Summer in Sweden

Sweden. Mostly known for IKEA, Volvo, Ericsson, H&M, Hasselblad, ABBA, Björn Borg and not to forget of course; stunningly beautiful people. I would like to present to you now: Sweden, land of lakes, forests and excellent camping trips! Making plans for the next camping trip to this great country in the coming month, makes me want to finally update this blog and write about the last trip.
My friend Marjolijn and myself took a two week holiday to Sweden. We stayed at a friends house in Stockholm for a few nights before renting a car and making our way into the country. We went to a little town called Selja, where our friend Richard grew up and where his parents have a guesthouse. This tiny town is near lake Siljan in the province of Dalarna.

What captured me so much about this village is the story of Richards parents, whose house has been in their family for about 300 hundred years. There has been a great fire in this town which destroyed much of their history. But if you dig in the ground of their back yard, you will find remnants of this forgotten time. This story made me think of the beautiful book Everything is Illuminated that tells the story of a town called Trachimbrod 300 hundred years ago, which is later destroyed in the war and now only relics remain buried in the soil.

We stayed here in Selja a few days, seeing a bit of Dalarna together with Richard and two other friends we met during our stay here. We also had our first ‘camping in the wild’ experience at lake Läda which is allowed in Sweden. What is called the ‘allemansrätten’, translated to the freedom to roam, gives you the right to walk, swim, pitch a tent and put up campfires in nature as long as you dont damage the grounds or piss off the locals. Camping next to lake with no one else around you, besides the millions of mosquitos, is now one of my favorite things to do.

Next up on our trip was the National Park of Skuleskogens in the Höga Kusten area. We were hiking through this amazing amazing park where every 15 minutes the landscape drastically changed from deep forests, lakes, sea coasts to mountains. Along these walking trails every few kilometers you’ll find little cabins that are only closed so the animals in the park cant rummage inside it, but accesible for all people. They are fully equipped with beds, old stove, cooking gear and even a shed with tools to cut wood for a campfire! The Swedes really think of everything.

After this great experience we went back south to Tiveden national park where we met up with Fleur & Michael who where on their own Scandinavian roadtrip at the time. We where in Tiveden for more hiking, swimming, camping, photo-taking and all that jazz. There was a raft in the middle of the lake where we went swimming which we made great use of for sunbathing, dangerous yogamoves on the slippery surface and once again trying to teach Fleur how to dive properly. Close your legs girl! 🙂

To end our excellent vacation we went back to the capital where we ate great food, visited the photography museum and strolled around the beautiful old city centre. We spent our very last afternoon having sushi for lunch on Richards boat cruising and swimming through Stockholms many waterways. Whatta day!

July 2010.

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