Sweden 2020 part V - The High Coast and Ångermanland Province


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July 30th 2020
Published: November 7th 2020
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High Coast BridgeHigh Coast BridgeHigh Coast Bridge

The High Coast Bridge is a suspension bridge built in the 1990-ies.

Nature, culture and more along the High Coast



The district Ångermanland is located along the east coast roughly in the middle of Sweden. This stretch of the Swedish coast is commonly referred to as the High Coast. It offers, among other things, wonderful nature and excellent hiking opportunities.



During the last ice age all of northern Europe was covered by a several kilometres thick layer of ice. This ice was so heavy that the land underneath it was pressed down. When the ice melted and disappeared around 12,000 years ago this pressure was lifted. The land then began to rise again. This phenomenon is known as post-glacial rebound and is especially fast along the High Coast. Actually it is one of few places in the world where it is possible to study how the coast line has changed over time. For this reason the UNESCO has declared the High Coast a world heritage. Since the last ice age the area has risen about 800 meters and the process still goes on. Each year the land around the High Coast rises around 8 mm.



Hiking and nature

For us, the main reason for visiting this part
Full moon over the High Coast Full moon over the High Coast Full moon over the High Coast

When we camped we saw this in the night
of Sweden was to experience the nature. The coastline is astonishing and easily accessible. There are several nature reserves in the area and most of them are easy to visit, at least if you have your own vehicle. There are also plenty of well marked hiking trails. Quite a few of the trails are only two or three kilometres long. But for people who are really into hiking there is also the 127 kilometre long High Coast Trail.

We visited several nature reserves and enjoyed them all. But we are what we refer to as "sunshine hikers". We only hike when the weather is good and we prefer to only carry a day pack.

The most popular place to hike in Ångermanland is probably Skuleskogen National Park. The highlights there include

=> Slottedalsskrevan - a 200 meters long 30 meters deep crevice

=> shingle beaches 200 meters above sea level - these were created by the ocean waves and have then been lifted up by the post-glacial rebound

=> great views over the surroundings

=> waterfalls, plants and animals.

When we were in Ångermanland we camped several nights. We have our sleeping preferences though. Emma sleeps
Snowmobile warning signSnowmobile warning signSnowmobile warning sign

Snowmobile warning sign - It is for real, not a joke.
in a hammock but Ake prefers a tent. We love camping in the nature. It gives us a wonderful feeling of freedom.



Museums and art

Sweden Solar System is a science project started by two university professors when they realised that it is possible to make a model of the solar system using Globe Arena in Stockholm as the sun. The inner planets are all in Stockholm and Jupiter, for instance, is at Stockholm International Airport. There are models of objects in the solar system as far north as Kiruna and as far south as Karlshamn. These two cities are roughly 1300 kilometres apart making Sweden Solar System the largest scale model of the solar system in the world. Actually it is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the worlds largest scale model of anything. We have previously published photos of two of the models in SSS. To see those, see our blog entries from Kiruna and from Luleå.

During our vacation in Sweden this summer we visted three more models in the Sweden Solar System. One we have included in this blog entry - the model of the trans-Neptunian object Ixion. That model
Most roads are paved though Most roads are paved though Most roads are paved though

We want to point out that pretty much all major roads in Sweden are paved. But minor roads might actually in some places be unpaved, like this.
is placed in Härnösand.

It might actually be argued that Sweden Solar System is equally much an art project as it is a science project. Many of the models are created with the ambition of making it artistically interesting as well. Sadly, the model of Ixion was not one of them.



Above we mentioned that we camped several nights. Many people do that in summers, both in designated camping areas and in other suitable places such as forests or on beaches. An organisation called ARKNAT has in the last couple of years built several lean-tos along the High Coast. This is not only to provide shelters for hikers or campers but also a designer and art project. The lean-tos all have different and innovative design. Just for the fun of it we looked up them all. We even slept in one of them one night.



In the village Köpmanholmen there is a small nature reserve or park. In this park artists display sculptures and other art projects.



