There is something with me. Every time I go where the Lonely Planet or the Eyewitness Travel suggest I must be, I find the place uninteresting. I also noticed that everyone around me is at least twice as old and this can only mean one thing – young people don’t travel in Europe. They have hobbies, do things like hiking and kayaking but I feel that a young person in Europe does not travel much across Europe itself… on average. So I can just as well burn my travel guides as they mostly give me information that I’d find interesting in 30 years or so.
This is what happened with me when I went along Swedish east coast. Many sources said it’s amazing and I set my sail towards the town of Sundsvall but before I arrived there I had to spend a night by a lake and what a night it was!
Sundsvall is the place to go if you live up North and would like to enjoy the views you’d only get in Stockholm. Maybe not all the views you get in Stockholm but there are a few streets with untypically large five storey stone houses otherwise only see in Stockholm. The reason for it is because in 1888 (a magic year in Europe around which many cities burned to ashes). The fire was so devastating that 9000 people lost their homes. They used insurance pay-out to rebuild the town and invited architects and stone masons who build Stockholm and here is the result – little Stockholm in the middle of Sweden.
I actually mostly liked places which were not in central town. There is a watch tower on a hill North of the town from which you can see the whole town including the nearby Alnon island. I really enjoyed spending hours at the tower! Such a great idea!
Right where the tower is there is a fantastic open-air museum where you can see traditional Swedish buildings and some manual professions recreated, they have these lovely installations there which made me remember the Dala region!
I made this timelapse just because I could, I don’t know why this trip becomes the trip of timelapses, I had the app for a long time and rarely used it.
The other nice place is the Alnon island itself. It’s a great place to see how the middle class live. The extraordinary thing about the island is that it has no pub! There is a kebap shop and a pizza place, one ICA supermarket and that’s it. For an island the size of the nearby town this is something! I don’t know how they socialise there and given how “anti drink-driving” Swedes are… how are they getting back home if they can only go out on the mainland across the bridge?;)
The Lighthouse Hostel
My next stop was a tiny island with a light house on it which also doubles up as a hostel. Not just your average hostel! It’s also not your average hostel in a light house. It is the most expensive hostel I have ever… ever stayed in! Add food and bed linen and you’d be spending 100 Euro a day there! One Hundred Euro! For a hostel! Well, at least you get the views!
And when it rains… you don’t:)
A little ferry brings you to the island three times a day and I can assure you, London Thames speed boats are children toys compared to this beast. I don’t know how you describe naval speeds but this thing goes like a racing boat! Well worth the money:)
When I arrived to the island the man who was with me through the journey has shown me the “ski-lift”-like wire lift that he used to get supplies to the island. You can also transport yourself if “no one can see you do that”;)
The light house is a lovely building sitting near to a cliff’s edge and I had the view through one of the windows facing the sea.
Boy did it rain there. The wind sweeps you off your feet, the rain drops travel at a 90 degree level and blow underneath everything! And you will see the aftermath of this weather if you take the trail that goes around the island across the tectonic crack that runs across it with loads of moss it looks like you’re in the forests of Amazon!
I was so exhausted I decided to continue travelling up North immediately and the final straw in my Bothnian Coast cocktail was town Umea.
Umeå is a small town which greeted me with… yes, old American cars. You can see them everywhere in Sweden, I think Hollywood should really move their filming here as the houses and the cars are already so 50s America, they only need to swap flags! There was a kind of an American heritage festival and I spent the rest of the day and night dancing to American 50s music, shon shon!
And… this is it, despite what they say in the guide book there isn’t much to do in Umea, there are practically two bars which also double as clubs and which charge you 12 Euro for the entry and which in my view did not worth it so I went to bed to wake up and drive to a completely different part of Sweden.
(Serge Fog, June 29 – July 04 2016)