Summer in a nutshell

This Saturday Annika and I met our friend Elisabet, who never says no when it comes to being outdoors. Even if we used a car to reach all those nice places round Umeå we indeed were outdoors most of the time.

1. Mountain hike

Elisabet had asked us what we wanted to do this day beside of bathing. Hiking, sleeping, barbecuing? The sea, forest, mountain …?

I mentioned that it wouldn’t be too easy to find mountains round Umeå, but Elisabet knows many nice places and so she suggested to go up the mountain Tavelsjöberget. Since the top is just 284 metres above sea level, it’s not the longest hike up. There’s a 5 km trail leading through wetlands (according to the sign rubber boots are recommended) but the shortest way up is just 700 meters long. That’s the way we took.

After the short but steep and rocky way up we reached the top. Here we took a break and enjoyed the view over the lake Tavelsjön and the landscape around.

Elisabet told us about some caves nearby and we already saw the waymarks leading down. There at the western side the mountain is very steep and rocky. We found all of the four caves but entered only one, since the others were only reachable by crawling.

We took a shortcut along a narrow path until we came to the very same trail that we took uphills. Soon we were back at the car and quite eager to enjoy some ice cream and take a bath.

2. Sandy beach and ice cream

… and so we did! First we bought ice cream and something to drink at the kiosk and then we took a refreshing bath. Water temperature: 19 °C, air temperature: round 22 °C. Just perfect, if you ask me.

After a bath (Elisabet took two) and an ice cream (Annika and I took two) we started to plan the rest of the day. Barbecue: yes! By the water: definitely! But where? And where to get food? Luckily there was a food store in Hissjö quite nearby. There we purchased food, something to drink and Elisabet asked for some plastic knifes and a fork, which we got.

Then we headed to Bäcksjön, a beautiful lake in the forest.

3. Forest lake and barbecue

There’s a grilling place at the southern tip of the Lake. Seven other cars parked on the same parking place so we knew we wouldn’t be alone.

Elisabet is quite independent when it comes to barbecuing. While I always have a tripod and rubber boots in the car for photographing, Elisabet uses to have a grill and charcoal with her. Soon our sausages, bread, halloumi cheese, asparagus and tomatoes lay on her grill getting barbecued and beside of some asparagus we ate it all. And it tasted so good!

After our meal Elisabet and I took another bath. We weren’t successful when it came to swimming because the lake is quite shallow and you have to go a long while until you can start to swim.

We were so lucky: Good food, great company, a beautiful lake, warm summer weather with a slight breeze and – not to be underestimated: hardly any mosquitoes!

Summer in Northern Sweden! It’s hardly imaginable that people skated on the ice of the Tavelsjö only two months ago.

Vampires of the North

It’s no secret, that blood-sucking vampires exist in Scandinavia. It’s another species then the half-human vampires known from countless fantasy novels and therefore there are some differences:

The bad part: They don’t dread the sunlight, they are countless and they can fly!

The good part: You won’t turn into a vampire yourself when they bite you, they are much smaller and they are easier to kill.

But sometimes you come too late to prevent the vampires attack …

This mosquito died in Miekojärvi between Överkalix and Övertorneå, where Annika and I stayed overnight on our tour to Tromsø.