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Published: November 7th 2021
Indalsälven river delta
In late 18th century a flood wave flushed out large amounts of sand and debris towards the coast. The sand was deposited in the mouth of the river creating the largest river delta in Sweden.
An igloo in summer, a battle site in a country that has had peace for more than 200 years and a nature reserve to preserve the aftermath of a nature disaster
We decided to stay in Sweden during our vacation this summer. We did the same last year and then we mainly travelled in mid Sweden. This year the plan was to go further north than that because, as we will show in this and in coming blog entries, there is plenty to see there as well.
Going from Stockholm to north Sweden by car is a fairly long journey. It's longer than we really want to push ourselves to travel in one go. Fortunately we had some things we wanted to see along the way so we could make stops to break the journey. The first stop was at a place we actually passed last summer without even knowing that it was there. Indalsälven River Delta
Indalsälven River we mentioned in a blog entry
last year. There we wrote about how Magnus Huss in late 18th century created Döda Fallet
, the Dead Waterfall, by digging a canal through a natural dam and
Bridge in Indalsälven river delta
Today this river delta is an easily accessible nature reserve.
thus bypassing a great waterfall. This resulted in a massive flood wave flowing downstream along the Indalsälven River. This flood wave flushed out large amounts of sand and debris towards the coast. The sand was deposited in the mouth of the river creating the largest river delta in Sweden.
Today this river delta is an easily accessible nature reserve. When we went there we thought that we wouldn't be able to see that it actually is a river delta. But when you know what it is you can see it easily enough. Höga Kusten Bridge
Höga Kusten Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. It's on the main route along the east coast so it comes natural to pass it when going north. Since the bridge is quite impressive we had to make a quick stop even though we saw it last year. Sävar - One of the last battles on Swedish soil
This place we stumbled upon by coincidence. It is a reststop along the road where we pulled in to eat our lunch. When we stopped we noticed a monument marking the place
Höga Kusten Bridge
Höga Kusten Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world.
where a battle in the Finnish War
took place in 1809. This monument would not have made it into this blog entry had it not been for the fact that it was right at the end of that war and the fact that Sweden has not been in war since then. That actually makes Sweden the country in the world that has had peace the longest, well over 200 years by now. So the monument marks the place where one of the last battles on Swedish soil took place. Djuptjärn Lake
A lake, outside the town Piteå, where we camped one night. We camped in many different places on this vacation. We won't mention them all, only the ones where we have taken photos that deserve to be added to the blog. Gammelstaden Gammelstaden
, or Old Town, is a church town just outside Luleå. In northern Sweden the church towns were located close to the local church and were only used one night, or at the most two, per week. The villages in the region were small and far between each other. The population in each village was not large enough for them
Sävar - One of the last battles on Swedish soil
A monument marking the place of a battle in the Finnish War in 1809. It ws one of the last battles ever on Swedish soil.
to have their own church. Instead they had to travel to the nearest town to visit the church service. Since distances were large and the roads were in poor condition it took many hours to travel to and from the church. It took so much time that it was impractical to go to the church, visit the ceremonies and go home in one day. Instead the churchgoers left their homes already on Saturday, went to town and stayed the night in a small house near the church.
At one time there were a total of 71 church towns in Sweden. Of the ones that remain today, Gammelstad is the largest and best preserved. The value of Gammelstad Church Town was in 1996 recognised by UNESCO who then decided to add it to the World Heritage List. One of the most fascinating things about Gammelstad Church Town is that most of the small houses are still today used in the same way as they were intended to in the first place. People go there in the weekend, sleep one night, visit church and then go home.
The paintings in Gammelstaden church were made by Albertus
A lake, outside the town Piteå, where we camped one night
Pictor, a church painter active in the late 15th and early 16th century. In over 30 churches, mainly in mid and south Sweden, paintings by Albertus Pictor are preserved still today.
We have added some of our photos from Gammelstad. But Ake actually visited this place five years ago. In the blog he wrote then
there are more photos in case you are interested in seeing some more. Luleå town hall
Town halls in Sweden are often pretty dull. The one in Luleå we thought was a bit interesting though. The style it is built in reminded us strongly of a Soviet Union mid 1970-ies style hotel. Facebook Data Center
Now that we were in Luleå we also drove by Facebook's data center. It is a silly thing to do because there is really nothing there to see. Fun fact: When Ake was there five years ago they had an embarrassing typo
on their sign. They have corrected it now. Kalix
After Luleå we travelled north to our next stop, the town Kalix
. It is a rather small and quiet town that we knew very little of
Gammelstaden, or Old Town, is a church town just outside Luleå. In northern Sweden the church towns were located close to the local church and were only used one night, or at the most two, per week.
before we arrived. Now that we've been there we know somewhat more. We now know that it is a small, quiet and friendly town. In Kalix we visited three places that we'd like to write a bit more about. Kalix Church Kalix church
was worth a quick visit. Its claim of fame is mainly that it is the northernmost medieval church in Sweden. There are similarities between Kalix church and the church in Gammelstaden. We were told by a guide that these similarities are not coincidental. Both churches are built roughly at the same time and they reused parts of the blueprints. Ice and Light Ice and Light
in Kalix is a hotel where the rooms are built in a style that they resemble igloos. Actually, this hotel was the main reason why we decided to stay a night in Kalix in the first place. We saw an advertisement for the hotel and felt that we absolutely had to stay there. We did, and it was just as good as we hoped it would be. Vassholmen
In Kalix River there is a small island named Vassholmen. When Kalix River was used
The villages in the region were small and far between each other. The population in each village was not large enough for them to have their own church. Instead they had to travel to the nearest town to visit the church service.
to transport logs from the forests inland to the saw mills on the coast, the sorting of the logs was organised from Vassholmen. Log driving on Kalix River ended decades ago. Today the buildings on Vassholmen hold a small log driving museum.
Here we end the first blog entry from our summer vacation. In the next one we will continue writing about what we saw and did in Norrbotten District.
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