Thursday, 24 April 2008


Since last Sunday night, I have been at Esrange for the Rexus/Bexus training week.

Sunday evening, 18:30. The bus organised by Esrange picks us up at the Vilan busstop. It's half an hour before the appointed time at Kiruna Airport. Friday I called Olle Persson to ask for the bus to pick us up at Vilan before going to the airport. At the airport we leave the bus and enter the entrance hall of Kiruna airport. It's a small hall with some twenty seats and a luggage belt, and we wait for the delayed flight along with a number of taxi drivers. Olle Persson says hi to us. We met him at the selection workshop at ESTEC. According to the arrivals sign the flights is delayed by some ten minutes. Around five past seven we see some lights approaching; the airplane is coming. We see it land, taxi, and see the staircase being connected to it, and people coming out. I recognise some, but not all. I decide to go back to the bus with my other team members.

I have brought the map that was provided to me for free by Läntmateriet. The map is from 1989 and is no longer in production, nor will it be renewed. In 2009 or later there will be a new map of the Jukkasjärvi-Esrange area. There are some forestry roads that must be nice to explore in summer.

We arrive at Esrange and are led to the restaurant. There are sandwiches with reindeer meat, one per person. There is no vegetarian alternative, but I have eaten at home and the others haven't, so most others go to bed hungry; not so bad for me. We are shown a video at the Polaris room - the same I have seen when I was visiting with the Spacemasters. After that we are led to the hotel rooms.

The hotel rooms are really good. Much better than Vilan, and certainly better than Mitchbi in Noordwijk. Single rooms, private shower and toilet, a desk with a telephone and an ethernet connection. And silent. Other than at Vilan, I can actually sleep without earplugs here. Three layers of coverage in front of the window. I close the and it's actually dark in my room. I sleep marvellously.

Despite the three layers I wake up around 4:30, it is very bright in my room; the sun is up already.

The rest of the week is interesting and varied, but the schedule is really full. It's a very useful week, and there is time for fun activities as well (though not much).

More picture here.

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