Travel memories from mid Sweden in July 2003

In 2003 I had taken my 'main' holiday in February, which is at the end of the winter in Sweden, but when the spring became summer I thought it would be nice with a short holiday trip. After all it was summer.

By some odd reason I began looking at some events and museums related to cars made in Sweden...

I decided to continue where I had left the year before, around Arvika in Värmland. On the way there I would stop by some museums. I made the usual preparations, with among others a 'route plan' with notes about interesting things in the areas I had planned to pass.

The first day
I think that was a record, with the first change already before leaving home. Well, to be honest it's more accurate to say that I didn't leave as early as I had thought I would...

During the morning I had tried to phone one museum I wanted to visit, but I was told to call a retired person who didn't answer. I had to skip another museum I recently had heard about, since it was a bit off my route.

Around half past one I left with my car, heading for the E18. When coming to Värmland I was greeted by intense downpour. One time it felt like going through a car wash, and the wipers hardly managed to let me see outside. In Kristinehamn a stretch of the E18 was under water, but not deeper than driveable. After having passed Karlstad I turned northwards, heading for Fryksta.

The youth hostel at the south end of Lake Fryken was pleasant, even though I got a small room with only half a window. The weather was wonderful, and the hostel had large common rooms and a veranda with a nice view.

An old steamer was sailing by. Must have been Freja.

I don't know when she was built, but in 1890 her captain brought a book manuscript to the railway station in Fryksta. It was sent to a publishing firm by Selma Lagerlöf, and the book "Gösta Berlings Saga" became her breakthrough. In 1896 Freja sank, but after almost 100 years she was salvaged and restored. Since 1997 she's back in traffic, the eldest preserved steamer on the planet using her original boiler and machinery (according to one source).

After a little to eat I took a walk to the museum of Fryksta Clara Elfs Jernvägs Sällskap. When I passed the area was fenced off for the Frykstafesten (a community feast), but I was satisfied to see that the museum was there.

The rest of the evening I spent on the veranda, talking with other tourists and the landlady. A very nice way to train your languages. I also made some test shots with my new small digital camera, which I recently had bought since my well used small camera got too tired of working for me.

After a good evening I shed the chair for a bed and a good night.

Lots of old things
In the morning I drove to Arvika, and at a petrol station was told that I had passed Brunskog on the way there. I comforted myself with the thought that I had to buy petrol anyway, which I did before going back to Brunskog.

In the outdoor museal area in Brunskog the event Gammelvala was going on. It's an dialectal word meaning 'the old world', and many old-time activities took place during nine days. The special theme for the day I passed was Veteran vehicles.

I came there before they had opened, but there were lots of activities to prepare for the day. People in oldstyle clothes were to work with old tools and methods, both in- and outdoors. Meanwhile I strolled around in the area with its about 30 buildings, watching more and more vehicles and visitors arriving all the time.
1910 Stoewer LT4, made in Germany.

1949 E.N. Special, made in Sweden.

Kärnan and Svalan, both made in Sweden in 1952.

That Gammelvala visit was a positive surprise for me. I hadn't imagined there would be so many vehicles there, and so many rare ones. When I left around one o'clock some 300 had arrived, a functionary told me. For more photos: Gammelvala Veteranfordonsdag 2003. (At the bottom of that page is a link back here.)

My next visit was the mc-museum in Rottneros, a collection of more than 80 bikes from 1901 to 2002.

1911 Flying Merkel and 1915 Henderson, both made in the U.S.A.

1913 Gladiator.

I also visited the neighbour Rottneros Park, with another connection to Selma Lagerlöf and "Gösta Berling". The previous estate was, I read, the model for "Ekeby" in the book. Sadly there was a fire in 1929, but three years later when the Manor was completed the owner envisioned a park equivalent in beauty to Ekeby. True or not, it was a lovely park to walk in. There were some hundred sculptures in the park, and also places that kids enjoy.

Before leaving I let the car stand with the doors open for a while. It was a very warm day. In Sunne I tried in vain to find a parking place in the shadow. I bought a long sandwich and found a bench in the shadow - didn't want to eat anything warm... But I took a look on sunny Sunne.

The church was built around 1887, and is one of the largest in Värmland.

I noticed a sign on the bridge, with the name of the company that constructed it. I know that I was a bit surprised to see that they had built bridges too, and I thought of taking a photo of the sign. I didn't, and I didn't make a note of the companys name - and naturally I don't remember it now...

I also saw some modified Volvos there.

