Author Archives: BiTh

Three days skating in Norway

“We really loved and enjoyed the skating in the fairytale scenery and the perfect ice conditions.” These are words from two Dutch skaters and nature lovers. The dates were set and most of  the lakes in Sweden were covered with snow. BUT lake Vansjöen in Norway offered solid ice and good skating conditions. Unfortunately our first day, Wednesday 11th January, was stormy and the rain poured down. Nothing stopped us – we made us ready to force the weather.

After a short skating we went into our car to check more ice inland. Unfortunately it was snowing, so the desicion to go back to lake Vansjöen next day was right. We were a bit worried that there should be “overice” but the surface was hard, solid and dry. It couldn´t be better!

Off we went following the west shore of the island Dillingöia. Almost at the southern point we were stopped by thinner ice. We had forced the headwind and the tailwind on our way back was pure pleasure.

After a nice break we were ready to skate back to our starting point.

As we said the first days – it can only be better. And it did! Some degrees below zero, almost no wind and blue sky. We went back to the same starting point as the day before hoping for even thicker ice after a cold night. We were right. Where we couldn´t skate yesterday it was possible this day. But as always – we had to watch out. After so heavy rains the water has to flow out in the sea and there are many exposed places where to pay attention. Especially points and sounds.

After a good time of skating we stopped for a break, had a nice fire and were waiting for the dark. It was full moon night. We waited and waited for the moonrise but the forest and the hills concealed the moon. We had a nice skating with our headlamps and arrived back to our car in dark. After less than 1 km we met the yellow, full shining moon. A good end of three wonderful days out on ice!

Around Lake Mökeren Norway

Is there a better way than starting the new year on perfect ice? New years day 2017 blessed us with 46 km fantastic skating around lake Mökeren, just by the border to Sweden.

We captured the moment to be out on the ice just before sunrise. To our luck we heard the wonderful sounds of black grouse on the other side of the lake. Droppngs on the ice showed that they had been here before.

Nordic skating isn’t just the joy of skating. It gives you such wonderful nature experiences. We met a squirrel, followed some ravens and passed by a beaver hut. You could see the activity of chopped birches and the open water outside the hut. The beavers are really social animals. Inside the hut the family has different rooms where they spend their days and nights during winter time. The entrance to the hut is below the water surface to keep predators away.

After some nice refreshing pauses we were happy to skate round the lake on perfect ice and were back to the car just at sunset.

The winter solstice 2016 was December 21st. Now the days are getting longer and longer. We are looking forward to many skating tours 2017!

Magic ice after thaw

Ice is an everchanging element. After many days of temperatures over zero daytime, some rain and some degrees below zero the last nights this magic surface gave us an excellent experience. As the thickness of the ice had reduced remarkably we really had to be careful and we didn’t reach as long as we wished. Some weeks ago we had skated almost all around lake Kornsjön.

…. and more frozen leaves

On this type of ice you need to be careful. When there has been water on the ice it has to disappear somewhere. Small holes appear, the water whirls and the hole grows bigger.

Though we didn’t skate far distance this day’s trip gave us a lot of sunshine, skating on parts of three lakes and new ice experiences.

Skating in Dalarna part 2

After a relaxing sauna and a good nights sleep at Hotel Bügelhof at Sälenfjällen we were ready for our third day. It was very windy and 9 degrees below zero. Our destination was Lake Tandsjön – a narrow, long lake up in the fjells. The lake is especially interesting for its esker which extends along the middle of the lake. The sun was shining, the fjells showed their snowy tops in the morning sun and we were eager to skate in this wonderful environment. On icy roads we were approching the awaited lake. To our disappointment the lake was covered with snow. So – off we continued towards lake Tisjön, only 20 km south west. And look! This scenario opened up! About 60 km smooth ice around the lake to explore.

We skated along the shore, in to marshlands and enjoyed the art gallery of nature.

Counterclockwise we got most out of our trip. Almost no wind at the west side of the lake and with the sun high above us we were looking forward to have the setting sun on the east side of the lake on our way back.

The days are short in December. The rays of the low sun gave us a magic light on our way  back to the starting point. There are a lot of eskers in this area and along the lake. By the shore line there were a lot of round “holes” in the ice that were frozen later than the surrounding ice. Is it under water wells from the esker or is it some gas?

The landscape showed the beautifulness of high sandbanks built up from ice rivers during the ice age more than 10 000 years ago.

This day’s trip gave us good exercise and wonderful treat of nature. It showed us remnants from the ice age and gave us insight in places and buildings by the lake for animal husbandry from the 1950’s. Every trip we do make us curious to find new places to explore and to learn about nature and culture with help of the wonderful sport Nordic Skating!

 

 

Skating in Dalarna – part 1

It´s something extra in the beginning of the skating season when lakes start to freeze so you can choose and plan your trip between different places. We had followed the weather reports and knew there were snow in the north of Dalarna followed by a thaw period and there after temperatures below zero. Had the snow melted? Was there a good surface to skate on? The answer was YES!

