You know the feeling when you want to travel the world and visit distant places with new cultures and stunning nature? And the frustration when you can’t because of work, family, lack of money or just because it’s scary? We have a solution – explore your surroundings!
I bet that you don’t have to go far to find places that you haven’t explored. It might be a forest, a nature reserve or just a park in the city where you live. Why not bring a friend and go explore it? We are both from the Swedish region called Uppland – home to a lot of culture, history and beautiful nature. But we haven’t explored the nature as much as we want to. It’s time to change that!
Sweden have so many beautiful trails in stunning nature, but some of them are definitely more popular than others. Well deserved as well – but that doesn’t mean that the other trails should be forgotten. Suitable for us there is a trail in Uppland, that we’ve decided to hike!
With it’s 400 kilometers it leads you through forests, along rivers and to some of the historic places of Uppland. Our plan is to do this little by little one weekend here and one weekend there. Walking, stand up paddling, skiing and who knows – we might figure out some more fun and cool way of doing it. Ideas anyone?
Our first reason of doing this, is simply to explore the nature of Uppland that we’ve had around us all our upbringing. The second and biggest is that we hope to be able to inspire others to go explore their surroundings. And to show that you don’t have to have oceans of time for it.
You don’t have to quit your job and hike across the North Pole to be an explorer, your next adventure might be waiting just around the corner!
Our plan is to give you updates both here on the blog, on our Instagram and in small videos from the different sections of the trail. We’re so excited and more info will come here on the blog under ”projects” shortly!
Love Carl and Bella
So we’re back from our honeymoon but that doesn’t meen that we’ve given up on our outdoor lifestyle. At the moment I work in the arcipelago north of Stockholm and Carl in the city, so we try to do the most of the weekends.
Yesterday was Carl’s birthday so we had a nice dinner followed by some stand up paddleboarding – I tried out my new wetsuit for the first time and loved it!
Today we had a walk and had lunch at some cliffs just by the sea. These are our favourite vegan chorizos from a brand called ”Astrid och aporna”. At the moment they sell limited edition chorizos which means that a small amount of the cost goes to Unicef and there work with helping people running from Syria ❤
We had an awesome weekend in the outdoors even though we’re back at work – hope we can inspire some of you to do the same! ★
Sorry for being so quiet here on the blog, there are two reasons for this. The first one is that we spent a few days in The Bear country national park in Sweden, a magic place where we could camp here:
Just by the lake! We had the most peaceful days here with long breakfasts, hikes along the paths of the national park. That of course was followed by – a swim in the lake every day! Soo nice! The weather was so unstable and in the evenings we had both rain and thunder, but it didn’t really bother us because then we could read books and just lay in bed without any feelings that ”we should do something”.
But we had plenty of sun aswell! I don’t know why, but when you have a van – there is some kind of hidden power that drags you upwards to the roof. Anyone else that knows what I’m talking about? This is my absolute favourite spot of the van, no question about it!
But the other reason for our absence, is that our honeymoon is over ? We are back at work, Carl on the Childcare center and me out on Barnens Ö (The Childrens Island) making a short movie for the summer camps here.
BUT we have some really exciting things coming up so don’t forget to keep following the blog! We’ll tell you more about that soon!
Until then – check out our Instagram! ★
You have probably already seen our ninja pictures from the super misty day a few nights ago – if not check them out here! But we can’t really leave it there, because when we woke up after two days in this milky world, the sun revealed something completely different!
We talked with Kian, the photographer from Unstad Artic Surf that we where thinking about going to Senja. Then he persuaded us to go to ”this beautiful island of Husøy”. He didn’t really explain why it was so fantastic, but in his excited way of talking, we felt that it had to be something special.
But then we got here, to a tiny island all covered in big houses. There isn’t any space left for anything else than small roads, peoples tiny backyards and houses. So many houses on such a small space. We couldn’t really understand what Kian had been talking about. We went for a walk, pretended to be ninjas, and spent most of these two days reading and talking. We where to tired to drive somewhere else since we had been in the car for around 12 hours the other day.
