Monthly Archives: February 2018

A short skating tour at lake Unden

Back to lake Unden again. A huge lake, close to Tiveden National Park. This time we chose the north eastern part. Even though it was overcast and the skating area was limited today’s trip gave extra energy to body and soul.

  • First stop by a little island. Ice covered stones and plants.

It is always uplifting to be out and be a part of nature. Sweden is fantastic – has so much to offer!

Wild skating in wild nature – in company with tracks from wildlife

Sometimes it’s not the skating which gives the most memorable moments. BUT – the skates bring you to the most stunning environments and experiences. After many days of overcast we were lucky to meet the sun again. A thin layer of snow over the black ice made the skating very easy and enjoyable. The thickness of the ice was between 5 and 7 cm so we had to be aware. Only small parts of the giant lake Unden had ice, so the view from the ice over the navy blue water gave a special feeling of the beauty of nature. At last nature had sculptured the most fantastic statuaries. From start a nice “ice goat” showed us the way out. We hadn’t skated long until we met a couple of whoopees who enjoyed the sun and the open water by an island.

Even if a skater’s dream is shining black ice, a layer of snow shows you what’s going on in nature by all the different tracks. From the very beginning on our way to the lake,  a lot of roe deer have had a wonderful meal on twigs from felled deciduous trees. We skated by the shoreline, and there – suddenly – we could follow round, quite big tracks. To our great joy there were trails of lynx. Imagine – the big cat was there yesterday! We could even see tracks from its tail dipping in the snow. It seemed the lynx hadn’t been in a hurry. Maybe it had admired the wonderful icicles – as we did.

Ice drops – icicles – ice curtains – sculptures – fantasy animals

Pine tree paws. Artist: Nature

Finally we could tear ourselves out from ice art and further on to open spaces. The skates slid easily on the smooth surface. BUT – what was that? Another creature who had had as fun as we had. Jumping – gliding – jumping – gliding – jumping – gliding. An otter! After imagining how happy it had been we continued our trip. We didn’t come far until next track stopped us. Traces of mink. This little one had jumped on the ice and dived into the water. We wished all these wonderful signs should have been alive so we could had seen all of them!

Lunch time – we found our own little island. Perfect for hot tomato soup and some sandwiches in the sun shine.

You never know what you will experience. That’s the fascination with outdoor life away from traffic, towns and a lot of people.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to go when the snow is fallen?

It was mid of January –  time for skating on new frozen ice! We were awaiting new customers in three different groups to arrive from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. The weather forecast for the coming 10 days showed a lot of snow coming from southwest. We thought our base in Bohuslän, on the Swedish west coast, should be a good place to start from. Close to the sea it might be less amount of snow falling. Because of that we started investigating nice tours around in the neighborhood.

We found magnificent black ice in Norway, just an hour drive from Heestrand – our base. In our direct area ice was in the state of beginning to freeze – not only lakes – also inner salt water fjords. In the inland we had different, wonderful lake systems to choose from. Sadly they were, for the moment, covered by some centimeters of dry snow – still skatable.

When the arriving date for our second group was there, the whole of Sweden was covered by snow, more or less. We couldn’t find any skatable ice! Where to go? Fortunately we had one more base, 300 km east of Heestrand. Medevi by Lake Vättern, the second biggest lake of Sweden. As it is a huge lake it wasn’t yet covered by skatable ice. Thanks Sweden is a great waterland!  We found skatable ice in the surroundings of northern Vättern.

With the help of the skating network and weather reports we had four wonderful skating days in different environments. We started with two days of skating on small lakes in the surroundings of Lake Vättern. Lake Stråken – a “forest lake” with some mansions by the lake. Lake Tåkern – the well known bird lake – on the cultivated plain, surrounded with reeds. The third day we headed off west to lake Ymsen which invited us with stable ice. Back to Medevi in the evening where we made the decision to pack all our things and be ready for a check at lake Vättern before we headed to the west coast. On the fourth biggest island of Sweden – Orust – we had our final countdown, with safe ice on two small nice lakes. Refreshed by skating, fresh air and good company we said goodbye with nice memories for all of us.