Hiking the Swedish Nordic Fell in the Summer

I’ve had a  small hiatus from blogging, but am happier than ever to be back. Sometimes life hands little surprises and although they might be positive in nature, they have the tendency to stir the pot and mix everything up. The natural rythym of bedtimes and wake-up times have returned, even for the teenager, as school has now started. Although I love the freedom of summer vacation from school, by the end I am looking forward for to school to start and for that natural rythym to begin.

2015-07-21 09.20.15We made it back from our hiking trip to northern Sweden and Norway. To me it seems like almost every Finn I have talked to, have at some point in their life gone on an hiking expedition in the very north. Some hike trails and others rely on the compass and enter the wilderness where there is no visible sign of people nearby. We opted for the wilderness as my husband has a lot of experience trekking in unmarked territory and for him, hiking along trails is not quite the true wilderness experience. We drove to Arjeplog, Sweden and left our car on a patch of gravel, off the road and out of anyone’s way. The drive was about twelve hours from our house, and once arriving it was nice to get out and get some exercise. The weather was not real promising and at times we felt a few drops as we changed our clothes and gathered our gear.

wetlands and rivers swedish laplandI have been hiking in the Nordic Fell once before on a winter hunting trip, but this was completely different because there was no snow, or actually hardly any snow covering the landscape. The landscape from far looks like it is gently rolling as shrubs and trees cover the remains of the last ice age: large moss covered boulders and in between are the valleys full of wetlands that feel like a spongy waterbed to walk on.

snow in the summer

waterfalls in swedish laplandI was surprised to see so many waterfalls and hear bubbling and gurgling water at almost all times. The water is so clean that we would just take our kuksa, a cup carved out of wood, and scoop a cupful whenever we seemed thirsty. Usually the creeks and waterfalls might not be rushing at such full force in July, but as with the rest of Scandinavia, spring had arrived late this year and some of these waters were meltwaters from the previous winter.

fisherman and stern fairy

gear

tunturipuri marsh creekSometimes in the middle of a marsh, connecting to a pond was a small creek. Mind your step, as the sides were steep and they can easily be a couple of meters deep of clear water.

bed of rocksI often wondered as we walked about the landscape of sound during the end of the ice age as the giant glaciers moved, moving huge amounts of boulders into one pile or how the top of the Nordic fell is gently littered with rocks, as if they had been just randomly dropped, one here and another there. Our original plan was to set up camp and climb to a peak of about 1800 meters with a lighter day pack. Since the weather did not quite favor us we shortened our hike a bit and carried all of our stuff and decided to climb to 1000+ meters instead.

climbing the nordic fellgnarled tree

In between the peaks and patches of rocky beds, there might be a meadow full of blooming flowers to be discovered. It seems as if nature is in a hurry in the very north as the summer is so very short, especially this summer.

meadow flowers in lapland

After a two day hike and one night in the Swedish wilderness, we decided to go see if the sun was shining on the other side of the Scandinavian mountains. And it was.

norwayThe flowers of the cloudberries had just withered and they were forming berries. Some years and with a warmer summer, we might have had cloudberries to pick and pop into our mouths as we hiked. The recipe below is for a berry smoothie, on top of which I sprinkled a few cloudberries I had in the freezer. If you might have cloudberries on hand, I would suggest to not blend them in the blender as they have a raspberry like seed, although a bit bigger and it is more pleasant to eat the berry whole rather than having a smoothie full of pieces of the shell of the seed.

smoothie collage

Berry smoothie with kale

 

1 dl/ 1/2 c strawberries
1/2 dl/ 1/4 c black currants
1 large leaf of kale with the steam removed and ripped into large pieces
juice of 1/2 lemon
2.5 dl/ 1 and 1/4 c plain yoghurt

If using fresh berries, add a few ice cubes into the blender to make the smoothie cold. Blend until smooth and serve in a glass. Garnish with cloudberries.
*for a dairy-free version replace the youghurt with orange juice. You may also substitute other berries that you might have on hand. We had ready-to-pick strawberries in our own patch and ripe black currants in the bush and so this time that is what ended up in the smoothie.

In my next post, I will bring you to Norway. As a preview and a little sample of what is to come, here is a video I put together of our trip.

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18 Comments

  1. Beautiful photos and video and I enjoyed the music with it as well; it suited the grandeur. I agree that it is nice to return to one’s routine after a big trip, though I have noticed there is always some little change that happens to me or my routine after a trip; perhaps it is the fresh perspective one returns with. Lovely to have you back Laila.

    1. I definitely agree with you, travel always opens one’s minds and whets the curiosity. And sometimes it is good to do something a bit out of one’s comfort zone. Tenting in the wildnerness without the normal amneties of life was certainly a new experience for me. 🙂
      Thanks so much for stopping by.

    1. My husband has talked about this type of trip for years and finally it worked out. An added bonus is that once you have the basic gear for hiking, it is fairly easy on the pocketbook. Thanks for stopping by Gallivanta.

    1. Thank you Jenny 🙂 I just had to buy a carton of fresh raspberries from the grocery today as all of mine had gone into the freezer by this time. Raspberry is my absolute favorite berry.

    1. Thank you Mimi…did you notice the baby’s blue mouth as he had eaten blueberries by the handful. 🙂 The fish was an artic char…we put it on a spit and roasted it over a fire with some salt and a homemade spice mix we had taken with. It was absolutely delicious. Food doesn’t get much fresher than that.

  2. It’s nice to have a vacation from the blog now and again. Great to see you back Laila! Cloudberries, wild flowers, snow-peaked mountains, dunking handmade wooden cups in a waterfall, fresh fish – I feel utterly transported by this post. Oh and a 1000+ meter hike sounds impressive to me (just thinking about a 1800 meter hike makes me exhausted)!
    PS. Love the blueberry lips!

    1. Thank you Saskia…it’s great to be back! My fingers are itching to write 🙂 And to tell you the truth, I could definitely feel the effects of the 1000+ hike at the end of the day with all of the gear. Even did a quick wash-up in some of the freezing cold spring water that was rushing it’s way to the Artic Sea…almost got brain freeze from that! But it sure felt refreshing after getting so hot! 🙂

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