In the late afternoon I drove up to the youth hostel. It really was up. Situated on a hill I found a very pleasant hostel in a nice area. I sat outside one of the cottages eating strawberries I bought on the way up, and later icecream I bought up there. Late in the evening, when sitting in the room, I noticed a colleague in a group outside. I thought I'd talk to her in the morning, since I was dressed for the climate inside a warm room.

When reading tourist info I was a bit surprised to see that there were a stave church in the area. Since I've visited the only remaining stave church in Sweden twice, I read more about it and saw that there is a stave church in Nygård built like an old one. Could be nice to visit tomorrow, though.

Two Tors... on a tors...
In the morning no one of the group were visible, so I left a greeting note on the table they had used. She didn't understand it until she came back to work... Well, there are more than one way to write a greeting.

On the way up north I took a break on Tossebergsklätten. From the height the view over Lake Fryken and the surroundings was great, especially with that weather.

Lake Fryken is very long.

I came to Torsby around nine, drove through and stopped at a petrol station. I had scrapped my old plastic spare tank which looked more like a balloon, so I needed to buy a new one. They didn't have any, but I bought among others a cd with music I like.

Waiting for Torsby Fordonsmuseum to open, I drove around and found a small industrial area.
Volvo BM Valmet forestry machines, and an Armstarke ('arm-strong') forklift truck.

Torsby Fordonsmuseum had a rather wide spectre of cars. Among them 'Frykenbilen', a 1928 Scania-Vabis truck that sank through the ice of Lake Fryken in 1936. It was taken up after 50 years, and is now renovated.

Info and replaced parts.

They also show the few remaining parts of the only LT, 'Lindström, Torsby', car that was built. Series production was planned, but a fire...

Among the other vehicles were a Rugby (U.S.A.), NV motorcycles and a Monarscoot moped.
I once had a moped like that. I got it from my brother after someone had put a screwdriver with a plastic handle in the gas tank... It didn't look like that so long. I rebuilt it and drove around with a much lighter moped, but that's another story.

It was a nice museum, and I got help with both info and photos of the LT car.

On the way from Torsby I missed the exit towards Nygård, where the new stave church was built, and since it took some time before I got aware of it I decided to follow my first plan. In Vansbro I took a break and a walk. Outside the railway station this locomotive was placed, built by Helsingborgs Mekaniska Verkstad in 1911.

I also saw a Volvo BM SM868.

In Vansbro I crossed Inlandsbanan, the railway built from south to north in Swedens inland, but I wasn't aware of it until later during the trip. There's not so much traffic on Inlandsbanan, but it is popular for some tourists.

Borlänge was my next stop, for a warm meal before travelling on to Torsångs motormuseum. Motorcycles dominated the few vehicles in that pleasant museum.
1926 Carolus

After a short walk in the area I went back to Borlänge and another STF youth hostel, where I should stay two nights. This hostel was situated in an ordinary housing area, where I had one of three rooms in an usual flat with kitchen and bathroom. In the evening I made something that now had become a habit - check local tourist info and probably change some plans for the following days.

(In case you wonder about the subheading "Two Tors... on a tors...", it just popped up in my mind when trying to find a subheading. The two Tors... are Torsby and Torsång, and the tors... stands for torsdag which is Swedish for Thursday... two places I visited that Thursday... Well...)

I dug what many others dug - what many others dug
I woke up around seven on Friday 25 July. When having breakfast I decided to visit Falun in the morning. On the way there I drove to Ornäs to have a look at this cottage.

It's built on a wonderful site.

Ornässtugan was built in 1511, as a guest-house to the estate Ornäs. The external gallery is 25 metres long. Yes, a guest-house.
At this time of the day it was closed, unfortunately, but to see its exterior made me quite breathless. Wow, what a house!
According to a story the Swede Gustav Vasa once was hiding here when pursued by Danish troops. He fled out of the cottage via the toilet. Later he became a King of Sweden.
What a cottage!
Sadly no one invited me to be a guest there, so I hit the road again.

In Falun I drove directly to Stora Kopparberget (the Great Copper Mountain, that never were a mountain). I didn't get into the area the road I was supposed to, but it wasn't a detour. I think.

The Copper mine in Falun was first used somewhere between 850 and 1080, first in a small scale where a vein of copper ore came to light. The local peasants were used to make iron from bog-ore, and used the same method for the copper ore. At that time it was a steep forested slope ending in a bog.