We started our trip in the morning at lake Horrmunden – an ideal lake big enough for skating a whole day.

It´s always exiting  tofollow the shores of the lake and investigate nature. The nature is quite silent, only some birds show up. We had a Siberian jay near us and some ravens were circling above us. Otherwise the only sounds were from our skates touching the ice.

After 58 kilometres on stable ice we were happy to have a good meal and a good night´s rest at Knappgården north of Särna and make plans for the next day.

Heading south agaig exploring new water sytems. Many lakes are water reservoirs, which means that the water level is higher than it was from the beginning. Skating between stumps and tufts in labyrints is really fun! After 15 kilometers on good ice and with fjells in the distance, we moved on by car to another new lake for us.

We had waited a couple of years to explore lake Ransi. Today the dream was fulfilled. That lake is a real gem. In total wilderness, only with a couple of cottages, we were one with ice and nature. With the top of Mount Städjan in the distance, lightened up by the afternoon sun, we started our tour round the lake. The light was wonderful, almost no wind and good ice. The top experience was skating upstream river Björnån (Bear River) for kilometers. After the total trip round the lake of about 17 kilometers we were happily back at our car and headed south for new adventures day three.

 

 

Premiere on Nordic Skates

The day was here. The sun was shining! Equipped with skates and boots 4 expectant Englishmen set off to try their first skating on natural ice.

Yippiee!!!! The ice is good enough for the premiere.

After adjustments and skating of their own we stop a while for a bit of technique practise.

 

 

Beginning of the Nordic Skating season, Fulufjället Dalarna

One week ago our destination was northern Dalarna with starting point Knappgården, Särnaheden. As we planned a small introduction course on nordic skates for 4 eager Englishmen we made our first  reconnaissance  between Nipfjället and Städjan. It´s  a dream for skaters to meet frozen waters not covered with snow.

The day was sunny, with a clear blue sky and no clouds. A bit windy and some degrees below zero. A good sign. A big herd of reindeer met us on our hike uphill. We found what we were looking for. A frozen pond, big enough with ice thick enough to skate on for a while for beginners.
We crossed our fingers that the ice should be OK two days later.

We wanted some skating on our own, so we hiked up in the national park Fulufjället.

After 3,5 km uphill we found ice possible to skate on.

 

There are some very nice little huts by Rörsjöarna, perfect for a break. They are open all year round. The wind was very strong – up to 25m/s so we had real tough skating – but fun in the tailwind.

We set our way back in wonderful evening light. The hike went along over the waterfall Njupeskärsfallen.

Kayaking in autumn colours

We leave the salt water and the open views by the west coast for paddling in the inland forests and lakes.

Our destination is Lake Vortungen in the very scenic border land between Norway and Sweden.

In Rømskog, not more than 2 hours from Oslo, there is a very interesting wilderness area where you can silently glide through mile long lake systems.

Fantastic colours brighten up an otherwise gray, hazy weather

After 10 km canoeing it´s nice to stretch our legs and have a lunch break.

With new energy the silent autumn tour continues

Back in the evening for the spa.

“Kick off” – kayaking, hiking and snorkelling

Can it be a better option than starting up work after holidays in nature together with collegues?Activities, friendship, nice food, open fire and laughther. About 45 expectant people met at Medevi brygga – lake Vättern a nice summer evening. The kayaks and snorkelling gear (cyclops, fins and wet suits) were ready. Envelopes with instructions and maps for the hikers waited for the groups to set off. Ready for appetisers and their chosen activities all went away.

Some days before the event, tresures were hidden in the three old wrecks by the islands for the snorkellers to find. Appetizers is a must before outdoor dinner when you are out in nature.

Reassambling by the food and the log fire just by the shore. A perfect moment for relaxing and sharing experiences in the sunset. At coffee and cake by the fire the stories about nature and culture around Lake Vättern were told by the hikers. They fulfilled their mission with exellence and we had a lot of laughter and learning!

What a perfect evening for outdoor activities with your co-wokers. A joy for them and for us! Welcome to new adventures! Lake Vättern near Medevi and Bohuslän Heestrand are our favourite starting points!

Outdoor Exhibition Medevi Brunn

In the middle of August Nordic Ecotours joined an Outdoor Exhibition at Medevi Brunn by Lake Vättern. For two days people were welcomed to test the joy and freedom of kayaking.  The weather was perfect – sunny and almost no wind. Hopefully we have attracted some beginners to develop their skills and be a part of a wonderful outdoor activity.

Indoors we showed our canvas gallery. Sweden and Scandinavia is a “Waterland”. All seasons have their allurement. With nordic skates or from our kayaks we are fascinated of the gallery of nature which is constantly changing. When we are traveling through the landscape it is impossible to resist the temptation to stop and capture the special moment. Everything is perishable, the light, nature is changing and the opportunity disappears so quickly.

You are most welcome to contact us if you are interested in buying some of our canvases. info@nordicecotours.com