We had spent a few nice days in Östersund before it was time to move on. It had been especially nice not to drive so much for a few days. We had now set our eyes on Vemdalen, a popular ski destination. Our drive across the Stekenjokk plateau had given us a taste for the mountain regions, so we really wanted to take the possibility to see some more mountains before heading further south, We were, however, back to making a one-night stop. This was mainly to reduce the daily distance on our way to Mora.
Driving south from Östersund is like entering an area of Sweden that feels even more sparsely populated than along the main road through Lapland. The surroundings are mainly forests and it is rare that you see more than the trees closest to you. Our stops along the way would be focused on any sign showing there was a centre.
We jump straight to the second stop for the day. The first stop was only due to car sickness and not much to talk about. This second stop was in Svenstavik, a small locality south of the lake Storsjön. Östersund is at the shores of Storsjön and the lake is the fifth largest in Sweden. Our stop only included a short walk along the main street and then a visit to the local grocery store to get a salad for lunch. This was, however, when we noticed the local museum. Have you heard of the Loch Ness Monster? Storsjöodjuret is its Swedish cousin and a museum focused on the monster is located in Svenstavik. So, while Susann enjoyed a cup of coffee at the almost empty café, Little A and I headed to the museum. The small museum is mostly for kids, with the possibility to explore the lake and find the monster, as well as creating your own monster. Many parts were too advanced for three-year-old Little A, but she loved to create her own monsters and watch them walk around on the large cinema screen. She didn’t want to leave, but we had probably already created one monster of each available combination. We hadn’t planned to stay such a long time indoors.
After Svenstavik we reached Klövsjö before stopping again. This is a small locality not far from our destination Vemdalen. We first parked at the local church, where we found a small playground for Little A to play at. From here we had one of the most beautiful views of the whole road trip. The lake and green hills really were something to remember.
Of course, we felt compelled to drive down and have a look at the shores of the lake. With the sun shining it looked quite inviting for a swim. Mountain lakes do, however, tend to be quite cold. We eventually decided against a swim and Little A was soon asleep in the car again. So we continued onwards, with a small stop at the beautiful local heritage museum. Once more we stumbled upon a farmstead that had been turned into an open-air museum and displaying several traditional cottages. There are quite a few of these museums in Sweden.
We stayed at a local guesthouse in Vemdalen, right next to the main road that ran through the small locality. It was a friendly and welcoming accommodation for our one and only night here. We had our room, with a private toilet. However, we shared the kitchen and dining room with the rest of the guests. We were first worried about the shared spaces due to the ongoing pandemic, but to our surprise, we only encountered one other soul during the time we cooked and ate dinner.
We had only checked in once we drove off to explore. We headed back towards Klövsjö, where we had recently been. Exploring Vemdalen would have to wait a few hours, as we wanted to get out in nature again.
We were heading to Storhogna, which is one of the ski resorts in the area. We had found information about a child-friendly hiking path there. The hiking path was inspired by the Swedish children’s book character Plupp. This is a for humans invisible blue-haired figure living in the far north. A few activities along the path kept Little A occupied and happy and we were soon halfway to the large plateau above us. So once the children’s path turned back towards the base of the hill, we continued up towards the plateau. It was an easy hike and Little A was able to walk all the way on her own feet. What greeted us was a view of the whole plateau with more hills in the distance. It was well worth the short hike and even the need to carry Little A on the way back down.
Once back in Vemdalen Susann and Little A wanted some time to relax. I still felt a need to walk, maybe a result of driving a big part of the day. The hills rise around Vemdalen and the small locality looks different as the sun starts to set. My walk took me along the quite boring main street before I ventured towards the local heritage museum. As in Klövsjö, it is a large farmstead with traditional buildings. It is really something worth seeing to understand the area’s history.
The short walk through Vemdalen turned out to be the last part of the exploration of the locality. We were all tired and soon asleep. It would soon be time to continue our drive back south and our target was still Mora, where we would make our last stop along our road trip.
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