The first detailed known document about the mine was written in 1288, and by then the mine was a commercial 'company'. In the early days it was surface mining.
Later the mining was done underground. The mine grew in two ways. Partly by direct work, and partly by cave-ins. On 25 June 1687 there was a large cave-in that resulted in what today is known as The Great Pit - nearly 100 metres deep. The mine was filled with rubble in the chambers and shafts another 80 metres under the bottom of it. No one was hurt, luckily, since the work for the day had ended.

Some mining vehicles down there...

The techniques and tools were developed through time. Most of them have been replaced, but around a dozen 'newer' buildings remains as part of the museum.

Creutz lave, a building with machinery for hoisting up ore and water. The Creutz shaft was dug from 1662, initially 16 metres deep. In 1780 it was 208 metres deep. The building was made in 1852. It also had a waterpowered alarm bell, that stopped sounding if the water pumps were stopped.

Creutz hoist house was built in 1845. The water wheel is almost 15 metres in diameter. It could pump up 50 litres per minute. On its wheel stock were two cable baskets working two cables with one bucket each. When a cable with a loaded bucket was raised the other empty bucket was lowered. It was in use until 1916.

One of the buildings house Vasken, 'the Wash'. Fine-crushed ore and gravel mixed with water flowed out on two rotating tables, and boys at the age of 12-13 years sorted out the heavier pieces of ore. (Now it's long since employers in Sweden were allowed to use children for work.)

The mine also produced materials for Falu rödfärg, the red outdoor paint that is very usual on Swedish cottages and wooden houses. The red paint was first produced in the 16th century.

The historic industrial mining area has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

This wood and paper model of the mine was made in 1830. It consists of 60 pieces.

Today the mine is at the deepest 600 metres, with the lowest part waterfilled. There are totally 8.000 km of shafts, of which 3.000 are possible to walk in. 500 litres of water is pumped up every minute.

The visitor area are shafts from the 17th and 18th centuries, at a depth of 57-65 metres. There it was comfortable +6 degrees Celsius, which pleased me.

I don't remember what this photo show.

I'm not even sure of how I held the camera when taking it...

In one of the many large chambers. The wooden 'chest' (to the left) that holds back loose rocks is probably 25 metres deep. (Sorry 'bout the unsharp photo.)

When that high wooden wall was built, it was the largest wooden construction on the planet. (Or maybe it's more correct to write 'in the planet'?) The rope was made of around 200 oxhides, and I was told that the meat from those oxes was used to make the Swedish sausage Falukorv.

When an empty bucket was lowered, four miners could go with it with one foot in the bucket. Since the horses used for hoisting walked on without stops the miners had a special technique to get off - to get the bucket swinging and jump off at the right place. It wasn't without danger...

During the years many miners died at work. The probably most wellknown was Mats Israelsson, who went down alone in a bucket to set some fires in 1677. He wasn't heard of again, after a cave-in and the chamber becoming waterfilled. In 1719 he was found, with the body and clothes so well prepared by the vitriolic water that the body still was soft. The body was placed on exhibition for tourists, as the Petrified Miner, but by 1749 it was in too bad shape... so he was buried. But... Well, there's much more to tell about that story but I won't do it here.

That green fir tree had been standing there for a long time, also well preserved.

Down there in the mine shafts I dug what many other tourists have dug - the results from many other people who dug in the mountain. I heard several tourists saying to others the words "the Lord of the Rings"...

A group of white-faced ghosts watching us tourists...

Caves and mines mostly are very fascinating places to visit, and this was no exception.

At one place we passed a petrified miner.

No, of course not. That was a doll.

A living doll. A good-looking guide. And good, too.

With all nice things there's an end, and the tour was over. Stepping out into the sunshine I was blinded in two ways. By the sun, and by one of those girls that make me wish I was someone else. She and another person were doing some kind of research, but I was quite sure that I wasn't interesting for her - so I went into the museum shop where I bought some interesting things. (Some time after I came home I discovered that I had bought a book with text in French, which I don't speak... I must have been a bit dizzy... By the sun, surely... Here I take the opportunity to write Thank you to Sig-Britt in the shop who helped me change the book to one in English - and who also sent me some info about the Swedish-made mining vehicles down in the pit.)

At midday I went back to Borlänge to visit a museum with among others exhibitions about roads I'd been driving on.

Pylonen is the museum of the Swedish National Road Administration. Another interesting museum, where there were some other unusual "Cars made in Sweden". When I visited, there were a special exhibition about the World War II time when producer gas was used for vehicles.
Munktell, around 1913.

