Today Annika and I drove to Riksgränsen, a place near the Norwegian border. I was curious because this is a place with a lot of snow, 151 cm were measured yesterday. Riksgränsen is 36 km away from Abisko, so we took the car. Our plan was to take a shorter ski tour but to check first if we could get a lunch afterwards. We turned right and were on a minor road with a parking place to the right and a grocery store ahead. Behind the store a sign: No trespassing. First I thought that I missed the way to the village, but no, that’s the only road.
I entered the store to ask for the way to the hostel. I should ignore the sign and continue the road. I see. We found the hostel behind a bend, but all entrances were blocked with locked metal doors. No doorbell, no way to come in. Luckily an employee left the hostel and told us that the reception is in the hotel nearby where we would get a door code. I see. We could take a brief look in the hostel that looked more like a prison with its dark corridor and the many doors. We left the hostel, continued by car and mostly I saw snow, some buildings and prohibition signs.
The hotel looked nice inside but didn’t had any lunch. Lunch was served on two places, one nearby and another only reachable by skis because that’s what Riksgränsen is made for: Taking the chairlift uphill and ski downhill.
To be honest, I never ever saw a place in Sweden that I disliked so much and that was so uninviting as Riksgränsen. It’s not about the people, there are nice as in most places all over the world. It’s about missing way signs, locked doors, key codes, outdated information and a general ugliness. What a contrast to the yesterdays ski tour through the fantastic Swedish landscape.
First we thought about driving back to Abisko directly, but then we took the readymade 3.4 km cross-country ski trail. I don’t know if it was the weather, my dislike for the place or the fact that I prefer following my own route, but I was quite bored by just following the loipe through the Swedish fjäll. I was glad to leave the place and return to Abisko were we took a lunch in the Abisko Mountain Lodge.
If you love downhill skiing, Riksgränsen could be an option for you, otherwise I would recommend to avoid this place in winter time.