Monday, December 31, 2012

The Gold of the Mountains

Autumn at its best!

That's how I describe the majesty of the Swedish fjällen in autumn, where I spent a few days of my third autumn since I migrated here. It's the best as far as I have seen during my three-year stay in the northern hemisphere.

I know it's out of season to post about autumn when we are in the middle of winter, yet at the same time, it could be timely since the warm colors of fall kindle the occasional dismal ambience of the present season. So here I go again with my travel ramblings.

This story started here. Some weeks thereafter, in September 21-23, our incurable wanderlust spurred us again to go back there. This time, we had the cabin booked beforehand, which we located in the heart of the forests beside a lake.

As always, the long road to the mountains was made figuratively short and delightful by the awesome sceneries all through the way. And as typical of me, I kept spinning my head from right to left and back again to take it all in and shoot when possible.

As we neared Tärnaby-Hemavan, the landscapes changed dramatically to vibrant yellow that crescendoed to dense forests of deeper golden hue interspered with red, orange and greenish colors. I've never seen fall in such intensity before and I was undeniably awestruck by such beauty. My heart brimmed with gladness and excitement as I plunged myself into all the loveliness that surrounded me. This was merely our arrival, but my spirits had started soaring on the wings of rapture.

Back to my feet on the ground, we dropped by a convenient store and purchased goods that we needed during our stay there, then proceeded to our cottage on a little hill. It was made of wood, spacious, neat and vey snug. There was no tap water, but we could fetch water from a little creek beside the cottage. Our lodging was just perfect for anyone trying to get away from the comfort zone of city life. But of course, the cabin was also stuffed with things for our convenience, like dining/kitchen utensils, tissue papers (dry and wet), ref, electric stove, woods for the fireplace, even TV, etc. That first night, we slept soundly and sweetly.

In the morning, while hubby still curled up snugly in his sleeping bag, I went out, armed with camera and tripod, and strolled down the lake where I drank in the morning serenity that saturated the proximity. Afterwards I ambled through the woodland path, relishing the luster of the autumn foliage all around me and the grandeur of the snow-capped mountains.

We spent the whole day driving around and hiking in some popular mountain trails that offered spectacular views of the forests, mountains, rivers and rapids, all imbued with the golden colors of fall.  The day had been perfect, the sun shining intensely and the sky so blue. I have had my fill of the autumnal beauty of nature in these mountainous boreal forests. I have been flying in bliss again. There was nothing more to wish for.

Back to our cottage that evening, we made fire in the small wood-burning stove sitting in one corner of the room to dispel the iciness in the air and get us warmed. Mmm...I could smell the aromatic smoke from the burning birch woods...a balm for the senses. After dinner, we flaked off the dried reindeer meat that we bought from the grocery and nibbled the thin pieces while drinking a little wine. My first time to taste dried reindeer meat, and I like it.

Later in the night, disregarding the nippy fall air that pierced through my bones, I went outside to check out the sky over a place free from light distractions. Just as I expected, the night sky was packed with stars the likes of which I have never seen in hazy city skies. One more treat for the astronomer in me.

The next day came with thick fogs and frosts that coated the vegetation. Through the window panes, I watched the frosted birch leaves float in the air before finally falling to the ground. 

After cleaning up the cottage that morning, we started our journey back home. Gloom subdued the morning as we set off, but a little sunshine chased it away as the day wore on. Since we still had the whole day to spend on anything, we kept stopping by some spots that charmed us and took several pictures.



Here are some things that turned up on our way as we were getting close to our city.


Just as I wrote previously, this journey was a dream realized. A wonderful surprise that got me pleasantly stupefied. Another golden experience that enriched my life and fortified my spirits.

This is my gold... my treasure...stored in my heart.

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