Travels

Trollhätten and Halleberg

Saturday 8 September. Had a wonderful walk around Trollhätten in early autumn sunshine with a nip in the shade, ideal weather for the 10k run taking place around the locks. The rugged architecture of the canals and hydroelectric plants is almost as striking as the natural environment it seeks to tame.

The old hydroelectric plant, built in 1910, was the biggest in Sweden until 1940. Trollhätten was also the headquarters of SAAB and hosts their expansive motor museum. Built to serve the industry of the area, the city, really a large town, is practical and modern, but pleasant, welcoming and with the sense of a strong community. Quite a few artworks as well.

Serene lakes, striking cliffs, crisscrossed with a network of pathways that beckon you to take another turn, the area is a paradise for runners and walkers.

I fuelled up for the first time in Sweden, with none of the palaver experienced in Denmark, then drove to a site in a small national park nearby.

I spent last night perusing the literature I got from the tourist centre and piecing together a route around this area, Dalsand, which borders Norway. I read that moose inhabit these woods, and that seemed reason enough to head here. Looking at the area on google maps I spotted a small parking area in the middle, took the coordinates and put it in my SatNav. Simples.

All Scandinavian countries, with the exception of Denmark, embrace the right to roam. There are some T&Cs attached but, within those, you can park up where you like. So I’m doing just that and overnighting in the forest. Unsurprisingly, as I write this I have no service on my phone, and my van’s WiFi is not hooking up either, so I don’t know when this will get published.

I’m near a fishing lake and there are families having barbecues around the shore. Swedes love a fire. Everywhere I’ve been, including the campsite in Gothenburg, I’ve seen fire pits, often surrounded by a square of logs to sit on and, sometimes, with fresh logs left by the previous user. Setting stuff alight in the great outdoors is positively encouraged.

I guess the town is only a few miles away but this feels like a bit of an adventure. I had a cycle around the area. No moose so far, but I have seen some of the biggest mushrooms I’ve ever seen.

In the hour or so since I started writing this, all the cars have left and I’m alone in the woods. C’mon, Moose, pop out and say hello.

Sunday, on the road and have a signal. Posting…

PS. Today the Swedes go to the polls to elect a new government. There is a projected shift to the right, towards anti-immigration parties. What the f! In Sweden, once the model socialist state, what is the world coming to? Self serving politicians using prejudice to motivate the ignorant, it’s a pandemic.

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