For quite sometime I wanted to do something different, when it comes to traveling in Europe. And for the past two years I have been wanting to visit this place called Fulufjället, which happens to be a national park some 600 kms north of Göteborg. The biggest attraction at Fulufjället is the waterfall ‘Njupeskär’, which happens to the tallest waterfall in Sweden(94 metres). Unfortunately, this place is not that easily accessible by public transport from Göteborg. I had to reach a place called Karlstad by train, take a bus to Mora, and then another bus to Särna. And from Särna, yet another bus(which runs only twice a day, that too on weekdays) to a small village called Mörkret. From Mörkret, one has to walk for around 8 kms to reach the national park. And another 4 kms inside the park to reach the waterfall. It was too complicated. So I decided to rent a car for the trip. One of my colleague was quite interested and joined me for this trip.
We left Göteborg by 2 PM on Friday. I had got a very good deal for the trip from a car rental company close to where I live. The car we got was a relatively new Ford Fiesta(It had clocked 10000 kms by then) along with a Garmin GPS. It took some 10 minutes for me to adjust to the left hand driving. After that it was extremely simple and driving was a pleasure. The roads were very good. The GPS suggested two routes.
One was via Norway, and the other one was via interior sweden (E45 till Karlstad, then 311 and 70).
I chose the route via Sweden as it was supposed to be scenic when compared to the other route. After a couple of stops, we reached a place called Sälen. From then on, I had to guess the route as the GPS device did not recognize the location of the hostel, Mörkret. But the GPS recognised the national park, as it was a popular location. And the hostel folks had said that the hostel was only 5 kms from the park. So I thought of going to the national park and trace my way to the hostel. I had chosen the options of shorter route, unpaved roads in the GPS and it guided me via a forest. It was quite an experience to drive in the middle of the night inside the forest, on narrow wooden bridges over the countless lakes. We spotted couple of rabbits, a bear(Just for 3 seconds) and few different types of squirrels. They were attracted by light, and I had to switch off the lights for the animals to leave the road. I will never forget the sight of a rabbit trying to trace the direction of the cars headlights! After an hour or so, we were in the thick of forest not knowing how long to proceed. The mobile phone did not pick up the signal. Luckily we heard a dog bark and found a mountain lodge. An elderly gentleman guided us the way to the hostel. By the time we reached the hostel it was around 11.30 by night. It was one of the best and exciting drives.
When we returned, we came via the highway but remembered to stop near the forest and the wooden bridge and take some photographs.
We had asked for 2 single rooms in the hostel, and I was under the impression that it will be like yet another lodge. To my surprise they put us in two different bungalows, which were fully furnished.
Next day morning, we bought some groceries at the nearest supermarket(25 kms) for the weekend and then set out for Njupeskär. Fulufjället is a national park and it covers an area of around 350 square kms. There are so many lakes, wooden bridges, forests that one can visit.
From the main entrance of Fulufjället, Njupeskar is around 2 kms(Though it feels like 4 kms). Entire stretch is well marked, and in some places where it is tough to cross (Tough because of the terrain. Some places the ground is extremely wet, quicksand at some places) they have placed wooden boards for people to walk over. Apart from the beautiful scenery (It is quite different from other parts of sweden), the plantation here is quite nice to see. It seems Reindeer’s do not visit these parts, and thats the reason the plantation is intact. Being the autumn season, the colors were mesmerizing.
The waterfall is quite narrow, unlike the ones I have seen before. But still once you get closer, it is very nice and a sight to watch. I liked the spray of water in the backdrop of black stones. It was cold though(Around 2 degrees celsius)
It was beautiful all around.
Later we went to Göljådalen. In the year 1997, 400 mm of rain fell on the same day and completely destroyed the area. They have made it as a tourist attraction now 🙂
After this we returned to the hostel to rest for a while. Later, we went to Gördalen which happens to be in the border of Sweden and Norway. Just for fun, we crossed to Norway. It hardly looked like a border. There was just a board mentioning you are in Norway or Sweden, depending on which side of the road you were in. There was no checkpost, patrol etc. It was interesting to see that a part of the mountain had been shaved off to identify the border 😉
On our way back, we stopped at a lake. I tried taking photos of the ripple that arises on a still water when you throw an object in it 😉
It seems one had to climb the hill for around 2 hours(12 kms) to capture the sunset. Luckily, I could capture the sunset (without the sun) from the hostel itself.
Next morning we left Mörkret by around 9 in the morning, and reached Göteborg by around 5.45 in the evening with frequent breaks for taking photographs, coffee, lunch. The roads are amazing and at some stretches I could drive comfortably at 150 kmph and maintain an average of 75 to 80 kmph overall. Totally I drove for around 1360 kms (Except for 20 kms in Mörkret, when my colleague tried his hands at the wheel) in 48 hours but it was not tiring and extremely good. If you get a chance to visit Sweden (Irrespective of the season) try visiting Fulufjället. You will never regret it.
P.S. Please do have a look at the entire set of photos (with description) available here 🙂