After another delicious breakfast at The Cheerful Pea, and a quick hello from the chickens, it was time to bid farewell to Ulrika and Christer. We promised to spread the word about their gorgeous little cabin – so if you want to stay somewhere unique in central Sweden, summer or winter, give them a call.
Dervla took us off the E4 motorway after just one junction, and we headed west. We stopped to refuel but after trying and failing to use the credit card pumps properly we had to admit ignorance and ask the cashier for help. She showed us how to display the instructions in English, and we had a chat about how the weather was apparently unseasonably poor for this time of year. We’d not come to Sweden expecting sunshine so it didn’t really matter to us that we’d gone from summer temperatures of 20 degrees C by the coast, to less than 10 degrees inland.
Within minutes we were the only car on the road for long stretches – definitely one of the joys of driving in Sweden. After three hours we reached Sveg. Unfortunately the guidebook wasn’t wrong when it said that there’s very little here other than a supermarket, and a giant wooden bear. Apparently this is to remind you that you’re entering bear territory. Just in case you’re likely to forget.
We had high hopes for lunch at the Thai restaurant but sadly it was closed. Wet and windy weather seems to have caused many touristy places to shut down, but the ICA supermarket had a plentiful supply of gluten free produce so we had a picnic in the car and stocked up for the rest of the trip.
After another hour of driving west towards the border with Norway, we eventually reached Lofsdalen in the district of Harjedalen, and our base for the next 6 nights – an old cabin by the lake, built in 1938. With an open plan living, sleeping and cooking area, and a bathroom and hallway with underfloor heating, it served us perfectly.
Lofsdalen is largely a ski resort and so is very quiet in the summer, but they’ve built a series of mountain bike runs and are trying to encourage walkers to visit the area as the trails are fantastic. We even had access to our own rowing boat, but sadly weren’t strong enough to turn and lift it, so it stayed put. Instead we just enjoyed the views from the small little pebble beach, although not for long as the one negative of visiting Sweden’s lakes in the summer, is the mozzies. And there are lots of the little critters.