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Not skiing but hiking at Hovfjället

Denmark-Sweden 2016

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Near Torsby is the ski resort Hovfjället. We left my cousin to do some work around the house and me and his girlfriend went for a hike in Hovfjället. Here there are actually some marked hiking trails and still we managed to get sort of lost. We parked the car at the central building and walked up to the information map and decided on the route we were planning to take and started walking.

After a bit we saw a signpost and turned towards it. Our route was on one of the arrows so we followed it. We walked a while above the treeline and then the path went down into the forrest. Some parts were muddy so they built a boardwalkto make it easier for hikers. The dog had a great time walking the route three, four times up and down, bathing where he shouldn't, going to be a fun ride back with wet dog in the car.large_1297706_14771269621806.jpgHovfjälletWe followed the route to a cabin, all seemed fine. If we turn left we should be going uphill again towards the starting point. But after a bit the trail went downhill again, this doesn't seem right. We went on for a bit but as the path kept going down we decided to go back the way we came. Turned out we started all wrong by walking towards the signpost, we should have stayed on the main path, but instead we started the trail backwards. Who puts a signpost on the end of a walkingtrail? Only in Sweden I guess.

In the evening we went on a picknick near the river. We wanted to build a fire on the beach but there wasn't much beach to go on so we used the fire pit near the cabin instead. Again the dog had great fun swimming (yeah the wet dog smell again!) We roasted sausages in the fire and had salad and some beers and soda for the driver.

On our way back to the house an elk crossed the street, too dark to take a picture so you just have to take my word on it; I had my elk!


Posted by Stefmuts 05:24 Archived in Sweden Tagged landscapes mountains nature hiking forest Comments (0)

On horseback in Sweden

Denmark-Sweden 2016

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large_1297706_14771254423200.jpgI didn't plan to go horseback riding but when it was suggested I didn't hesitate a bit. I used to ride horses when I was younger but I stopped when the riding school closed and I didn't find another to my liking. I thought about buying my own horse, but that's too expensive since I don't have the space to keep a horse at home.

My cousin only started horseback riding a year ago and he still has to learn a lot, his own horse is still young and also has to learn a lot so for a ride in the woods my cousin had another option, Sundance ranch. He arranged the 2 hour Horse Riding Mountain Trail. At the ranch they first had to get the horses from the meadow to the paddock, using a quad . First getting them ready, brushing.large_1297706_14771254763840.jpg Somehow I always get the dirtiest horse, or at least it seems that way! I struggled a bit with the bitless headgear, not used to that. But once I figured it out it's not that different.

Riding through the Swedish forests is wonderful! Walking through the forrest is great, but on horseback it's even better. I thought riding bitless would be a lot different but it actually isn't. We did see some local wildlife; squirrels, again no deer, no elk. Back at the ranch we let the horses in the paddock and of course 'my' horse immediately started rolling in the sand, I knew it!

Next day I also got the chance to ride my cousins girlfriends horse, a Shire which means ridiculously big. I had to use steps to get on it, thankfully the horse is used to that so it stood perfectly still while I got on it's back. The whole time I did have the idea that if the horse decides to run off I couldn't do anything about it. I'm more comfortable with the smaller versions, but it was a great experience.


Posted by Stefmuts 23:41 Archived in Sweden Tagged nature forest horsebackriding outdoor_activities Comments (0)

Marstrand vs Göteborg

Denmark-Sweden 2016

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large_1297706_14768920575532.jpgSome of my fellow campers have spend a day in Göteborg (Gothenburg) and had a great time, their stories almost made me reconsider my plans for a daytrip Marstrand. Back home planning this trip I thought of spending another day here and visit the city Göteborg. But somehow I scratched it off the list, and now I'm having doubts.

I finally decided to stick to my plan and drive north to the small island town called Marstrand. You have to park your car near the harbour since bringing it up the island is prohibited (and pretty useless), the only cars on the island are used to bring goods from the mainland to the stores at the harbour area, all else is inaccessible to cars, locals use golf carts and scooters. My travel guide says Marstrand buzzes with activity in the summer but I think september is not considered summer anymore, or maybe it's because it's a monday, but not much buzzing today.large_1297706_14768920757812.jpg Stores and restaurants are closed except for the supermarket and the kiosk at the ferry. I take the ferry to the island and here too, not much buzzing.

I start walking uphil to Carlsten Fort, the main attraction on the island. A sign at the door indicates the fort is open to the public so I enter and follow the signs to the ticket office which is pretty well tucked away in a back office. I'm not the only visitor at the fort, some other people found the ticket office as well. The big tower is not open to the public, I believe it is used as a conference center or something like that, you can only use the passage through the tower. But almost all other parts are open. Some rooms you have to search for the light switch to see anything but an open door means to me I'm allowed to go look for a light switch.large_1297706_14768920552557.jpg The fort was also used as a prison and the inmates had to work on extending the fort. The big round tower used to be a smaller square tower and was extended to a round shaped tower, you can see the date sign on the inside door in the passage.

There are secrets passageways going from one end of the fort to the other, well, not so secret anymore and well lit, I guess it used to be more scary going through them with only candle light. I tried both routes (of course!) one ends in the back of the forts church, the other in the courtyard.

From the fort I start my walk around the island. There is a sacrificial stone, a big piece of rock with a blood groove, this could very well be something else like a groove made by a stonecutterto split the rocks.large_1297706_14768920626523.jpg But hey, there are stories, and some people see the hammer of Thor carved in one side of the rock.

