hello dear friends
today i am writing you the following lines from the lofoten islands in norway. an eventful week with many exciting activities lies behind me, i slept in huts, took a shower and explored a fascinating cave...
have fun reading!
7/17/22 - 7/23/22
last night i met two lovely people who are also traveling through sweden by car, they both slept in the car while i made myself comfortable in the small shelter.
at the beginning of the day all three of us woke up and had breakfast, it is beautiful here in this bend in the river, the sound of the water is omnipresent and after eating i look for a nice place for an extended round of yoga. then i write my journal and after a short conversation with both of them, in which they tell me that they spent the last 2 nights in fulufjällets national park, i decide that the park should also be my next destination.
after a few photos i pack up and drive the hilly country road through dense forests until i pass a cafe where i have a longer lunch break, i publish the post with the stories of the last week, have a coffee and buy a few great postcards.
arrived at the park i park the bulli and pack my hiking backpack with some provisions, the most important sleeping things and my camera. then i trudge the path past the visitor center and into the park, following the wooden path i reach the foot of the mighty njupeskär waterfall after about 3 km, at 93m it is one of the highest and most impressive waterfalls in sweden.
the well-developed path then leads me about 100m over very stony terrain, climbing is the order of the day and i'm very happy to have my great hiking shoes on my feet, it's exhausting, but i'll be able to enjoy a great view of the area in front of me: wooded land stretching to the horizon.
the many stones here are covered with a kind of lichen, which comes in all sorts of shades of green, they create beautiful patterns, and grow extremely slowly, only 1-2cm every 100 years. in order not to disturb the growth, it is forbidden to move stones. these lichens are so widespread here because there are hardly any reindeer, that would otherwise lick them off the rocks.
arrived on the high plateau, i decide to take a path that leads me to one of the oldest trees in the world, the so-called old tjikko, this relatively unspectacular tree is about 9550 years old.
I then continue for about 5 km over the plain, past lonely lakes and through moors every now and then. I don't meet a single other person, but I do meet a few inhabitants of this landscape, birds accompany me and from time to time a little mouse or a marmot crosses my path.
exhausted from all the climbing and hiking, i reach the refuge in lorthån around 10 p.m., a wonderful little house, all made of wood, very cozy and with a small stove in the middle, the view through the door is directly on the small adjacent lake. first i chop a small supply of wood for the night and then i have some fish and some toasted bread with cheese. so far this is a rare luxury for me on this trip.
i snooze to the crack of the fire after i have written the postcards. i am finally woken up by two other hikers, who open the door at around 9 a.m. and thus illuminate the hut brightly, sleep is out of the question, the nights have become very short in the meantime. I stay in my sleeping bag for a while and read, until I can pull myself together for a meager breakfast and pack my stuff around 1 p.m., sweep through the hut and trudge towards the waterfall.
It's really sunny, but just as I'm making my way back down to the parking lot, the rain starts and I have to be very careful not to stumble with the now quite slippery lichen-covered stones. pretty exhausted and wet i get back to the car in the early evening, but i'm also very happy that i did this beautiful hike. it's just wonderful that there are these little huts almost everywhere that you can just use. very comfortable, then no one has to lug around a big heavy tent...
after a few thoughts and looking at the map, i decide to drive about 300km further to a small peninsula at a lake and set up my camp here. while driving i first listen to an audio book by sven regener and then i start with part 3 of harry potter, which i bought on cassette a few months ago. apart from the one or other stop at a gas station or to pee, i roar along the winding country roads until i finally arrive near östersund at a small rest area directly at the lake and just the last rays of sun in the treetops on the islands and the other side can recognize.
after a long supper and some reading i get back in the bulli and look forward to a night in my own bed.
the next day also starts for me with a long sleep and a delicious coffee around noon, i clean up the bulli a bit and then it's time to plan something again, because if i really want to arrive at the north cap at the beginning of august, i still have to quite a bit of distance to cover, in the next 10 days i want to drive across the border to norway, stay a night or two in lofoten and finally reach europe's northernmost promontory. so it's time to drive, drive, drive again today. but i'm looking forward to the time behind the wheel, i collect a small bouquet and attach it to the vw emblem in front of the radiator with an old hair tie. i jet off and finally come to lapland, here animals do indeed keep running across the lonely roads, reindeer, foxes and some birds accompany me and i have to brake sharply a few times, which of course messes up the freshly restored order in the bus.
i have to change the sleeping place selected for today a few times, because the chain of islands in front of storuman is built up with many villas and chic houses and is therefore probably quite privatized, in any case i stand in front of the lowered barriers a few times and had to turn around. shortly before sunset, however, i arrive at a parking lot where a few other people have already pitched their tents and parked their mobile homes. not exactly the lonely beauty I was hoping for, but at least an absolutely gorgeous sunset over the windy lake.
i cook a large portion of potatoes with red cabbage and eat happily in my camping chair while the sun sinks behind the hills on the other side of the lake. but now the spectacle really begins, the clouds illuminated from below shine in all shades between violet, red and yellow. I have a hard time falling asleep, which is partly due to the masses of mosquitoes and partly because it doesn't really get dark.
my day starts relatively rainy and rather uncomfortable, that's why i drive on before breakfast and just make myself a coffee before i continue driving north on the e12. but not that far, i would like to sleep one last night in sweden before i leave for the norway border tomorrow.
in the early afternoon i reach a small, quite steep branch off the country road and according to my map there is a small shelter at the end of this path, directly on the shore of the lake.
when i got there, i know that this beautiful place will also be my night's camp today, but it's still quite early and so i spend the afternoon writing and having a nice phone call with my parents, who are roasting in the german heat wave. then the sun even comes out for a moment...
