On monday afternoon, I went out to visit some of the many different places of interest in Jokkmokk. The general mood and atmosphere is still mostly calm, atleast at a first glance. But almost everyone I asked, said that there had already been a first rush of people and that they expected the market this year to have more visitors than it has had in several years. The weather forecasts look promising, with no signs of the extreme cold that created challenges two years ago. If we can trust the forecast (which I generally avoid to do), it will be -5 to -10 degrees Celsius and somewhat cloudy, possibly with some snow, at the end of this week.
The first stop for me was Gamla Apoteket (“the old pharmacy”), a beautiful green house right in the middle of the (soon to be) winter market area which hosts art and handicraft exhibitions. I looked at many different kinds of handicraft, ranging from weaves and knitted socks and hats, to everyday products like key rings and cheese slicers made from reindeer horns. There were also paintings (oil and water color), scarves, ponchos and books about handicraft for sale. On the upper floor, a weaving workshop was in progress.
I will return to the old pharmacy once the main market starts on Thursday, but I know from previous years experiences that it may be difficult to get good photos since the rooms and hallways are usually quite crowded – much because of the central location of the old pharmacy – so I made sure to get a number of pictures in good time this year.
I also visited Villa Åsgård (a hostel located in the middle of the market area), the Jokkmokk Winter Conference at Ája and the Ájtte museum. More about that tomorrow!