When most people take their husband away for the weekend they go somewhere where they can get pampered. They visit romantic castles, spas and resorts, sip champagne and relax. So what did we do? Well, how about a three-day hike in the Swedish fells, just under 50 km through the wilderness. No trains, buses, cars or even roads, just a path with cairns appearing from time to time to show you the way. This is what we decided to do, on our own without our little Pixiea lovely weekend for two.
It’s my favourite way to spend my time, outdoors, surrounded by green mountains, grey cliffs and stone and the blue water that trickles down from the mountain top. Above you is the sky which can shift from a clear blue with glistening sunshine to dark grey with hailstones so big that they hurt you when they hit your legs and arms. It’s probably one of my favourite places in the world.
This beautiful county in the centre of Sweden is called Jämtland. I have come here both winter and summer for as long as I can remember. In fact, I was only 1 year old when my parents brought me here for the first time when they took me hiking in Kolåsen. Since that year, 1974, I have returned on at least fifteen occasions. Most recently with my husband and my daughter with whom I have stayed in the little community Storlien, just on the border to Norway.
We arrive at the Mountain station Storulvån far too late in the day. It’s nearly 12.00 o’clock and about 3 hours later than I had planned. We drove from Storlien, circa 20 km away where we have just left our daughter behind with her grandparents. First we pay the parking meter for three days, and leave the car behind in the carpark. In the boot we leave a bag with towels and clean clothes so that we can wash up on the fnal day before we head back to civilisation. Trust me we’ll need it!
On this first day of treking we have just under 16 km ahead of us so we get going. The smells of the fell hit me as we cross river Handölan. The birch, the moss, the green grass has a very special smell. You will only find it in the Swedish mountains. Day one is always the hardest on any hike as it takes a while for the body to get into motion, day two is always easiest and the last day is always the hardest. On a short hike like this one the body is put through its paces, Just as you get used to the walking it’s time to stop.
We hike app. 10 km before we stop for lunch. Most of the other hikers on the trail that day had stopped earlier but as we felt a little stressed having set out so late we didn’t want to stop before we had covered most of the days kilometres. We enjoyed a fantastic meat and vegetable soup and sandwiches Just what we needed.
After a gruelling 16 km in the sunshine, we finally arrive at Sylarna. The last 3 km are all upphill and quite a tough way to end the day but it makes us feel alive and happy. For me personally there is nothing more fantastic than arriving at your destination after a hard day hiking. We pitch our tent just below Mountain station Sylarna, at 1035 metres above the sea, it’s a popular spot for hikers, bikers, runners and climbers.
There is no restaurant and Sylarna, instead everyone cook for themselves in the kitchen area, which is equipped with 8 small cooking stations. There is food in the small shop at the station, but as it’s quite over priced most people carry their own supply. One or two groups have even brought along some wine in old Coke bottles. We settle for a cold beer in the sauna, then a dinner of tortellini with creme fraiche and pesto together with a tomato salad.
We spend the night in our tent, and sleep quite well. As a treat we pay for two breakfasts for the next morning and a lunch pack so that we don’t have to worry about feeding ourselves. Trust me, it’s worth it, especially when you’re on a short hike like this.