Thursday, December 13, 2012

Fjällen Revisited

The Swedish fjällen, which are part of the Scandinavian Mountain range that runs through the Scandinavian peninsula, are among the best places that nature-lovers long to visit over and over again because of their awe-inspiring and unspoiled splendor. Ardent hikers, photographers and even mere sightseers frequent the most popular and accessible sections of the mountains, which look marvelous in four different facets that are brought about by the changing seasons.

First time I traveled there was in the summer of 2010, when I was barely nine months here in Sweden. I chronicled my first impressions and experiences HERE .

Second time was in 2011, though we only kept ourselves at low altitude and did some fishing expedition in the middle of the lake.

This year, we hit the road to the mountains again, first in August, and then in September. In August, we took the Gränsjö section of the fjällen, where we put up our tent in a camping site and slept for one night.

lunch in Vilhelmina before going to the mountains

passing by this little rapid that flows to a glassy lake

That evening, we went to a lake to see if we could catch a fish, but it turned out that the timing was unfavorable. Nevertheless, as always, we were able to bask in the stillness of the lake and the natural beauty that enwreathed it. We also spotted a little patch of cloudberries along the way, but couldn't pick them yet since they were still red. But I was glad to see these costly berries congregated in such a little tract.

The night was chilly and damp, we retired to our tent, shivering.

In the morning, we were set to move forward on our journey, but without any definite destination. We just kept on driving and savoring the picturesque mountainscapes that hemmed us in as we traversed the winding road. The most thrilling part of our vagrant journey was driving through the Sagavägen (fairytale path) that started from Gränsjö, cutting through the Riksgränsen (national border) and stretching out to Norway. We finally made up our mind to take a look at a little section of Norway.

All through the Sagavägen were fantastic sights that kept me in constant amazement: the mountaintops patched with snow, the lush trees and other vegetation that draped the mountainsides and trailed down the dale, the meadowsweets, rosebay willows and other wildflowers decking some sections of the roadsides and sprinkling some open fields, the countless lakes with shimmering blue waters, etc.

By the time we reached the border between Sweden and Norway, we pulled over the roadside, and I stood right at the borderline to get that proverbial experience of being in two places at the same time.

From there, we just burned the road towards Hattefjell, Norway, where we parked for a while on a hill and viewed the scenery below. Not so impressive, but ok.

After a few minutes, we turned and took another route back to Sweden, this time via Hemavan-Tärnaby. We had planned to stay one more night there, but we could not get in touch with the owner of the cottage that we wanted to hire, nor could we sleep in our tent on account of the chilly air at night. So we just kept on driving leisurely, stopping here and there to enjoy and shoot some sceneries.

Again, I amassed countless pictures along the way, drive-by shots where parking was not possible, and a few good shots where we could stop and get at the right angle. I stored my captures HERE .

We arrived home late in the afternoon, high in spirits after luxuriating in the arms of nature high up in the mountains and down the valleys. Next visit would be next year. So we'd thought, but wanderlust goaded us to go back in autumn, just a few weeks after.

That journey turned out to be something out of a dream, which I'm going to put down in another blog.