December 18th, 2017
Yesterday, we left Luleå and traveled north by train, deep into Swedish Lappland. About a quarter of Sweden’s surface area is in Lappland and we were heading for Kiruna. Luleå University of Technology has a department of Space Science here.
Always, it is is the light that captivates me here. The sun spends most of the day low on the horizon, so shadows cast in completely different angles to what I am used to in the Pacific. When the sky is clear, it is a deep, light blue. When there is cloud cover, you see amber and silver.
The journey by train takes only three hours, but when you step out onto the platform at any of the stops along the way, you realize that you really are far away in the wilderness.
Swedish people love their dogs. A recent twelve-year study of 3.4 million Swedish people suggested that dog owners had a 20 percent lower risk of dying compared to people who didn’t have a dog. For those who lived alone, that rose to a 33 percent lower risk of death (Mubanga et al., 2017). You see practical things they do here to make it easier for dog owners; on our train, there was a separate section just for owners and their dogs, separated by a glass divider.
For all the train-enthusiasts in my world, here you go….
Mubanga, M., Byberg, L., Nowak, C., Egenvall, A., Magnusson, P. K., Ingelsson, E., & Fall, T. (2017). Dog ownership and the risk of cardiovascular disease and death–a nationwide cohort study. Scientific reports, 7(1), 15821.