After talking a while with the man working in the museum I left, and it still was just in the midst of the afternoon. I had seen something about a 'future museum' and drove there, but by some reason I didn't feel tempted to take a closer look than in the entrance area. Instead I drove to a shopping centre, where I ate and shopped for the evening and morning. Fresh blueberries and raspberries were too tempting not to buy.

When I should leave it was raining, and since the car wasn't parked so close I visited some other shops.

In the evening I had company in the hostel flat by a guy who was interested in washing for gold. He told me quite a lot about it. Maybe I'll try it sometime?

Most of 80
Saturday 26 July I left the hostel a bit later than usual, but still I passed Falun on the way from Borlänge. From Falun I drove road 80 eastwards.

When I came to the airport in Valbo there already were a number of tractors, and more were arriving.
Sadly only a few of the tractors had notes with info about them. There were also some other cars made in Sweden.
Ockelbo snowmobile, and a Munktell tractor 'rebuilt' into a tractor pulling sledge.

When leaving, I decided not to drive to Gävle and visit a car dealer where there apparently were some elder cars on display. I guessed they were closed at that time in the Saturday afternoon.

Instead I drove the 80 westwards, using the exit to Storvik where I stopped at the Kvarnbacken museum - one of those museums that are treasure-chambers with lots and lots of objects.
'Monsters' from a ladies hairdresser saloon, and a Swedish home-made TV from 1932.
1916 Furir, one of the motorcycles.

There was a game of dice with a theme I've never seen the like of.

It looks quite ordinary, but take a closer look at the pictures.
Yes. Pictures of some fire stations, and some 'famous' fires in Sweden... I wonder about the rules...

When finished, I spoke some more with the owner and introduced myself. I had had some mail contact with him and a friend helping the museum with among others the web site, so it was nice to meet him. A pleasant surprise was that his friend and his wife also were there visiting. After lunch together, and a look at the Flanders (U.S.A. 1909-1912) the owner is renovating, I went back to the 80 again.

Road 80 took me to Rättvik, where I went to the camping where I had rented a room in a house. After checking in I took a walk in the camping area, looking on the cars visiting the early part of the Car Classic Week. Then back to the room from where I had a nice view of passing cars and the nice sounds of V8:s.

A Volvo rebuilt to an 'EPA-tractor' passing. The roof of my car was 'dotted' with rainwater, but in my room it was dry and comfy'n'cozy. Besides reading I was planning the following days...

Here and there and down
Sunday morning I went to Knektplatsen, which had a central role. Here were a number of cars, and also the around 30 participators in the 'Commercial Run'.
Volvo LV72 1933, Rättviks first fire engine.

I took some photos, and then I left. I had learnt about the route the veterans should drive, and I wanted to find a nice place where I could get some video shots with the sounds of their engines. After a rather long distance I stopped at the top of a slope and waited for the cars to arrive. And waited...

I had a very good view, and another visitor even had reparked his car so that it wouldn't be visible on my videos. A small country road with a background of grassy fields, some trees and a few elder houses. Very suitable for filming old cars passing uphill.

Then they began passing, and I recorded films and sounds of them coming through a curve and climbing uphill towards me. Unfortunately I also recorded a number of other cars and motorcycles... Sometimes it felt like standing in Stockholm city during rushhour...

By the way, here's a link to some more photos from Car Classic Week 2003. (At the bottom of that page is a link back here.)

When most of them had passed I continued, passing among others Tällberg where I have attended conferences a couple of times during several years. A charming landscape.

Leaving the veterans I passed Rättvik and followed Lake Siljan on the northern side. After a while I saw a sign pointing to Nusnäs, a souvenir centre. Here the handmade Swedish Dalahäst is produced. The Dala Horse.

In one workshop a craftsman were carving horses from pieces of pine wood.

Here I bought three horses from various production stages.

In another workshop I watched one of the 'ripple painters' working.

There were lots of finished horses.

In the second shop I bought one horse, dark blue instead of the usual red. In the gift shops I discovered that there are numbers of various horses, both in sizes and colours and figures. And there were not just horses.

There I also saw 'the small new one'.

Under a long roof were the 1858 church boat "Liss Nien", 16 metres long and a little more than 2 metres wide. She has room for 20 oarsmen.
The largest church boats on Lake Siljan could take 24 oarsmen and 56 passengers. They were used to bring the people to the church, since it was easier by boat than on land.

In the afternoon I drove to a place where many people sit down now and then.

A log with 1st class seats (with a backrest) and 2nd class seats (a little hollowed).

