not dog sledding in kiruna

after we finished our dog sledding adventure, we had a day to relax in kiruna, the northernmost town in sweden (pop. 18,148 in 2010). the town grew up around an iron mine which opened in 1890. (iron was discovered as early as 1696, but the climate was too harsh, and the mining techniques too primitive, to make commercial exploitation viable until the 19th century.) according to our sledding guide, kiruna was the wild west of sweden until the government began formally settling the area at the start of the 20th century. the population was 18 in 1899, growing to 12,884…