Monday, September 28, 2015

Travel tip! Swedish pyramids...

A little bit of a different post today. We're taking you to one of those hidden Swedish gems: the pyramids of Jämtland. 

I have to admit, we were kinda surprised to learn that there are actually pyramids only an hour's drive away from where we live. No need to scramble onto a charter to Egypt, just get yourself to Jämtland to visit one of natures beautiful surprises. 

The pyramide in Grönvallen is one of the mountainworld's most interesting places from a geological point of view. You'll find traces of the ice age, including sources, erosion valleys, and kettle holes. The most spectacular signs from former times are usually considered to be the pyramids. Perfectly shaped by glacial erosion residues and isälvssediment, these structures resemble the form of the Egyptian pyramids. 

The pyramides are located in Grönvallen in the county Jämtland, in the north of Sweden.

One of the best known hiking starting points in the vicinity is Vålådalen. You'll find Vålådalen in Åre kommun, about 20 km away from the biggest ski resort in Sweden Åre and about an hour's drive away from Östersund, the winter capital of Sweden. 

Hiking from Vålådalen to the pyramides is a 12 km route (one way) and the trail is relatively easy and very well marked. I started the hike in Vålådalen from the parking lot, but you can also choose to start the hike in Vallbo. 

After about a kilometer you pass a wobbly walking bridge. Having passed the bridge, the trail meanders along the river bank for a while. Then the route goes slightly up through the forrest. Hiking this trail takes you through a whole lot of Jämtland forrest, including boulders and tree roots. Sometimes you pass the open wet fields. Easy to get through because planks have been laid out across the fields. 

9 km after having left the parking lot, I came to Grönvallen. Grönvallen is a well-preserved Sami camp located in the forest between the tree line and civilization. Huts and buildings remain, and shelters are available for those who wish refreshments in the shelter. The trail continues through the birch forests along the winding roads, and is an excellent alternative when the wind is fierce in the mountains.

Only 3 more kilometers to the pyramids. A further 2 kilometers through dense forrest and then suddenly the forrest opens up into a wide open space and you'll get your first view of the pyramides, surrounded by mountains. Only a small river (easy to cross) between you and the pyramids now! 

I spent about an hour walking around the pyramids and taking pictures. It would've been easy to spend even more time there, the views are amazing and it's just so peaceful there. 

You can take the same route back to Vålådalen. Or, as an alternative there's the trail via Issjön to Grönvallen and then back to Vålådalen.  

I've been told the best period to hike here is from June to September when the days are long. And if you'd like to spend some more time at the pyramids, it's also possible to pitch your tent near the pyramids or a little bit further along the trail and then hike back the next day. 

And you might just bump into Swedish royalty whilst out on the trail, as the king of Sweden has his hunting lodge close to the pyramids! 

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