Here the rest of the visitors sit.

They mostly look at this scene.
4.000 visitors can be seated there.

Dalhalla is built in a former limestone quarry.

Luckily there was no rain when I visited that fantastic arena, in a hole with the measures 400x170x60 metres.

Back on the camping I left the camping, and took a walk in Rättvik to look at the city and the cars. When I bought a soft-ice I saw a house with a garden nearby, and some playful things in the garden.

This dragster with a W 8 engine (wooden 8) was one of the products they make for playgrounds.

After some hours it was time to hit the sack, and so I did. (No, I didn't spend those hours with the playground products.)

Monday morning blues
Monday 28 July began with cleaning the room, and I left the camping around ten. I parked my car on Knektplatsen, and took another walk in Rättvik. When I was in the tourist office it began to rain a lot, so I read most of their folders. I had lunch at Knektplatsen, and continued to wait for the time to reach 1 PM.

Then the sun and nice cars came to the square.

That afternoon Car Classic Week had arranged an outing for street rod drivers. I used my video when they left.

Then I left Rättvik, took the 301 north, passed a couple of a little odd-looking elder trucks standing near the road - but I didn't stop and go back for a look at them. I didn't stop until I came to the camping in Mohed, where I had booked a room in the youth hostel.

It was warm and sunny, so it felt wonderful to take a shower. Then I read some tourist info to see what to see in the late afternoon. I decided to begin with a meal in a restaurant near the camping, and then I ate an icecream - and the rest of the afternoon and evening I just strolled around in the nice area.

North to Ådalen
The next morning I left the hostel at half past six, since I had planned to travel a longer distance during the day. I used the E4, and enjoyed the views from the coastal road. South of Hudiksvall I was pleased to find a gas station, and with filled tank and stomach my car and I continued northwards.

My next stop was in Lunde, a place many Swedes associate with a tragic event in 1931. The economical crisis in many countries at the time led to strikes in Sweden too. On 14 May a long procession of demonstrators marched along Ådalen, thousands of people on the way to Lunde where a group of strikebreakers were temporarily housed. They were met by a group of cavalry soldiers, who after a failed attempt to stop the demonstrators opened fire into the crowd. Five were killed and five seriously injured. (I know that this doesn't seem so special to many of you, but in Sweden at that time it was an extremely unusual tragedy.)

My reason to visit Lunde was Ådalens Veteranbilmuseum, where I saw these among the cars and other motorcycles.
Tiger, 1951


Near the museum I saw this one, made by A/S Moelven Brug in Norway in 1988 - but a sign on the cab indicated that it (at least the cab) was made by Volvo BM in Sweden. Maybe I'll learn more about it sometime?

From Lunde I drove on road 90, now and then leaving it for shorter breaks. In Kramfors I visited the tourist office, and if I remember correctly it was there I saw this 'railway' restaurant.

When I passed a workshop repairing trucks I had a photo stop.
Svetruck trucks

I passed a couple of trucks with trailers, filled with timber, and got a bit curious. Following one that left the road I came to a sign telling me that I weren't allowed to continue.

Well, a tele lens is often useful...

Talk about grabbing a truckload...
A Svetruck unloading a Volvo.

It's not so often I see forestry machines, but in this area there were some. Among others this Volvo BM.

After lunch in Långsele I took a detour on the way to Richards Traktor & Maskinmuseum in Helgum. Among over 60 tractors and construction machines were this unusual tractor.

On the way from Richards interesting museum I parked the car and took a walk on a nearby field. Passing a small old farm I went on where the path ended, watching the flora on the way to a yellow Kockums.

Apparently this mining loader also belongs to Richards museum.

It was sunny and warm when I got back to the car and drove on. A bit too warm for me...

Driving on road 87 in various directions towards Östersund, I decided to visit some places along the route. The roads had higher speed limits than I had expected, and it was just early afternoon when I left the 87. The sun was still shining and the air warm, but it got darker before my eyes.

Quite natural, since the trees were closer to the narrower road and gave it more shadows. My thoughts floated around in the restful oceans of my mind.

Suddenly I clearly saw a view that a less prepared traveller may have found disconcerting. I had come to a cultural melting-pot, where the feeling of unreality was intensified by the fantastic sky.

When I took this photo, the camera too perceived the feeling and made it look more peculiar than it was. (Yes, the photo was taken against the sun which confused the camera function... But I like this photo.)

The park with the pavilion was constructed in the late 1990s, in memory of King Chulalongkorn of Siam who visited Utanede in 1897.