Mannaminne is a museum/art project in Nordingrå in Ångermanland. We had heard a lot of good about this museum before we went there.
Landscape in ÅngermanlandLandscape in ÅngermanlandLandscape in Ångermanland

For us, the main reason for visiting this part of Sweden was to experience the nature.
We had heard that on display was a passionate collector's every possession. That sounded great to us. Sadly, it wasn't very good. The collections were not nearly as interesting as we thought they would be. Also we couldn’t see any plan behind how the items were displayed. It reminded more of a hoarder's home than a museum. But there was one item there that at least gave Ake a wow moment. They had the legendary train the Silver Arrow there.



The Silver arrow was a silver coloured metro train in the Stockholm Metro. Since it was the only silver coloured train in the Stockholm Metro it became legendary. Stories started circulating that it was a ghost train. Ake has heard these legends and he was very pleased that he actually got to see it.



Surströmming/Fermented Baltic Herring

Surströmming, or fermented Baltic herring, is a traditional Swedish cuisine. Surströmming has become infamous thanks to people dubbing it the smelliest food in the world. After the fish is caught it is fermented for some time and then put in cans. The fermenting process continues in the can and produces, among other things, hydrogen sulphide which
Skuleskogen National ParkSkuleskogen National ParkSkuleskogen National Park

The most popular place to hike in Ångermanland is probably Skuleskogen National Park.
has a slightly unpleasant smell. We want to point out that surströmming doesn't at all taste the way it smells. We try to eat surströmming once every year because we like the tradition and we find its taste pretty good.



Ångermanland and the High Coast is the home of surströmming. That's where most of the companies that produce surströmming have their factories. In the fishing village Köpmanholmen there is a small museum dedicated to show various aspects of the fishing industry. In that museum they have a small uninspiring section on surströmming. But that little section is the main drawing card for that museum because that makes it the only surströmming museum in the world.



Waterfalls, forests and timber industry

In this region of Sweden the timber industry is important today and has been important for several hundreds of years. Nowadays the timber is transported on road and on railroad. But up until the mid 20th century the roads were not good enough for heavy transport. Then the timber had to be brought from the forests to the coast using rivers and/or specially designated log driving chutes. Log driving on rivers in Sweden
SlottedalsskrevanSlottedalsskrevanSlottedalsskrevan

Slottedalsskrevan is a 200 meters long 30 meters deep crevice in Skuleskogen National Park.
went into decline in the 1950-ies or so and ended completely in the 1980-ies. There are still today plenty of remains from this industry. We saw several log driving chutes and other places that one way or the other has been affected by log driving on the rivers. We will return with more stories about log driving in other blog entries.



The first choice when timber was to be transported from inland to the coast was to use the rivers or creeks. But if there was a waterfall the timber had to be bypassed that somehow. One way was to build a chute parallel to the waterfall and let the logs go in the chute one by one. We saw one such chute at Västanå waterfall. The waterfall is high and steep and is worth a visit by itself. That's what made us go there. That we also got to see and the log driving chute was just bonus.



When the timber reached the coast it was brought to a sawmill where the logs were cut and treated. One such sawmill was in the village Marieberg in Ångermanland. This village's entire existence depended on
Skuleskogen National ParkSkuleskogen National ParkSkuleskogen National Park

Shingle beach 200 meters above sea level. These rocks were created by the ocean waves and have then been lifted up by the post-glacial rebound
the sawmill and when it was closed 1970-ies the village pretty much ceased to exist. But locals realized that this village was a culturally important place worth preserving. They kept the old buildings in shape and opened a youth hostel and other small businesses there. In 2004 the oldest part of the village was given the status culture reserve. What drew us there was the fact that they have preserved the local football field. The village had a football team, sponsored by the saw mill of course. Today the team no longer exists and no real football matches are played in the old field. But the field itself and its stand is kept in good condition and makes for an unusual sight as it sits pretty much in the middle of nowhere.



Dark history

In almost all countries it is possible to find sites with tragic or sad background. We have visited such sites in various places before and some we have also written about here in our blog. In Stockholm we have collected a bunch of dark secrets in a blog entry we made many years ago. In Rwanda we dedicated an entire blog entry to the genocide. War
Skuleskogen National ParkSkuleskogen National ParkSkuleskogen National Park

Skuleberget mountain is barren at the top.
memories from Normandy is another example of a dark history related blog we've written. We visited two places in Ångermanland connected with moments of history we are not exactly proud of.

