Mark & I with Lars & Shideh at the Tännforsen waterfalls, the biggest in Sweden
Five years ago, almost to the day, we visited our friends Lars and Shideh in their house in the Swedish mountains. They built the house as a winter vacation home so they could ski but discovered they love it year-round so now it’s their primary residence. We loved our stop five years ago (just as we loved visiting them in Hong Kong before that) and loved it again this time. Great hiking, great food, great friends.
First up was the train ride from Trondheim. I mean, who knew you could catch a train from Trondheim, Norway, due west to Edsåsdalen, Sweden? Ok, you can’t, but you can get a train to the nearby town of Åre, a ski resort of some 3,200 people. After our experiences in Norway so far we were a little leery of the trip, which would require a train change when we got to the Swedish border, but it was the perfect European train ride we love: comfortable, fast, and timely. With great scenery as an added bonus.
Yup, reindeer. We did a long hike up to the peak of a mountain behind their cabin. Lars was surprised that we didn’t see any reindeer, but then when we stopped for lunch near the peak four of them came by, circling the little alpine lake where we sat. I’d never seen reindeer in the wild and was wildly impressed with their beauty and majesty. And I particularly appreciated their willingness to walk along the ridge so we could get this great view.
Once there we did the things one does in the Swedish mountains in the summer: we hiked, we ate, we poked around in Åre, we went to the biggest waterfalls in Sweden, we watched reindeer gambol about, we watched Shideh cook for us. Anticipating our imminent return to Manhattan after one last stop in Stockholm I found myself wanting to hold onto every quiet, peaceful, cool, empty moment there. I love New York and I love our home there, but I know that in a few days a Swedish mountain retreat will feel almost unimaginable.
Shideh and Mark high up in the mountain, with Lars off in the distance. On the very right of the picture you can vaguely see the houses way down in the valley where we started.
Mark on the hike. The weather would alternate between overcast, windy, cold, and wet and then – always briefly – a bit of warm sunshine.
When Lars suggested going to the waterfall I thought it would be … OK. I mean, we’ve seen a lot of waterfalls. This one was pretty great though and definitely worth the trip.
It was impressive
The four of us
The two of them
That’s me down there, trying not to fall in
OK, that’s enough waterfall pictures
Lunch our first day was in a cute café in a very cute hotel in Åre. There is a lot of Arctic char in the region and it is always a treat.
One last photo from the top of the mountain