The pavilion was built by companies in the area. With the gilded sceptre it is 26 metres high.

The decorations were made by the Thai king's own craftsmen. Oh, so beautiful.

I really was glad to see this Thai attraction. Although it was in mid Sweden.

In the area I also saw a modern fairy tale girl.

'Will it become a handsome and rich prince, if I kiss the mobile when the next message comes?'

When I came back to the 87 I made an icecream stop. I stood in the shadow eating it, trying not to look at my car that again stood still in the sun...

After some minutes on the road again it was cooler inside the car, and I fully enjoyed the wonderful scenery. I also saw this puzzling roundabout, where only the rubber from tyres were indicating its position.

One attraction in the area that I didn't visit was the 'dead waterfall', even if it has a fascinating history - the construction of a waterway for timber passing the 35 metre high waterfall, that during the spring flood in 1796 happened to empty the Ragunda lake within four hours... No, I didn't feel like watching a former waterfall...

My next stop was at the old church in Ragunda. It was built sometime between 1364 and 1510.

The bell tower was designed in the late 1940s, as a copy of the previous belfry from 1705.

One of the old windows was removed sometime, and some windows were made later.

Luckily the church was open, and a guide at work.

The altar was made in 1689.

The eldest parts of the railing was made in the late 1690s. When the new church in Ragunda was opened around 1850, parts of the interior from the old church was removed and spread. During a restoration in the 1920s most of the railing parts were found around in the district, but some new parts were made.

The pulpit was made in 1632, placed on the south wall according to Danish-Norwegian customs at the time. (The province Jämtland belonged to Denmark-Norway at the time, and several Danish priests were serving in the province.)

The eldest wall-paintings are from around 1600. In 1701 the walls were whitewashed, and the paintings were covered until the restoration in the 1920s.

Over the door the Danish national coat of arms was painted.

After the peaceful visit I took to the road again, and drove to Östersund through a wonderful landscape.

I found the youth hostel in central Östersund around half past five, and could choose between two rooms for the two nights I had booked. The one they had booked me in had no tv, since the previous guest had happened to drop it on the floor... I chose the other room with a tv, not because I watch tv so much but I just felt for it.

It had been a well-filled Tuesday, and it wasn't over yet. After carrying my stuff to the room I went out for a walk.

First I went towards the harbour, and when hearing the 'I back' signal from a boat I walked faster. When crossing the last street before the harbour I met a woman who said that I looked so happy. Well, I was. And getting that comment made me more happy.

The boat was S/S Thomée that make tours on lake Storsjön. She was built in 1875.

She sailed on, probably with a captain unworried by the rumoured monster living in Storsjön.

Soon she'll sail under Vallsundsbron.

All along the harbour area and in central areas preparations were made for the city festival that were to begin the following day. In a shop I bought a pocket book. I had had several lazy and rainy evenings, so I had already finished the books I had brought for the trip.

Back in the room I was glad that I had chosen that room higher up in the building.
Towards Vallsundsbron.

Stora kyrkan, 'the Large Church'.

An interesting rooftop.

Later I heard a propeller plane that made me curious, and when looking out to the northwest I saw a beautiful sunset.

The plane was just a small black spot far away - but let's magnify the spot:
A double-decker.

After some time the plane passed again.

I also took another photo of the sunset.

When I turned off the bedside lamp I had decided roughly what to do the following day.

Old time Wednesday
For a change I bought breakfast at the hostel, and then went to the island Frösön.

My first stop was yet another old church, Frösö kyrka.
It was built around year 1200, unusually large for the time with its 15,5 metres (besides the somewhat newer sacristy).

As usual with these old churches, it has been rebuilt some times. And as usual I mention just a few things about it.

Once it had a tower, but that was apparently destroyed by a gun powder explosion in the early 1700s and in 1768 it was taken down to a height suitable for a porch. The foundation for the tower was built integrated with the main part of the church.
The bell tower was built in 1754, and houses two bells. One smaller that was re-cast in 1747 and one larger from the late 14th century.

Again I was lucky to find the church open and a kind person welcoming me.

In December 1898 the church was destroyed by fire, when a lightning conductor was installed, but since workers were there much of the interior was rescued from the flames.

I was told that during one renovation they tried to reconstruct the 16th century interior, but it didn't fit. It was given to the Laplanders chapel in Handöl in the early 19th century.

After the renovation in 1929-30 the interior is almost as it was in the 18th century.

Altar from 1708.

Pulpit made in 1781.

Old doors reused.