St.Erik's cave is the place the villagers fled to while Marstrand was under siege of Tordenskiolds in 1719, there are actually two caves, St.Erik's, the bigger one with the pulpit rock,and Mrs Arfvidsson's bed chamber, here Mrs Arfvidsson gave birth to a son. I couldn't locate the well though. St.Eriks park is barely recognizable as being a park, it's just an open space in the woods if not for the sign saying it is a park. I can imagine it was a nice park in it's glory days but today nature has taken over for the most part.

The west side of the island is rough and rocky and the path is not always clear, some parts it's just a painted arrow on the rock showing you where to go.large_1297706_14768921375234.jpg It's a great spot to take pictures! Wooden bridges connect some of the rocks and there are some benches placed along the route so you can sit and enjoy the view. There are some beach areas for nude bathing and closer to the village the regular beach area's, well, not beach since it's al rocks here, but steps going into the water. Not great weather for swimming today though.

Back in the harbour still not much buzzing so no coffee and cake on a terrace with harbour view, instead I took the ferry to the mainland and just did some grocery shopping at the supermarket before returning to Göteborg


Posted by Stefmuts 23:01 Archived in Sweden Tagged landscapes nature coastline sightseeing natural_wonder Comments (0)

More Cliffs at Møns Klint

Denmark-Sweden 2016

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large_1297706_14765310652156.jpgSadly the weather was a bit foggy so the seaside view could have been better. I drove along the coast to the isle of Møn but first stopped to take a look at Femmetofte kloster, I'm not sure if it's possible to visit the inside but I'm interested in the architecture not so much the interieur and I had the day fully planned. On the isle of Møn I stopped at Keldby kirke, it had the touristic attraction logo so I had to find out what's so special about this church because it doesn't look much different from other Danish churches from the outside. Well, the attraction is on the inside, paintings on the walls and ceiling, really beautiful. Elmelunde kirke has the logo as well but I safe this one for later.

I parked at GeoCenter Møns Klint, best place to start a hike according to my guidebook.large_1297706_14765310937901.jpgMøns Klint (beach route 4, maybe not)It has the description of a route looking a lot like route 4 & 5 of the folder combined. It discribes walking north (route 4), going down the stairs, walking south (4 & 5), going up the stairs and walking north back to the Geocenter. I had planned to do this hike but since I couldn't see much of the cliffs from the top I decided to start by going down to sea level. Good choise! Route 4 on sea level is gone (or you have to swim) so I started walking south on route 5. Some parts are quite narrow and the crashed tree with still some green leaves on it are not very comforting but the route is beautiful. The stairs up are not so much fun, but they had benches to rest every now and then. The route through the forrest is very nice, some parts are close to the edge and you can enjoy the view, but most part you have no idea the world ends in just a few meters.large_1297706_14765311306274.jpg

Back at the Geocenter I bought a big drink and sat on the terrace for a bit. Then on to Liselund Slot. It's a beautiful little castle/outhouse with beautiful gardens surrounding it. The grounds are right on the Cliff edge and in 1905 it got a lot smaller due to a big landslide. I walked around the gardens, peeked through windows. I don't want the guided tours of the interiour but I am curious sometimes.

I spotted a grave field (I think Bronze age burial mounds) on the way to Liselund and wanted to take a closer look. Apperently these things a quite common in this area so no sign, no place to park (I stopped on the side of the road to take pictures) and no path leading up there. I drove a bit further up the coast and tried to walk to the cliff edge from there but I think I took a wrong turn so after a while walking through the forrest I just turned and went the same way back.

Elmelunde kirke was already closed when I arrived back there but the sign said it's beautiful painted walls and ceilings again. The other special thing about this church is the Bronze age burial mound on church grounds, I always thought they were considered heresy in the old days.


Posted by Stefmuts 05:21 Archived in Denmark Tagged landscapes cliffs nature sightseeing Comments (1)

The hills have eyes and saffron

Morocco 2015

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large_1297706_14596783932568.jpgAfter a lovely breakfast at the pool side we were off to Taroudant. Well on our way, we passed the film set of the hills have eyes (an American Horror movie). We had already passed but made the driver turn around to take a closer look.

Two man are guarding the set and for a few coins we can look around all we want. Not everything is from the one movie, some egyptian stuff got mixed in there as well (?) We just couldn't help ourselves and just had to fool around getting in, on and touching stuff, but aapparently thats ok. The set is maybe even scarier than the movie. Back home I watched the movie again to see if I can make out the stuff on the set and I must say it's not really a great movie even for a horror story. Our guide found a big gun in the store so we all went in there to see what else was there.large_1297706_14596784099645.jpg I wouldn't buy anything there though!

Next is a viewing point. Since today is mostly sitting in the bus we are just glad to get out, view or no view. We have tea in a small town with a big market. Not the normal market but especially for the upcoming festival ( Id al-Adha - sept 24 ) We have seen people carrying sheep all week already. It's really crowded and mostly food they sell here.

After another few hours in the bus we stop at a saffron farm. Not much safron growing at the moment but we get to taste safron tea and we can buy some. I think it makes a nice souvenir so I buy some.

Lunch in a tent with typical moroccan music (sadly not live played) and a nice view. And later on a short stop for goats in a tree (argan tree) We are really bushed when we finally arrived in Taroudant. We had to find a restaurant on our own tonight, our guide set us free in the souk. Wasn't that easy though, lots of places already closed for the festival but we managed to find a pizza place and a supermarket for some drinks and snacks which we consumed on the roof terrace of the hotel. We had to bring our own stuff because the terrace and bar are kind of abandoned so we had to make our own party.


Posted by Stefmuts 22:48 Archived in Morocco Tagged mountains desert nature movies hiils Comments (0)

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