And when we woke up on the third day we where happy that we hadn’t just hastened further to a new location. The beauty had revealed itself out of the mist. Here Carl is standing on the same spot with only one day apart, crazy huh!?
And look at the harbor the different days:
It was like going from some kind of post apocalyptic dystopia (since we didn’t see any people at all during the misty days) to a paradise island in Asia!
If you want to visit Husøy you can either free camp along the road leading to the island. Or you can stand in the harbor where you have both electricity, water and possibility to empty your toilet and waste water. It will cost you 150 NOK or 15 Euro. We ended up staying in the harbor because when we drove here we didn’t even see the potential spots along the way. But i hope you get better weather if you go! ★
After leaving Husøy we went to the other side of the fjord and the small village called Fjordgard. Probably most famous for being located on the foot of Senjas highest mountain Segla (639 m), that we where very eager to get up on. Unfortunately I didn’t feel well and crashed in the back of Doris with some kind of fever. But that didn’t stop Carl from going.
Or going isn’t the right word, since he decided to run up!? After more than a year with knee problems that have stopped him from running as much as he want to. He got really inspired by the meeting with @thegreatnortherntrails some days ago.
He came down happier than ever with a new found energy that you can only get from achieving something that you have longed for, for a long time. In the evening I started to feel a bit better and we had a barbecue just by the side of the fjord. There we met a guy that grew up here in Fjordgard, who had brought his family and some friends who also had kids, to see this magic place. When he heard how long it had taken Carl to run up and down Segla, he got really impressed. Since Norwegians are famous for there outdoor interest and for beeing so sporty – this reaction made Carls day (and probably the entire trip)!
The next day I was feeling better and after seeing some of Carls pictures from the top, I really wanted to get up there myself. The only problem is that I’m really afraid of heights… ”But I thought she was climbing?” one might ask. Mostly I do bouldering whitch is the kind of climbing that’s a bit mor technical and only like four or five meters high. And when I occasionally climb higher I can handle my fear because I know that someone I trust is standing on the ground making sure that I won’t fall.
When I’m hiking up steep paths like this, the fear can be close to paralyzing. It was the same when I hiked up Reinebringen (448 m) on Lofoten two years ago. For every step I go higher, my imagination plays tricks on me and replay a movie inside my head where I slip and fall to my death. I know that a lot of people have hiked up Segla before me but as it is with fear, it doesn’t really help with logic. There’s plenty of people that are afraid of spiders and snakes in Sweden, even though we don’t have any deadly spices. That doesn’t make the fear less real.
So even though I stopped somewhere between the ridge and the top, around 500 meters up, I’m so proud of myself for pushing it so far! I think that we’re often to occupied with reaching a certain goal, that we don’t give ourselves credit for the things we managed to do up until we reached our limit. The most important thing is to never stop pushing our limits and keep believing that we can!
We went back to the ridge at 350 meters and enjoyed our coffee that we brought. The view was just spectacular from there!
The weather is changing fast here and as we sat there we felt the wind getting colder and we could see how the mist was drifting over the ridge. closer to the other top. It looked so cool and we just had to go there!
According to some guides that we found on the internet, the hike should take around 3-4 hours and it is supposed to be ”relatively easy”. The time is almost over estimated but it being easy is very relative. It is quite steep at a few places and some parts have either a lot of stones or nothing but mud, witch makes it easy to slip. But I would say that even for me that’s afraid of heights, it’s quite okey all the way up to the ridge. And the view from there is amazing so don’t hesitate to do the hike even if your’e not aiming for the top! ★
Things to do when the mist doesn’t allow you to see the beautiful scenery:
Take pictures of each other jumping in different kind of ways – it’s actually more fun than you might think!
The aim was to look like Ninjas….
Wasn’t so successful with that, but we had great fun and got warm!
Once again the world has proven itself to be smaller than ever!
With our usual luck (or lack of planning) we came to Unstad, the surf mecka of Lofoten, just as the waves died out. Since we wanted to revisit this amazing little valley despite the lack of surf, we booked two nights at Unstad Artic surfs campsite. We’re not gonna tell you how long it was since we had a shower – but lets say it was worth the 600 nok (60€) to have hot water, a sauna, wifi and a lounge to hang out in as a change to the vanlife (sorry Doris!).
But sitting still isn’t something we’re very good at, so when we heard that you could join a guide to go on a few hour of Stand up paddleboarding – we joined in!
Neither one of us had tried this before and to be honest – Carl was a bit sceptic; ”stand on a board without waves, why?”. But as we got up on our boards and out in the fjord, there was nothing more to be sceptic about. The scenery is not from this world!
We paddled out to a small island together with a few other people, the two guides from Chamonix and Bali and a photographer called Kian from Australia. Before we left we wrote down our emails so Kian had somewhere to send the pictures. And as we where starting (or struggeling) to get the hang on the tecnique, Kian told us that he recognised the ”swewanderlust” adress that I had left.
Apparently he was in Portugal the same time as we where last autumn. When we where driving from the south up, he was comming down south from Lissboa in his Mercedes Sprinervan. He told us that he had seen our pics on Instagram and checked out some of the spots that we camped out on.
How crazy isn’t it that the guy from Australia sees our pictures when we’re all in Portugal – and that our paths cross seven months later in Unstad, Norway!?
Even though there wasn’t any waves, we had an awesome day spent with great people in this environment that is like taken out of a movie. The guides from UAS was experienced, friendly and had a good hand with us beginners ?
But these epic pictures that Kian took might be the best thing with the whole day! Such a awesome memory and a privilege to have our pictures taken by such a pro – check him out here:@bourkesteer ?
So what have we been up to in between hiking in Fulufjället and arriving to Lofoten? What do you do when you are driving along the winding roads in one of the most beautiful countries there is? Without wifi, batteries on your computer and with no deadlines in the world?
Haha yes that’s right! When you’ve passed by endless of beautiful waterfalls, you realize that you’ve just driven by the solution to your empty water tank problem.
Even though it was a bit tricky, it felt amazing to be able to get fresh water right out of nature itself! It is easy to take water for granted when you come from a country like Sweden. But vanlife has made us more aware of the amount of water we use and how completly vulnerable you are if you run out of it. Even if we’ve only done it for a few hours…
Even though we told you that we where going to gun it up to Lofoten, things happened that made us change our mind and take a new route. We tell you all about that tomorrow ❤
I can’t imagine any better way to wake up on your 30th birthday, than curled up in a sleepingbag – from the sound of your husbands(whaaat!??) singing. And with a view like this outside your tent!
We’ve been hiking on Swedish Fulufjället for the last tree days and it has been just amazing. The scenery is so cool, the water in the creeks is so tasty and the people! …We met people from all over Europe and something seems to happen when folks get into the nature – everyone was just so happy and friendly.
When we got back down from the hike, also happy but tired and with sore feets – we started to look for somewhere to sleep for the night. Just by coinsident we stumbled upon this dreamy spot just by a small tarn.
We had a vegan barbeque and enjoyed the scenery in the last rays of the sun. I didn’t think this day could get any better – but then we got an text from our wedding photographer Matilda Söderdtröm that had sent us a slideshow with pictures from the wedding! We where crying and laughing and hugging and kissing while we looked at it. Such an amazing day!
Thanks for all the love you’ve been sending me today – I love beeing 30 years old! ❤
It’s such a great feeling when your head starts to slow down and you find yourself not thinking about anything else than the nature around you. We are still headed to Lofoten, but we took a little detour to Fulufjället to hike around the national park for a few days. This is where you find Swedens highest waterfall ”Njupeskär”. It might not compare with many of the waterfalls around the world, ”only” 93 meters – but it sure is impressive when you stand below it!
If you don’t hear from us in a few days, it’s because we’re out hiking – but we promise to show you photos when we come back!