I still have a little craving for action and so first hike up the river of the waterfall next to the hut and then follow a lonely road up the mountains until I discover this beautiful lake through a small trail and although it is cloudy, the lake looks really beautiful. on the way back to the car i discover this broken tree.
back at the car and the lake i fill up my water bottle and follow an overgrown path that leads directly along the lake and as i realize quite late it used to be an old country road, roughly in the middle the rusted old crash barrier is bent by gigantic boulders and the path turns into a small climb before i reach an enchanting little property at the other end of the street.
an inviting little garden and a beautiful house with a fantastic view of the lake and the mountains on the other side. there is also a wooden pier on the shore with a small sauna with colorful flowers growing on the green roof. very idyllic, unfortunately i only took photos with my analogue camera.
before falling asleep i watch schindler's list again, a fascinating film, if you haven't seen it yet, you should do so.
my thursday starts well rested with a delicious breakfast, today there are even two eggs, it always takes a while because i can't find really good dry wood and coffee, porridge and eggs come on the grill one after the other.
when i'm finally well fed and have done my morning cat wash, i get the bulli ready for travel again and drive off.
the border is not manned and is therefore not a problem, many hilly country roads and tunnels follow, and in the afternoon i look for a good place to park and have a little tea break, unfortunately the weather is not particularly bueno and norway has after my previous one experience lots of “no camping” signs, even often in German... you can't really talk your way out of it anymore.
so my path leads me further and at some point i discover an entry on the map, the setergrotta and the grønlingrotta, these are two caves. I think to myself: hmm that's good, there's definitely beautiful nature around and I already know what I can do tomorrow morning.
so i drive the extremely steep gravel road up the mountain until after about 20 minutes in first gear and praying that the bulli will survive it i drive onto a nice grassy area, i have arrived at the grønlingrotta. it's raining, but i start exploring anyway and find a path that takes me over very wet meadows and climbing over larger stones to a kind of small plateau, from here you have a fantastic view over the adjoining areas without clouds mountains, but for me it was mostly grey.
so back down, to the car and quickly cooked dinner together, when i'm there more and more cars come up the mountain and finally the owner of this campsite too. there i was, actually didn't want to pay for camping on this trip, but on the other hand i had already discovered that there is even a warm shower here, i haven't showered since the tuesday before the fusion, and especially in the last few days, Unfortunately, the lakes have also become colder and colder due to the increasingly northerly location.
so i bit the bullet and paid almost 25€ for one night's parking, but also showered for almost half an hour and finally washed all the cookware really clean again. this is a very time-consuming affair due to the soot from the campfires. shortly before sunset i started running again, the rain had let up a bit and i actually wanted to make a phone call, but there was no connection, so i walked past a barrier and continued up the gravel road up the mountain, further and further until i reached a small dammed up area lake with waterfall came, you can see it in the previous photo. then we went to sleep, but this time with an alarm clock, because I wanted to be relatively punctual at the setergrotta.
after a brisk breakfast, i went down the mountain again and around 11.30 am, together with 6 other people and under the guidance of ronja, I started on a 2-hour cave expedition. that was super exciting and very physical, wrapped in overalls, with gloves and helmet, as well as a lamp, we started at the entrance of this approximately 400,000 year old cave, there are 3-4 km of underground passages and everything was created by water that overflowed the sandstone which has worn away for thousands of years.
however, this tour is not for people who are afraid of tight spaces or the dark, we often crawl lying on our stomachs through narrow spaces in the rock, about 30m of heavy rock above us and there is only light from the lamps on our helmets.
but ronja does her job very well and after 2 hours we reach the exit again and climb the rocks up to the daylight. definitely a wonderful tour and my most exciting caving experience so far. when we handed in our overalls i grab a brochure about the helgeland region, i leaf through the pages and finally make the decision not to go directly to bødo, but to take a nice detour via a few of the islands. blue is overland and red is over the islands.
back in the city I have a nice phone call with sophia and get the latest eberswalde information, then i drive the e17 to kilboghamn, i finally arrive at the right coast and smell the air of the atlantic.
there are many islands and rocks to be seen and i just catch the last ferry for today to jektvik in time, leaning against the railing i hear an announcement, that we have just passed the arctic circle. arrived in jektvik i look for a quiet parking space that actually belongs to a small jetty and fall asleep peacefully.
the day starts, as almost always, with a steaming cup of coffee, just as i want to eat my breakfast, lena calls and we chat for a while about everything that has happened. unfortunately it's a bit rainy and hazy again today, so i think to myself, maybe i'll just try to drive the bulli really high up into the mountains, then maybe i can catch a glimpse of the clouds and the sun.
i reach the parking lot high above glomfjord in the afternoon and the trip there was extremely nerve-wracking. first there are the signs stating that you must use this road at your own risk, then the hairpin bends and steep dirt roads, but the most challenging were the 3 tunnels, all unlit and unpaved, the longest was almost 2 km long and because it was going so steeply uphill, i had to talk the bulli out and jump up in first gear. When I arrived at the top, I was at least briefly honored with a bit of sunshine.
Unfortunately, this didn't last long and so, accompanied by a light drizzle, I trudged along the path, past mountain lakes and the remains of last winter, which are slowly thawing here. a rather barren landscape, almost like being on another planet. especially the windings in which the rock was formed look very wild, reminds me of the grain of wood. on the way to the summit of høyde, i even discover a few very beautiful rock crystals on the small water rivulets.
the descent down the mountain is the same as the arrival, at least in terms of nerves. and i make a few crosses when i arrive safely at the bottom, the bulli is praised and then we continue towards bødo, a car ferry will take me to the lofoten from here tomorrow. that night i sleep in the parking lot of a gas station near the airport.
thank you very much for taking the time to read, hugging you from afar and happily saying:
see you soon!