Day 7: August 3

Today we drove to Hede, Härjedalen Province/Jämtland County, for "my" part of the trip. When I was planning this out over the winter, I had decided that we should take a day or two at some national park so that I could do some hiking. Hede is near Sonfjället (or Sånfjället, the former spelling that still appears some places) National Park, which is basically the eponymous mountain and some surrounding wilderness.

Actually, I was close to not caring where we went today, as long as it was away. Something about where we stayed in Långshyttan was really winding my allergies up, and I almost couldn't stop blowing my nose long enough to pack. I was fine once we got on the road, though.

On the way up, we first stopped at the Dalarna museum in Falun. Not sure what we were expecting it to be, but it wasn't quite as interesting as we'd hoped. Oh, well. Free admittance takes a bit of the sting out of stuff like that.

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After that, we hit a ton of traffic around Rättvik and Mora, which wasn't really a surprise, given that that's summer resort country. Lots of classic American cars on the road, which was also not a surprise. There's a show in the area every summer (this year's was in May), and the people who own them just like to drive them around even when there's no show on. No touristy trip to Sweden is really complete without stopping in Nusnäs, where there are two shops that sell various tourisy things including Dalahästar (knick-knack-sized, not giant ones like what we stopped by the other day). One of the shops actually makes horses—actually the only place where they're made.

The terrain on the drive became noticeably hilly and very thickly forested. There were more clear-cut swaths of forest that had been replanted, too.

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I took a wrong turn at a poorly-signed roundabout and lost half an hour or so, but we got to the hotel all the same. In the rooms, we found hilarious bathrooms where the sink (but not faucet) is mounted to a wall that swings out from a real wall. There's a hole in the swinging wall for the faucet to poke through, and when the sink wall is out to 90° from the real wall, it's a shower stall—there's a diverter knob on the faucet to redirect the water to the shower head and a drain in the floor (where the drain from the sink was previously aimed). Seemed to work just fine, though, and I'm sure it beats knocking down walls during a remodel just to eat up more space.

Near the edge of Hede, I decided to fuel up the car. It was down to probably no less than a third of a tank left, and it cost around $70 to fill it back up. Crikey. 13.94 kronor per liter for diesel, or just over 8 bucks a gallon. Regular gasoline was about the same, and E85 gas was somewhere under 10 kronor/liter, though I don't remember exactly because I don't care.

We had dinner in the hotel restaurant and met the owner. He took our orders, as he seems to be one of three people working in the hotel tonight, and he had plenty of time to talk with with us while we ordered and waited for the food, since we seemed to be the only guests at that point. Funny guy, fun to talk to.

After dinner and on the hotel owner's advice, Mom and I took a walk down to the Ljusnan River that goes through town. The sun was going down, so it was a nice view. Back in the hotel, we went to the restaurant for a late dessert, mango sorbet with raspberry syrup. Holy crackers, was that good. I had to have two.

The sky stayed dusky till around 11:00 PM or so, and now at 12:30, it's still not completely dark, but dusk seems to be as over as it's going to be.

Previous: August 2
Next: August 4

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Jeff Blank <jfb@mr-happy.com>