Let’s face it: The weather in Skellefteå and Umeå has been nasty the last days – temperatures above zero and a lot of rain making the minor roads icy and incredibly slippery. Most of the snow of the days before has been thawing away. So just now there’s much more winter in Germany towns than here beside the coast of the Baltic Sea.
The good thing: winter is not far away. I was in Umeå today and Annika and I drove westwards to catch a glimpse of winter. First it continued raining a good while, the road was dark and wet and the snow was slushy and ugly. But suddenly – just within a few kilometres the weather changed and rain turned into snow. Snow fall increased and anything was snow covered and white: the roads, the trees, the traffic signs, the bogs and the parking place where we stopped to visit the Hägring (english: mirage).
Hägring is an artwork between Bjurholm and Vännäs. It is a church-shaped object built of mirror fragments and stands in the midst of a bog. We’ve been there in May and knew that the bog is wet but safe to walk on. It was funny anyway to walk through knee-deep snow and feeling the bog bouncing underneath our feet with each step.
We continued westwards, Annika was driving and I was navigating and taking some pictures through the windscreen. Right after Bjurholm we took a minor road to Örträsk, a village by the lake Örträsksjön. Everything was snow covered. We stopped at the small grocery to buy something to drink but it was closed due to the “snow storm”. Well, we knew of the level one weather warning but it didn’t seem so severe.
Since days in December are short (and we didn’t find a place to eat in Örträsk) we decided to return to Umeå but on another route taking some minor roads eastwards. Snow fall intensified but still only some centimetres covered the roads.
While we followed the small ways the snow on the road got deeper and deeper until Annika’s Golf ploughed through 10 cm of snow. Where there was a house, people were outside to clear the snow with any available tool – from shovels to quite huge shovel loaders. But we didn’t get stuck.
Finally we reached the European route E12 which runs between Mo I Rana (Norway) and Helsinki (Finland). Even this road was covered with snow but much better to drive than the smaller forest roads before. 66 km to Umeå and it was snowing almost the whole way back. The last part however we came into the more maritim and warmer climate of Greater Umeå area and snow turned back into rain. We however got our winter impressions. Within just in half a day! One of the big advantages of living here!
On a final note, a “making-of” photo of Annika: Me walking to the Hägring: