måndag 18 mars 2013

Adventure #2 - Winter hike in Stockholm

Our second family adventure was a winter hike in Stockholm. We started on Friday evening with the musical Rock of Ages and then spending the night at a great hostel in Stockholm, af Chapman. The hostel is on an old sailing ship right in the city centre. This was sort of a bonus adventure and a great start of this weekend. On Saturday we left the city, took the commuting train south, changed to a bus and one hour later we were in the wilderness. Talk about contrasts!

Hostel af Chapman
View of Stockholm from our room
Starting the hike in Stockholm City (the Town hall in the background)
One hour later - we are in the wild!

Our plan for Saturday was to walk section 61 and 62 on Sörmlandsleden. This is a trail that starts south of Stockholm and then has over 1000 km of trails and paths. We have only walked on small parts of it before, but we have always been impressed by the standard, the trails are always well maintained. I guess it will take more than a few years before we have completed the whole trail!


I think we were the first persons to walk the trail this winter, we couldn't see any tracks apart from the foot prints of a man who came on the same bus with us and walked ahead of us. And of course there is a reason for that - it is not that easy to walk the trail with all this snow that we have had this winter. Fortunately, it has been really cold for a while so the snow was hard and in most places not that difficult to walk on. But we had to pass some parts where the snow had melted and it was really tough to walk. And there was plenty of slippery ice. When I complained too much Ellen said "At least we are not rowing across the Atlantic, this is just a bit of snow!".


The sun was shining on us both days

Hamburgers for lunch

After 14 kilometers of hiking in the snow we reached our destination Lida Friluftsgård (Lida actually means "to suffer" in Swedish, the kids thought that was very appropriate...). We celebrated with drinks at the restaurant and then went to our cabin where we were going to spend the night. This is a popular place so when we arrived there were lot's of outdoor activities going on - cross country skiing, downhill skiing, skating, walking and kids going downhill on toboggans. But when it got dark we were alone, and we had a nice evening making dinner by the fire. We use a wok from Muurikka which is quite small and easy to carry, and had a great meal  with a moose wok. We also got to try out some of our Light My Fire gear. For the grand finale we had a sauna and shower before going to bed. Great day!

Getting the fire started for dinner

Moose wok with vegetables
On Sunday we had planned to walk 17 kilometers on the section 6 and 6:1 from Lida to Flemingsberg, but we decided to change the plans and take a shorter route. So instead we walked on section 7 to Malmtorp, and with some detours this was about 8 kilometers. This section was easier to walk, and the sun was shining so this was another great day.

Our home for the night

We took a detour to this birdwatching house


We met a man who was out looking for snakes and he showed us this lazy viper

This weekend was perhaps not the most challenging adventure, but that was not really the idea either. The kids complained that it was a bit boring, but in fact I think they also needed to get away from the keyboard for a while. The great thing about getting teenagers out hiking is that you actually have the opportunity for some real conversations. During the weekdays everyone is busy with their things, so we don't have the time to really talk. And that was the highlight of this weekend, spending time together and sharing stories.

lördag 9 mars 2013

Wildnerness inspiration

Planning one adventure each month requires some creativity and great ideas. So, to get some inspiration Annika visited Vildmarksmässan (The Wilderness Fair) in Älvsjö outside of Stockholm. We have been going there for some years now, and I think this year was one of the best. More exhibitors and activities than last year, and quite a lot of visitors.

I talked to plenty of exhibitors opening with the phrase "I'm looking for great things to do with our teenagers". And that led to some interesting discussions and recommendations, I also met other parents with the same challenge. I skipped most of the exotic travel companies and focused on the more local companies and organizers that fit into our "nearby adventure" concept.

Plenty of activities for kids
Lot's of wilderness lovers
So, now I have some ideas to pitch to the rest of the team! How about going horseback riding in Finnskogarna, exploring caves in Kolmården, mountainbiking in Bergslagen or going on a bike trail along the roads in Åland?

I bought some books for inspiration, I was especially excited about the brand new book Vandra Roslagsleden by 52 adventures Gunnika Isaksson-Lutteman. I had a nice conversation with Gunnika who is a great inspiration for all of us that enjoy small adventures in our everday life!

My new books from Calazo

Another highlight was the Pathfinder Travels stand. We went on a hiking trip to Morocco with them several years ago, and really want to go on another hiking trip with this professional team. This time I got interested in a trip to Turkey and another to Jordan. One funny thing is that they still use a photo of Ellen on the fact sheet and the web page promoting the family hiking trip to Morocco!

Photo: Pathfinder Travels (from our trip to Morocco in 2007/

Our next family adventure will be a hike along the Sörmlandsleden (a 1000 km trail south of Stockholm). I had a long chat with one of the volunteers that takes care of the trail, a very nice man with lot's of ideas for various hikes that he recommended. I'll make a donation to the organization to support the great work that these volunteers do. And now it's time to start planning our next weekend, let's hope our kids enjoy this hike! However, it will be quite difficult to beat the success of the wolf-tracking in February...

I'll end by quoting Gunnika from her inscription in the book I bought:
 "Remember that the best adventures are those that actually happen!"

/A

fredag 1 mars 2013

Mitt sportlov 2013

För 5-6 år sedan innebar sportlov att man umgicks med sina barn. Många år var vi alltid några dagar upp i Sala. Nu har de blivit ungdomar och har en annan dygns rytm, lunch vid 15.00 det är inte ens kontinentala tider... Att följa med mig ut på en skidtur är inte aktuellt. Det är ju bla därför vi nu genomför ett äventyr med ungdomar en gång i månaden, se våra äventyr.

Inte ens hamburgare i skogen gör att det går att locka med sig någon. 
Jag har iallafall varit ledig några dagar och varje dag gjort någon utflykt, så här på vintern kan man ju tas sig över isarna till ställen som är lite jobbigare att ta sig till på sommaren. Så jag har försökt få med någon form av naturupplevelse och någon geocache varje gång. Det slumpade sig så den här gången att jag besökt en ö i Mälaren, i tur och ordning Ekholmen, Fagerön och Dansaren.

Solen lyser på Mälarens isar.
På två av turerna använde jag mig av mina skidor och det är perfekt att glida fram på de snötäckta isarna med skidor. Inga backar och det känns lite säkrare med skidor. Trots att det varit sportlov och perfekt väder så är det helt tomt på folk de dagar jag var ute, vilket kan vara lite märkligt.

Titta vad man kan hitta ute i skogen... Undra varför den hamnat här?

Titta vad man kan hitta ute i skogen 2... Undra varför den hamnat här?
Vi fick ju massor av prylar av Light My Fire för våra äventyr. Så jag har nu prövat några av dessa prylar för att göra upp eld. Vi har ju haft några tänd stål tidigare men jag har alltid använt näver för att starta elden. Ligth My Fire har både stickor och en liten träbit att tälja spån ifrån istället för näver, det fungerar bra, men däremot är jag lite skeptisk till att köpa ved och stickor. Jag burkar istället leta reda på någon tjärstubbe och näver när man är ute i skogen.

En bra början på en eld.
En sak jag verkligen uppskattade är en mora kniv med ett inbyggt tändstål. En perfekt kombination av en riktigt bra kniv med bonusen av ett tändstål kommer bli min favorit. Har man kniven i bältet så går det fort och smidigt när man ska tända gasköket.
FireKnife, en riktigt bra grej.
Och en eld är ju alltid rogivande.

En dagens...

Så lite bilder från de tre små turerna jag gjorde.

En kaffe och ostmacka sitter aldrig fel...


Fika plats i Solen...


Renoveringsbehov, men ett guldläge

Malmhuvud, ett riktigt häftigt ställe
/CJ