Wednesday, 8 March 2006

Ice Chapel

(apologies for weird text sizes in this post, blogger is behaving badly and won't do as it's told)

When I saw Alicia's spring photographs tonight I realised I was running out of time to post seasonal pics of my trip to Sweden in January. I was there for 8 days and I can say it was one of the best 8 days of my life. I am completely in love with Sweden.

MrP and I went together for the wedding of my friend in the Ice Chapel - what can I say... stunning hotel, breathtaking chapel, beautiful bride, glorious quantities of the cleanest snow and the trip even coincided with the Snöfestival in Kiruna where we were staying. I was blissed out for the entire trip. Icey blues, translucency and sculpting snow are all things I'm passionate about so this was about the best holiday I could ever have.

I went armed with new super big memory cards for my camera, fancy ones that perform in really cold temperatures so they wouldn't fail me in my ideal photographic environment. We were fully prepared for -30 degrees but when we arrived they were having unusually mild weather and it was warmer than the cold spell that was happening in Scotland that week. In fact, the day time temperature was sometimes +6 so we never even used our thick soled cosy boots or the heated insoles my mum gave me for Christmas.

But all this meant it was a lot easier to take photo's, perhaps a little too easy - I am still trying to edit my way through over 2000 shots!!!! I know, crazy. You wouldn't believe that I took so many more but had to keep erasing them to make room for new images of even more exciting things.

So here are a few photos of the Ice Chapel to whet your appetite, and believe me they don't do it justice, you need to see the full screen sized pics to get all the amazing light and detail but they are too big for me to upload.

Side of ice chapel in afternoon

Side of ice chapel in evening

The alter with candles lit for the wedding, the semi-circular ice panel behind the alter is intricately carved with the most beautiful flowery tendrils. I do a lot of flowery tendril illustrations so I was gasping for breath when I saw it.

This cube sculpture had the centre carved in a round shape inside, and on that inside surface... more flowery tendrils! I so sad it doesn't show up on a small image. note the carved bowl on the top left hand corner for babtising babies.

This year it's a circular chapel, again, I was breathless, it was more perfect than any I had seen before (in photos) and on the either side of the bluey ice panel they have carved MORE areas, but this time they are leafy.

Detail of the wall carving.

By this stage I could hardly take photos I was so emotional. I'm not a religious person but this was possibly the most spiritual place I have ever been and I was regularly moist about the eyes. And then as if all this wasn't enough in walked my best friend looking so beautiful that we were all in tears. She wore a cream top (so brave at that temperature) with lovely chunky wooden cream coloured (very scandi) necklace and had on a cream wedding skirt that she had made herself which was just the loveliest garment. It was really pure simple and she looked stunning. The wedding photographer wouldn't let us take pics so I will post some wedding shots (if I'm allowed) when I get copies.

Well it has taken so long to upload these I must stop and sleep. I will continue to so more gradually. Later in the month I'll post some of my Stockholm photos but they are less wintery so they can wait a bit.


Tracy said...

great shots! the wedding must have been so beautiful! looking forward to seeing more... (all your recent pics are making me wish for snow...!!)

Robin said...

Lovely photos, cally! The wedding sounds like it was stunning! Although I've never been, I think Sweden sounds like a wonderful place.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I LOVE that carved block of ice. It is completely stunning. (And yes I can believe you took over 2000 photos...)

Anonymous said...

Must be a fairytale dream come true to have a wedding in an ice chapel (it's stunning!), oh, how wonderful it must have been - really looking forward to the photographs.

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