In July of 2004 I bought a tent and took a trip north in Sweden,
west out on the Lofoten islands, and then south through Norway
(well, at least to Mo i Rana where I got bored with the 'quality'
of Norwegian roads). From there I entered Sweden, went south to
Strömstad, then north to Oslo, and then home. Altogether I took
approximately 860 pictures during the two weeks I was travelling.
Through north of Sweden
I started of by visiting [Gävle,
53] and it's railway museum (i.e. a lot of the pictures are
of trains and related things). Visiting the museum has been a dream for many
years as I like trains (my grandfather worked for the railway and I have lived
my first 20-25 years by the West Coast Railway in Sweden). But
before visiting the museum I had an
Indian meal on the beach outside
Furuvik where I spent the night.
:-) After the museum I also got to see the castle
(if one likes calling these
kinds of buildings for castles - Örebro castle is what I call a
castle :-) and the county jail (now a museum and
workshop thingamy). Being a Brynäs fan (ice hockey team of Gävle), I had to have
a photo of the ice rink. :-)
From Gävle I went on to [Hudiksvall,
39] - a nice small town. Most interesting is
the fishing "huts"
along the canal running through town.
Here I got to photograph a man
wearing a provincal dress (Delsbo dress). (More
pictures of trains and railway related things. :-)
Next I followed the coast up to [Härnösand,
69], also a nice small town. Although a
bit boring (according to me :-) but had a great outdoor museum
with old houses. I also went to
see the High Coast Bridge,
Ådalen where 5 people
where shot by military while demostrating (monument raised in their honour) and
the old bridge across the Ångermanland
River. I didn't find anything to take a photo of in Kramfors (the 10 minutes I
was there, i.e. I didn't give the town much of a chance).
The next part of the trip lead me over the High Coast Bridge
and through ["The
High Coast", 38] (Höga kusten) - the highest maritime coastal line in
Sweden. That is where the ground has risen since the ice age (up to 285 meters
above the sea). This is one of the parts of Sweden I now find
most beautiful since I drove along
the "tourist road" (from the bridge to Ullånger). After that I rode a
ski lift to the highest point -
view from Skuleberget is breathtaking.
After The High Coast I stopped of in [Örnsköldsvik,
24]. They have a museum (Gene fornby) where they have built
stoneage (?) huts from a nearby excavation. The
town centre has older houses but
otherwise it seemed a bit boring (yet again according to me).
As my car needed service, and the only ones prepared to do it
the same week where in [Skellefteå, 55], I ended up
there for two nights (a place I had thought of skipping). But finally I came to a town with some "visible" history -
among other things an outdoor museum (where I met a nice
elderly couple who told
me the story of a house) and the old "church town" (Bondstan). A church town
consists of small houses where people from outside town could stay while
attending church services. These church towns where common in the north where
distances are far. They also have one of the longest wooden bridges stil in use.
A managed a quick visit to Skellefteå hamn when my car was serviced (more train related pictures, among
others a sighting of a train, TGOJ litt. Ma, from my part of Sweden).
While in Skellefteå I found out about a music festival in [Burträsk,
13], my next stop. In Burträsk I almost got
eaten alive by mosquitoes, but I got to wear my kilt and listen to the music. At
the festival I met a Scottish woman and her Swedish husband, a Canadian woman
visiting her Swedish husbands family, and some other northern young people. I
took some "after-midnight-pictures" showing
camp site looking mystical. :-)
Next day I went on to [Sorsele, 8] to see the
museum (in the railway station) for the Inland Railway (Inlandsbanan) - nothing else caught my
interest so I went on to Arvidsjaur.
In [Arvidsjaur, 81] I got
a great view of the surroundings and got to ride on a
steam train to
Slagnäs. On the way back to Arvidsjaur we stopped on
the middle of the line (engine leaving us
alone for a while) and those who wanted had a swim in the lake (Nastajaure) before
grilling some sausages. Before leaving Arvidsjaur I got a look at the Lapp
(Same) church town (Lappstan). Pushing on I looked at
Kåbdalis (place of opening of the Inland
Railway) and Kitajaur. In
Kitajaur a danish lady runs a cafe in the old railway station. Next stop was the
polar circle (in Sweden).
