Just as last year we decided to start our summer vacation with a roadtrip up through the north of Sweden. The final destination was Ammarnäs in Västerbottens county about 1200 km from Göteborg to visit our good friends Marita and Mattias and their Bernese Mountain Dog; Vegas. Marita and Mattias had rented a cottage in Ammarnäs, a small village where Marita’s mother was born.
On day one we left Göteborg and drove up through Bohuslän and Dalsland, stopped at Köpmannebro and the locks into lake Vänern, chatted to the Norwegian lock keeper about the virtues of lock keeping (peace and quiet, social skills dealing with impatient boat people, free board in the lock keepers cottage and working when others are holidaying). We drove on through Värmland to Sälen Hostel Gräsheden in Dalarna, a popular ski resort in winter. After checking in we took a walk with Roxy along the banks of Görälven and, though the air was thick with mosquitoes, the still evening and the cool mountain air was magical.
On day two we continued north through Östersund, the middle point of Sweden, and headed to Vilhelmina in Västerbottens län and the Vilhelmina Kyrkstad Vandrarhem (Vilhelmina Church Town Hostel). We made several stops including; Fjätfallet rapids, fika in Vemdalen, and some forest road stops to enjoy the scenery and let Roxy stretch her legs. Read about Vilhelmina Church Town here…
Day three we met up with Marita and Mattias in Sorsele to stock up on provisions before heading to Ammarnäs. On our way to Ammarnäs we encountered a couple of stray reindeer on the side of the road. Marita showed us the Same chapel Gillesnuole from 1674, and Järnfallen rapids.
In Ammarnäs we climbed the Potato Hill, a hill with a slope facing south enabling the villagers to grow potatoes at this northerly latitude, and visited the church where Marita and Mattias married 16 years ago.
After dinner we took a walk down to the lake as the sun started to disappear behind the mountains. From the cottage we could see the evening sun throw it’s light and shadows on the snow capped tops across the valley.
Day four started cold, windy and overcast. A perfect day for mountain climbing. We drove to Tjulträsk (info in Swedish only) lake and wandered up the mountain until we got to a large snow patch. From there the view of the surrounding mountains was magnificent. At 10 years old Roxy wasn’t quite up to the challenge but Vegas got to taste some snow in the middle of July.
We stopped at rapids along the way back to Ammarnäs and ended the day grilling chicken on a disposable BBQ, drinking wine and playing Mexican Train until late in the evening.
Day five we started back towards Göteborg. We decided to drive just over half way to Fågelsjö in Dalarna. We made few stops and enjoyed the scenery from the car. The traffic through Malung, Orsa and Mora in Dalarna was intense. Caravans and RV’s slowed traffic and made many drivers impatient.
The hostel in Fågelsjö was quiet, clean and peaceful. We walked through the little village to the lake and took in the view in the evening light before heading to bed and a deep sleep.
The final leg on day six passed through familiar territory. Just a few stops to try and get home as quickly as possible. We had fika by a lake near Torsby and an ice-cream at Grums Fish’n’camp by Sävsjön. Came out at Uddevalla and on to the familiar E6 arriving in Göteborg around 6 pm.