The Virgin Mary with Jesus, and S:t Olav.

Old Danish text.

Even a building dedicated mighty holy powers, no matter what religion, has to be cleaned by human hands...

When I left Frösö church more visitors had arrived, for some kind of service I think.

The outlook tower nearby wasn't open yet, so I drove over to the island Rödön where I wanted to see an even elder human site.

Naturally there is not so much to see of the old farm built in Undromskogen (Undrom forest). It was, as known, one of the first farms built in Jämtland, where people had lived for more than 6.000 years as collectors, hunters and fishermen.

The farm was built in the late 4th century.

It is believed that the first settlers originated from the area around Trondheim in Norway, and findings indicates that they were trading with people both there and centres at the coast in Sweden.

Among the remnants indicating the buildings are a number of grave mounds.
I wonder how they were living? It is fascinating that they probably lived in about the same way as most Swedish farmers in the early 19th century, before there were so many machines and sparse communications beyond the surrounding areas.

It is also fascinating to think of all that has happened in our daily life since things like the telegraph, telephone, radio and television were invented. The first transmission of images with television technique took place in 1926 - less than 80 years ago (when I write this)...

With my modern car I drove back to Frösö on an asphalt road, among others over a bridge over water and up a long and partly steep hill...

From the Frösö look-out tower, on the islands highest point 468 metres above the sea level, I had a beautiful view. Among others I saw Frösö church again.

Along the western horizon I could see mountains.

Åreskutan, I think it is, 80 kilometres away.

Under the Norwegian flag is Gunnarfjell, in Norway.

Yes, I was tempted to drive up to the mountains. They weren't so far away, but there were other things I wanted to see both in Östersund and on the way back southwards. (Already when planning the route, and some evenings along the way, I had thought about getting closer to the mountains between Norway and Sweden, but...)

Instead I drove to the zoo, where I parked and went to the entrance. There I decided not to enter. I drove to a post office and bought stamps, and then I went to the northernmost runic stone at the bridge between Frösö and central Östersund. It was raised in the middle of the 11th century.

The text tells (in modern language) that "Östman, the son of Gudfast, raised this stone and built this bridge, and he christianized Jämtland. Åsbjörn built the bridge. Tryn made and Sten, these runes". (No, it is not so easy to understand what they wrote.)

Isn't it fantastic that the vikings built a bridge wide enough for several traffic lanes? What a foresight!

Yes, I'm kidding.

Passing the bridge again I went to the city centre and after a while found a free parking space, however it wasn't free to park there. It cost some coins. I visited the glassworks, and managed not to buy anything (which is unusual for me). In the festival area in the harbour I ate lunch, and then I walked to the tourist office to ask about a new 'motormuseum' they wrote to me about the previous summer. Back in my car I took a drive around the military area hoping to see some odd 'car made in Sweden', and then I went to Jamtli.

One thing that made me visit the in- and outdoor museum was a new area with a 1950s theme. There were some elder vehicles, among others this Nordberg & Co motorcycle.

There was also a driving school for children.

It was pleasant to stroll around in the outdoor area, among several old milieus from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Gisselåsloftet was built in the 17th century.

This kind of storage buildings were very rare in Sweden, but common in Norway. It is dated to the 16th century.

When I came to this field the farmers were just leaving, but let's take a closer look now.

Yes, in the outdoor museum there were many people in oldtime clothes, working as in the old days. The Jamtli museum was a pleasant surprise to me. And the waffles I ate there were tasty.

Here I also took the opportunity to take a photo of Inlandsbanan, the railway between north and south Sweden built in Swedens inland. Unfortunately it never became as trafficed as planned. On the photo below you see a part of the rails a bit better.

Interesting, isn't it?

Another reason for my visit to Jamtli was their indoor exhibition, with among others the tapestries from Överhogdal. They were woven sometime between 800 and 1100, during the Viking age. When they were found parts had been used as cleaning rags...

(It was dark and I didn't hold the camera steady enough...)

After a long visit in Jamtli I went back to the hostel, and then took a walk in central Östersund. If I remember right, it was that night the rain was pouring down.

Back southwards
I left Östersund rather late that Thursday morning, considering the opening hours of the first museum I wanted to visit. On the way I visited Brunflo, where a large church was built around 1170. It is supposed to have been the largest church in Jämtland at the time, but even that church became too small later. When a new church was finished in the mid 1770s it was torn down.

The bell tower, with the eldest bell from 1665, is an old 30 metres high tower that probably was built some years after the old church around the end of the 12th century.

