Sunshine! After several days of unseasonably cold Summer weather, even by Swedish standards, it made a pleasant change to wake to sunlight streaming through the windows. Wanting to make the most of this good weather we ate a speedy breakfast – the compulsory porridge and lingonberry jam, and drove to the ski village. We parked near the exclusive cabin resort called ‘Lofsdalen Panorama’. The cabins are all designed to look old, and have private saunas, but we had the real thing – a genuinely old cottage right on the Lake, at a fraction of the price.
We saw no one else whilst walking up to Hovarken (1125m), until just shy of the peak we were startled by two wild reindeer. We stood out of the way so as not to frighten them as they passed, only to reach the peak and find the rest of the herd sheltering from the sun in the shadows of the chairlift station! The hike was worth it for this sight alone, but we were also treated to magnificent views westwards of the Norwegian mountains, as well as views south of Lofsdalen and the lake – Lofssjon.
On our way down we met a lovely couple who owned one of the Lofsdalen Panorama cottages, and they thanked us for visiting the village. It very much relies on tourism, and even in Winter has to compete with much larger ski resorts further north. We’d definitely go back for the snow though. There are many many miles of skidoo, cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing tracks, and the supermarket is very well stocked. Admittedly there may not be the apres-ski atmosphere that large resorts have, but Lofsdalen has an appeal all of its own.
Back to the car for a spot of lunch away from the mozzies, before spending the afternoon walking up to Solgropen, and then Dingervalen – the second highest peak overlooking the village. This was a much wetter walk underfoot, but with a gentler ascent it was popular with families. Apparently bears have been seen in the area, but we only saw a lone reindeer and an arctic grouse on the top. My guess is that the bears were too busy sunbathing.
Back down into the village centre to stock up on Kopparberg pear cider to celebrate Rich having trekked up two peaks in one day. We’ve not managed this as a couple since Romania and the pre-chemo days, so he did himself, and me, proud.