=> Ådalen Shootings Memorial - In 1931 a series of strikes and demonstrations took place in Ångermanland. In Lunde, near Kramfors, armed soldiers who had been stationed there to control the situation started firing at the demonstrators killing five and injuring five more. This event is known as the Ådalen shootings and in Lunde there is a sculpture/memorial of this event.

=> Torsåker witch trials - In the year 1675 a total of 71 people were found guilty in witch trials, given the death penalty and executed in a rural area in Ångermanland. This is the largest known witch trial in Sweden. At the spot where they were executed there is a memorial stone and information about the event.



High Coast Bridge

The High Coast Bridge is a suspension bridge built in the 1990-ies. As of October 2020 it is the 19th longest suspension bridge in the world. It's only a tad bit smaller than the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.

Ake once actually drove a car
Skuleskogen National ParkSkuleskogen National ParkSkuleskogen National Park

Views over the High Coast, declared a world heritage site by UNESCO
on the High Coast Bridge while it was still under construction. That probably wasn't permitted, but it was fun.



We have saved a silly little joke for last. You can make a humorous translation into English of the city name Härnösand. It then becomes Here Sneezed Duck.


Additional photos below
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Rotsidan Nature ReserveRotsidan Nature Reserve
Rotsidan Nature Reserve

A stretch of the coastline protected as a nature reserve
Rotsidan Nature ReserveRotsidan Nature Reserve
Rotsidan Nature Reserve

Shingle beach in Rotsidan Nature Reserve
Evening at the High CoastEvening at the High Coast
Evening at the High Coast

Summer evenings in Sweden can be spectacularly beautiful
Evening by a lake in Ångermanland DistrictEvening by a lake in Ångermanland District
Evening by a lake in Ångermanland District

Another spectacularly beautiful summer evening
Evening by a lake in Ångermanland DistrictEvening by a lake in Ångermanland District
Evening by a lake in Ångermanland District

Which became even better when the sun went down a little further
A lake in Ångermanland DistrictA lake in Ångermanland District
A lake in Ångermanland District

Trees reflecting in the water
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An organisation called ARKNAT has in the last couple of years built several lean-tos along the High Coast.
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This is not only to provide shelters for hikers or campers but also a designer and art project.
Köpmanholmen Köpmanholmen
Köpmanholmen

In the village Köpmanholmen there is a small nature reserve or park.


7th November 2020

The High Coast
Beautiful pictures and such interesting sites! Really enjoyed this. I've never heard of the SSS, would like to see it someday. This area is similar to my summer home in northern Michigan where we too have a long suspension bridge, the Mackinaw Bridge. Every labor day it is closed so people can walk across it. Come up and visit us and walk the bridge next summer!
7th November 2020

Not surprised that Sweden resembles Michigan
When Swedish emigrants when to the US many of them ended up in Michigan because the nature and climate resembled Sweden. So I am not surprised that you see a resemblence in the photos we have posted. Possibly even the Swedes brought some of their style of building houses with them as well so that farm houses in Michigan might look Swedish. That is just s guess though. Hopefully we can visit Michigan one day. We'd love to do that. Not next year though because we have other plans then. Another Sweden trip actually, only further north. Sweden is large. We only saw bits and pieces this year. We have plenty more to explore. /Ake
14th November 2020
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Arknat
Oh man...I want to spend a night in that...or maybe I'll try it out first!!!
14th November 2020
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Denise wants to stay there too...for at least two weeks!!!
14th November 2020
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We stayed in the other one
We did sleep one night in the other ARKNAT tean-to we took a photo of. When we saw it we fell in love with it and decided to sleep there. It was a bit hard on our backs but we slept good. /Ake
15th November 2020

SWEDEN - The Charms of Scandinavian
Very nice information, Vimianos Travel promote Sweden for Indian Travellers
24th November 2020

Nice!
Very nice pictures! To all who wonders how to actually eat fermented herring I would recommend Ake's youtube tutorial of the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGRyr8yIo9w

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