The wooden top was made in 1897, with the previous top as model.

Life at the end of the 12th century was (also) a troublesome time. In 1178 Sverre Sigurdson, a 'Norwegian' kings son, won a battle over the people in the district. When he a few years later became a Norwegian king the district became Norwegian. (However the churches were still run from Sweden).

I made a stop at the agricultural museum, that still was closed, and another stop at a railway crossing.
A freight train really can carry many truckloads. When I took the second photo I no longer could see the engine.

Entering the Jämtlands Flyg & Lottamuseum I passed some typical elder Swedish farmhouses.

The museum area is almost completely untouched since it was a military airforce base ready for war in the 1940s. This interesting museum also has some 20 airplanes and an exhibition about womens voluntary defence service since the 1920s.

When I was inside I heard a propeller plane passing above, and wondered if it was the double-decker I saw over Östersund. No, it wasn't. The sound came from loudspeakers in the roof... I like that idea.

A Saab 35 Draken under a shelter.

I also learnt that the typical farmhouses weren't typical at all. They are hangars, built around 1940. The whole longside walls can be opened downwards.

On the way southwards I passed fields with flowers that I don't know the name of.

I drove nonstop to Järvsö, where I began with a lunch break at half past two. I had planned to revisit Järvzoo, where they have among others wild animals from Sweden.

Before I finished my meal the rain began, and then a series of showers made me skip the zoo visit. Instead I visited a local shop, and then drove to the youth hostel. It was further away from Järvsö than I had thought, and it was a long uphill drive to get there. After a while I wondered if I were on the right road...

I checked in, and from the room I saw something that lookad a bit... I took a walk around a shed to have a closer look, and it was an old Volvo BV200.

I spent the late afternoon outdoors, with a view over a lake, and later in the room when there was a private party with several guests. When planning the following day I discovered that I could continue on the road, instead of going back first. I asked one of the staff who told me that it partly was a gravel road. I had to sleep on that, and so I did.

Back to the right bay
That Friday morning I overslept, and decided to continue on the road outside. It was shorter than going back and then use the larger road, and I guessed it was of rather good standard. It was.

North of Rättvik I kept an extra eye on the righthand roadside, and saw the two trucks I had seen when leaving Rättvik some days earlier.

I had planned to come back to Rättvik (which 'translated' to English is 'right bay') around eight in the morning, but I came there at half past eight instead. Thanks to the shortcut road.

In Rättvik I drove uphill a while, parked the car and went on uphill. I passed the entrance, and continued uphill. When I found a spot that was good for using the video camera I waited for the uphill race to begin. A wide range of cars and motorcycles would race, trying to drive up the hill twice and using the same time both times.

This Hägglunds Bv 206 was not in the race.

When the first part of two was finished, I walked down to the start to take some photos there. The view wasn't so bad...

When some participants had started I left and went down to the car. (In case you didn't use the link to my Car Classic Week 2003 page earlier, here it is again. The link back ends way up on this page.)

I decided to go to Falun again, where I began with a visit to the cafeteria at the mine museum. During a long walk in the centre I bought a pair of comfortable sandals, and some more icecream. Yes, it was warm.

In the late afternoon I drove to Sandviken, where I drove through the centre before finding the way to the youth hostel. I spent the evening in the room. It was the first evening in August, and the last on this holiday trip. I had shopped, and I was planning for the next day. And later I fell asleep.

Homeward bound
Leaving Sandviken early I took road 272 southwards. In Österfärnebo I saw some elder construction vehicles at the side of the road, and took a closer look. After a short while the owner came to get his truck, so I got some info about a wheel loader I wondered about.
Volvo BM VHK510

I arrived to Gysinge more than an hour before the museum I wanted to visit opened.

While waiting I had breakfast by the stream, the last part of it in the car since it began to drizzle. Then I took a walk through the old ironworks area, where I had been once earlier.

The smithy from 1764





(Why is this photo so small?)

(Some of these photos from Gysinge I took during my visit there in 1999.)

Then it was time to visit the last museum during the trip, the rather new Brandnostalgi museum with foremost fire engines. Among others they had one I probably saw when I was a kid.
Volvo PV823 from 1948

On the way home I drove nonstop. The church in Heby was wrapped in scaffold, and the other places I had thought of - well, I just didn't feel like visiting them at that time.

After 12 days and 2.650 kilometres it was, as usual, nice to be back home.

2009-05-10. Text/pictures: Arne Granfoss ©. Prod: AG Informice