Annika and I used the weekend to visit good friends in Kusfors. While it was still autumn home in Obbola by the sea, the inland experienced an onset of winter with 20 cm of snow and frost below -10°C. And so did we in Kusfors.
There’s a reason why it’s a good idea to change to winter tyres already in October.
Today: a short trip to Kusfors and Jörn with Annika and my best friends from Munich. After last night’s storm we got calm and sunny weather with temperatures between -10 °C and -20 °C today. In Kusfors we had a look at the old steam locomotive and visited friends of mine. In Jörn we had a picnic in the in the heated waiting room of the train station.
I live nearby Skellefteå, Sweden’s largest town without an active train station. Jörn, however has rail connections to Luleå, Umeå, Stockholm and Göteborg, although Jörn only has 800 inhabitants. I have to admit, that I’m a bit jealous sometimes.
One of the disadvantages of a long journey as I made it this winter is that you cannot meet your local friends for a long time. It felt like ages ago, that I was in Kusfors to visit my good friends Martine and Lasse, that I got to know the very first day when I arrived in Skellefteå five years and some days ago.
Kusfors is 70 km away from my home and it usually takes my exactly one hour car drive. Yesterday it took longer since I made some detours. There’s a nice minor road along the river Skellefteälven which still is partly ice covered – at the end of April!
Martine, Lasse and I made a short trip to Norsjö and Lasse showed us around. For example the beautiful wooden church:
Or the ski slope nearby. (We where quite lucky that we didn’t get stuck in the rough clay road when we went up and down):
Or the farm shop in Svansele, that is specialised in carrots and is open 24-7.
But my favourite spot and motive was the old abandoned mill near Norsjö – Norrsjövallens kvarn:
I definitely have to visit this place again with more time and better light, probably in the evening, or even in the night time. (Perhaps with some polar light? …)
Addendum: A black and white version of the last motive:
The present day I spent with my friends Lasse and Martine. Well, not the first part because I was awake earlier and went down through the forest to a small bay of the river Skellefteälven. The bay was covered with several thin layers of ice. I fell through with each step and the only reason why I dared to go there, was that I know that the water is quite shallow. The atmosphere is always a bit spooky – decades ago this place was a forest but I was cut down because of the water regulation. In summer you can still see the cut-off trunks standing in the shallow water.
After an extensive breakfast – ok, let’s call it brunch – we made a trip to two special places. Look at the next image which is probably the awfullest photo ever I published. But the history is quite interesting.
Let’s go back to the 20th of May 1900: Ludvig Lundgren just left the house in Kvavisträsk to visit Fredrik, his neighbour. A bad idea, because just this day the place was hit by a meteorite. Ludvig wasn’t hit directly but found unconscious just 50 meters away. He died some days later probably of the consequences of the pressure wave. This is probably the only documented case of a deadly injury connected with a meteorite impact.
The next photo (back and white for technical reasons) is a place hardly known even to the locals. It is hidden in the middle of a forest and probably almost undiscoverable without knowing the GPS coordinates.
This cave is connected to World War II where it was used as a hiding-place for locomotives. Up to eleven engines found place in this hole in the mountain. It was locked for many years but now both the gate in the fence and the big folding doors of the cave are unlocked and you can enter it. We didn’t have any flash lights with us but the three LEDs of our smartphones where bright enough to see floor and walls. It was both fascinating to see this place as terrifying.
It is always great to travel with Lasse since – as a journalist – he knows so many fascinating stories and interesting places. Without him I’ll probably would have continued to make pics of ice and snow. A welcome variation!
On the way back (and what a way with frozen tracks so deep that the car was steering itself and occasionally hit the ground) we saw a lot of reindeers. They don’t pay attention to cars, but as soon as you open a window to make photos or even leave the car they probably will leave the place. But quite often they will stop again and watch you carefully. That’s the chance for photos. (None of the pictures became really good, but I’ll publish them anyway).
Thank you, Martine and Lasse for yesterday evening and for this nice day!