Sunday, August 14, 2011

From Härnösand to Umeå... a day of travel in Sweden - 2011

As we continued our journey north toward Umeå, we passed many small villages and farms and saw fewer and fewer cars on the road. If you ever find yourself anywhere near the High Coast region of Sweden, on the world heritage list, it is well worth spending a day or more exploring the area. Once again, editing the many images down to a few to share has been a daunting task. Hope you enjoy the ride! (remember, click any image to view the large size... or if you prefer, have a look at all the images in a slide show)

collage of images under the High Coast Bridge
From Wikipedia The High Coast Bridge (in Swedish Högakustenbron or Vedabron) is a suspension bridge crossing the mouth of the Ångermanälven river near Veda, on the border between the Härnösand and Kramfors municipalities in the province of Ångermanland in northern Sweden… length is 1,867 metres (6,125 ft)… constructed between 1993 and 1997 and was officially opened on 1 December 1997.
The fog lends an air of mystery to these images taken under the bridge after we crossed it leaving Härnösand en route to Umeå.

collage of images as described
A few things that caught my eye as we explored the High Coast area... quiet fishing villages, roadside lupine, novelty advertising and red buildings in fields bordered by typical Sami style wooden fences, constructed without using any nails.

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Buzzing bees, wildflowers, beautiful scenery... we never lacked for something lovely to view.

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Nordingrå Kyrka (kyrka is Swedish for church) is a beautiful church on the High Coast, constructed from 1825-1825 and restored in 1962, it sits on the same site as a church built in the 12th century. The row of red cabins in the lower left are part of the Nordingrå church village... church villages in Sweden are charactered by a such collections of small cabins and were built up around the churches to provide lodging for parishioners who traveled long distances to church. Prior to the 1860's, it was a crime in Sweden to not go to church. And it wasn't until the last century that church and state were separated. These days, those cabins are sometimes rented to tourists, used for summer camps or are not used at all.

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Another view of the exterior of Nordingrå Kyrka and 3 views of the ruins of the 12th century church. Only the foundation is left standing and nature is taking over the area. Such ruins are particularly beautiful to me with the contrast between the old stone and the lush colors of nature.

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Continuing our generally northward journey, we stopped at Rotsidans naturreservat on the recommendation of our cousin Örjan. The beach is famous in Sweden and he thought we should stop and see it. The path to the beach is about 500 meters through a lovely forest, passing over the rocky shore dotted with wildflowers... we reached the beach only to find it completely fogged in! My brother's partner is waving at me through the fog as he stands next to my brother. The last image of the sailboat with all the signal flags is from further along on our journey... more about that later. But first, a few more of the foggy Rotsidans naturreservat.

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The sea is lost in the fog...
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As is the shoreline...
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Wave action over the rocks along the shore...
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Shore bird soaring out of the fog over the trees on shore at Rotsidans naturreservat... you might enjoy taking the extra time to click this one and view it large... the light on the bird is quite nice!

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The High Coast town of Mjällom is where we finally saw a bit of the Midsummer celebrating that was ongoing during our visit... in the lower right on the distant shore, people had gathered and were playing games and listening to music. The image in the lower left is from Skuleskogens National Park and is of the tourist convenience facility there... it is a beautiful building and one would never guess its purpose without seeing the signs for Men (män) and Women (kvinnor) on the doors!

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Upon our arrival in Umeå, we find out once again that "proper" restaurants are closed due to the Midsummer holiday so we dine on OK fast food at Max, Sweden's answer to McDonald's and a cut above. Afterward, we wandered around the town exploring our neighborhood... the gentleman in the top left was quite insistent I take his picture and his fingers are forming a heart. The homes along the river are quite impressive and the differing styles of architecture on many of the buildings quite beautiful.

In my next post, you will see more of Umeå and then we are off to Lycksele where we at last meet up with our Swedish cousins who live in Vägsele, a small town of 43 inhabitants about 20 minutes from the larger town of Lycksele.

2 comments:

Ginnie said...

"A small town of 43 inhabitants?" And I thought some of our Dutch towns were small! :)

You know me, Victoria. I am such a glutton for the architecture, especially of the churches. But I love the wildflowers you have shown as well as the seasides and harbors. The light IS gorgeous on that one bird.

I can just imagine how you can still see all of this in your mind's eye. Thanks for taking the time to make these posts...and please don't give up till you are done!

Shammickite said...

What a wonderful trip you are taking. You're seeing so much more than the average tourist who just keeps to the big cities and the well known sights. Actually, I'm envious!