for the next 2 nights. After arriving, we all split into 2 seperate groups and were shown to our cabins which had an incredible view of the nearby mountain ranges. The cabins were super cosy and even had a jacuzzi so we could relax after a long day of exploring. It was the perfect end to an incredible first day in the north.
After a well rested night, everyone woke up early to take some photos by the jacuzzi which was on our balcony. The panoramic view from the jacuzzi of the nearby snowy lake and mountains were incredible and unlike anything we had ever seen.
Once everyone had eaten breakfast, we headed out to do some snowmobiling, ice fishing and have a local lunch prepared by the fire. We had a quick lesson on how to ride a snowmobile before hopping on and driving ourselves to a spot where we could do some fishing. Unfortunately we didn’t catch anything but it was a really unique activity for us to try and we thought it was awesome.
While all of us were running around taking photos, Anders prepared some reindeer meat on the open fire. Surprisingly, it tasted very nice! We all had a lovely time sitting together around the fire just chatting. After everyone had eaten, the sun slowly started to disappear and we all drove ourselves back to the car then made our way back to the hotel. Our faces were frozen from driving on the snowmobiles but they were so much fun!
Once we made it back to our cabins, we spent a few hours relaxing in the jacuzzi before trying our luck at spotting the northern lights. The guys from Arctic Guides picked us up in a sled attached to a snowmobile and drove us around the corner where they had set up a cosy fire and shaped the snow into a bench we could all sit on. While all of us were setting up our tripods trying to get a shot of the northern lights, the guys were preparing many different delicious meats and traditional meals. The northern lights weren’t super visible to the eye but everyone managed to catch a glimpse of them through their cameras which was exciting! Once dinner was ready, we all sat around the campfire for what was our last night together. Anders fed us so much food and we spent the night laughing and chatting about all the amazing experiences we had over the past few days. After sitting around the fire for a few hours, we headed back to our cabins for one last sleep in Sweden.
Before heading to the airport to catch our flight at 1pm, we made a quick stop to a local Sami farm (Sami people are indigenous to northern europe) where we could get up close with some reindeer and have one last locally prepared meal. We met a local Sami man who told us all about the reindeer and made us a delicious lunch in his small wooden cabin which kept us nice and warm from the snow outside.
The sky on our final day was unlike anything we had ever seen. For the whole few hours of daylight, the sky was an incredible bright pink and orange colour. It was so magical and a perfect way to spend our last day.
After sitting around the fire and learning about some Sami traditions, we all hopped in the car and rushed to the airport. We said our goodbyes to Anders who took such amazing care of everyone and sadly left Kiruna.
Our short but incredible trip to Sweden with Daniel Wellington is something we’ll never forget and we are so grateful that we got to experience it with such an awesome group of people! We are definitely planning on heading back very soon.