Next night was spent in [Jokkmokk,
67]. A small but great town with a Lapp museum. North of Jokkmokk is a
power station with Lapp paintings on (done by a "Swede" and aggravating the
Lapps, for good reason). Further north the hydro power station seems to be everywhere. One was
built at the Hare's Leap (Harsprånget), where the river bends like a hare
leaping (tranquil when no water is released). North of the dam was a town built for the workers that built the dam
(and another one just south of town). The town was torn down but now they have
put up signs showing where different houses where (like a ghost town without
houses :-). In Porjus one can find one of the most
luxurious control rooms for
the old hydro power station - built in marble!
From Jokkmokk I went to [Gällivare and Malmberget,
58] where iron ore is mined (and my meeting with
my first iron ore train).
Gällivare being the terminus for the Inland Railway and a station on the Iron
Ore Railway (Malmbana). And Malmberget being the town with the
mines. In Malmberget they have
rebuilt a shanty town from old
photos and they have great ideas for
letter boxes. :-) I went on to spend the night in Kiruna.
[Kiruna, 76] is yet another town where iron ore
is being mined (and thereby more iron ore trains
:-). Wherever you go in Kiruna (just about) you see one or more of the
mines or something relating to the mines (like houses with
balconies looking like mine elevators). The
church has an interesting desing and the
town hall has won prizes. In Kiruna I met a
Welsh couple who where nice enough to give me some ointment for my mosquito
bites. Thank you! :-) What I didn't enjoy with Kiruna is that I got a cold here,
or rather I started coughing here (i.e. I must have picked it up before Kiruna -
I'm not blaming Kiruna for that :-). (A good advice is to fill up with petrol
here if continuing into Norway - cheaper than in Norway.)
... and into north of Norway
Next I went through Abisko (it was too cloudy to ride the ski
lift for a view) and Riksgränsen (border to Norway)
and onto the islands of [Lofoten, 188]. Interesting
enough, the nature changes as one passes into Norway - things seem to get
softer and greener. On the way out I
drove on the main road (E10, from Kiruna to Å)
- a road that follows the water and mountains, i.e. is not very straight. The
nature was magnificent, especially the turquoise waters, but the roads where quite narrow at times.
I stopped at a camp site (my light coloured
tent to the right) in Stokmarknes for the night looking up the
The next day I went on south to take the ferry from Melbu to
Fiskeboe. An interesting observeration is that nature seems to change when one
leaves on island arriving on another island.
And sometimes it feels stupid to drive around a bay for half an hour only to see
the other side which one just drove down...
The fishing villages are quite quaint with their
houses built on poles - some for rent.
The roads didn't get
any better the further west one gets (some of the
photos where taking through my windshield - no where to stop to take the photos!)
Some places reminded me of Scotland, like a beach
with a small church nearby and sheep running around on round green hills with
rock sticking up. I stopped of at Bruslanda Camping
(my tent to the left with the tide coming in) and got some good photos of
in the water. On the way back I took a ferry from Svolvaer to Skutvik (on the main land) -
during the trip at sea we got to see killer whales!
From Skutvik I went south through [northern Norway,
21] until I passed the polar circle (in Norway) before
heading for Swedish roads (which are "faster" than the Norwegian ones).
I got to see people living in the middle of
nowhere and the Black Ice
(Svartisen) - glacier ice.
... and back into Sweden
Back in Sweden I spent the night in Klippen north of [Tärnaby,
9] (where Ingemar Stenmark and Anja
Pärson comes from) and watched snowy
mountains in the sundown at half past ten. Tärnaby seems to be a nice (if
slightly boring, i.e. nothing happening at times) town to live in. I stopped of in Vilhelmina, and it's
church town, picked up a
hitch-hiker (from Örnsköldsvik! :-) in Sveg and dropped him off in Karlstad (where
I spent the night).
From Karlstad I went to [Strömstad,
16] on the Swedish west coast to meet my colleague from work and her family.
There we saw Saltön (F.Y.I. where a director from Volvo lives with his new Volvo
cars :-) - a place where kids can "play on the
beach". At night we
(Helen and I) went to a jazz and blues festival on Koster islands. Yet another
reason to bring out the kilt! :-) At this festival we met some very nice
Norwegian people from Halden.
... and back into Norway
On my way back I stopped of in [Halden,
54] (Norway) - with a great fortress
- and Oslo (Karl Johan) before arriving
home to do some washing of clothes.