Borderland: Femundsmarka & Sylan

In the last days I have crossed Femundsmarka and Sylan, a trip which took me across the border and into Sweden.

From Jonasvollen I took the ferry MS Fæmund II that brought me across the lake Femunden to Revlingen and right into Femundsmarka. Below the treeline Femundsmarka presented itself as a clear forest of warped pine trees whose ground was cluttered with a myriad of stones and boulders. Inbetween countless streams and lakes were finding there way.

There are badgers, bears, eagles and even some musk oxes living in Femundsmarka. I did not see any of them. What I did see were lots of reindeers. One night my campsite was situated right beside a reindeer track and I could watch them pass by in a 5 meters distance hidden from inside the tent 🙂

When I entered Sweden the trails became comparably easy to go. That together with a decreasing weight of my backpack enabled me to walk quite far every day. The most obvious difference between Femundsmarka and Sylan is that Sylan – apart from some exceptions – lacks all the stones and boulders and thus presents itself as a hilly landscape covered by grass and heather. Inbetween different mountain massifs like Predikstolen, Helagsfjället and Sylarna rise, providing majestic views.

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After the long walks of the past two days I treated myself with stays in the swedish hiking cabins of STF although they are really expensive (460 SEK for a night in a 14-bed-dorm – what the f… !?).

Today I arrived in Storlien were I refreshed my food provisions and picked up the 3rd parcel with new maps etc. Up to now everything went well with the parcels and I would like to thank Xin in Oslo for sending the parcels in Norway and my parents and Toni for sending the parcel to Sweden! In the evening I met my friend Björn and his girlfriend Laura who will join me for the next couple of days.

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Round tops and broad valleys: Rondane and Alvdal Vestfjell

I am sitting on the porch of the cozy little cabin Knausen and recall the last days.

After some initial rain on the first day in Rondane, the weather became sunny again and temperatures rose. The trails in Rondane were comparably easy to go. They led through broad valleys and offered nice views on the surrounding mountains. Rondane is the oldest national park of Norway (founded in 1962) and also here wild reindeers seem to play an important role. I did not see any this time. No wonder, given the amount of people who are on the way. It is interesting to see that there is some “hotspots” like Gjende in Jotunheimen and central Rondane, where there are a lot of people while just some kilometres away one does not meet a soul.

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From Rondane I went into Alvdal Vestfjell. With the temperatures rising, new enemies are on the agenda – insects, i.e. mosquitos, horse flies and flies. At some places they can really be a pain in the ass, because of their vast number and it is always nice to come above the treeline again were the wind prevents them from following.

In Alvdal I bought new food provisions. Entering a supermarket after having been in the wild for several days is an interesting experience. One ends up buying much more things then intentended. Ohh, fresh fruits and vegetables, ahh fresh bread, ohh this looks nice – sensory overload 🙂

From Alvdal I followed the street through an agriculture dominated valley to the next town Tynset. It turned out to be a really long walk and I arrived exhausted at Tynset Camping. While I was setting up my tent, a man approached me, asking what I was up to. While I was telling him about my plans, a second man joined us and asked me if I had already had dinner. When I denied that he invited me over in his caravan for sausages, potato salad, beer and strawberries with cream. So I spent the evening with the two couples Kåre and Kari and Thor and Anne Mari in their Caravan. What a fantastic end of an exhausting day 🙂 Tusen takk!

Now I am on my way to the lake Femunden and to the Swedish border. I hope everyone is well! Take care and  vi snakkes 🙂

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Into the home of the giants: Skarvheimen and Jotunheimen

Hey folks,

sorry that I did not upload pictures with my last post. Actually I tried really hard but the internet connection in the mountains was just to slow.

Now I am sitting in the public library in Otta and thus had the possibility to update they google photos album 🙂

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In the last weeks I came through a variety of different landscapes: On my way to Finse I had a spectacular view on a side branch of the Hardangerjøkulen glacier. Around Finse there was still a substantial amount of snow – back to winter once more 🙂 The city itself was still deserted, because the winter season had ended and the summer season had not yet begun.

From Finse I entered Skarvheimen. Although it is a mountainous landscape at a comparable altitude with Setesdalsheiane, the character of the landscape is quite different. The valleys are more spacious and not that steep. In Skarvheimen I had some interesting encounters. In one valley I met Ivar, a teacher who had used the beginning of his holidays for a multiple day trip in the surroundings of Iungdalshytta. He had set up his tent there and I joined him at this campsite for a nice evening, talking about anything and everything. On the next day he returned home and left me his remaining provisions. Tusen takk for det!

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The day after I met a Swede around noon who had started his hike in Trondheim and was on his way to Teneriffa. In the evening I met Oliver from Osnabrueck who is also going Norge på langs. Seems that there is quite a bunch of long distance travellers out there 🙂 I enjoyed his company on the next days hike to Tyinkrysset, where he had a resting day while I fetched my sister Maxie who joined me for the next stage in Jotunheimen. Who knows – maybe we will meet again on the way, would be nice!

After the first weeks where I hardly met any people, humming Jotunheimen was almost an overdose of people. I enjoyed some nice hiking days here together with my sister that took us along the lake Gjende to the No. 1 attraction, the walk across Besseggen. Maxie had brought a lot of food and took good care of me during the hike. Unfortunately, the weather was changeable in this time and we went through some rain.

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From Jotunheimen I have followed the road to Otta for the last two days, passing by the river Sjoa which seems to be a popular rafting spot and meeting several other long distance travellers again: a northern Norwegian couple who is cycling NPL, a Belgian woman who started her journey in Vilnius, cycling along the Gulf of Bothnia and via Finland to the North Cape. Now she was on her way southwards, first to Oslo and thereafter to Belgium. Yesterday I met Anna from Switzerland who started her NPL trip in the north in April.

Tonight a friend of mine, Reyk, will arrive and tomorrow we will enter Rondane national park together.

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