Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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Scandinavia 2016: Turku Archipelago

When taking a westbound night ferry from Turku (Finland) to Stockholm (Sweden) one has the chance – under good conditions – to enjoy the scenery of the Turku Archipelago. By some definitions this archipelago is the largest in the world by the number of islands.

While taking the Turku-Stockholm ferry in July 2016 we were lucky to experience marvelous conditions: little wind, excellent visibility and a mesmerizing display of color during sunset.

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Scandinavia 2016: Stockholm Archipelago

The ferry from Stockholm (Sweden) to Turku (Finland) passes through no less than 3 archipelagos, each of which consist of thousands of islands and skerries. When taking a night ferry eastbound, one first sails through the Stockholm Archipelago for hours until the sun sets. In the middle of the night the Åland Archipelago is reached (Swedish-speaking, but Finnish territory), and by early morning one enters the Turku Archipelago.

Below are some pictures from our journey through the Stockholm Archipelago in July 2016. Weather was excellent and I hence stayed on the upper deck enjoying the spectacle until the sun disappeared below the horizon.

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Scandinavia 2016: Nacka Reserve

During our visit to Stockholm in July 2016 we stayed in an apartment located in a part of town that is known as Hammarby Sjöstad. A short walk from the apartment are the Sickla lake and the Nacka nature reserve.

While the rest of the family was spending the day swimming in Lake Sickla, I made an easy hike through the neighboring Nacka nature reserve. Nacka is quite scenic and offers a refuge for animals such as beavers and reptiles, just a stone’s throw from the bustling heart of the city.

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Scandinavia 2016: Lake Vättern

Lake Vättern is Sweden’s second largest lake and has a surface area of almost 2000 km2. It’s as deep as 120 m in places and its waters are crystal clear.

In July 2016 we camped close to the eastern shore of the lake and in the evening were able to enjoy a colorful sunset over the magically still lake. The next day the weather was perfectly sunny and warm, and we hence took a dive into the frigid waters of one of the lake’s many secluded coves.

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Scandinavia 2016: Gothenburg Archipelago

Among the many pleasures of travelling through Scandinavia are the ferry crossings, which – when conditions are good – often feel like a mini cruise.

When travelling from Denmark to Sweden in July 2016 we took a ferry from Fredrikshavn to Gothenburg. Before sailing into the harbour of Gothenburg under the Älvsborg bridge, we had nice views towards some of the islands of the Gothenburg Archipelago.

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Scandinavia 2016: Skagen

In July 2016 we made a family trip through Scandinavia, which had as its ultimate goal a visit to my wife’s relatives based in Turku, Finland. The trip was very diverse and included cultural sights, natural scenery, attractions, swimming and hiking, most of it blessed with excellent weather.

I will make a series of posts in which I will share some of the highlights in terms of natural scenery. In this first post are some pictures from Skagen, Denmark’s northernmost peninsula.

On Skagen we made a number of short hikes, including a visit to the northernmost tip of the peninsula, which is a sandbar named Grenen. Grenen is the place where Skagerrak and Kattegat meet, and waters around the tip of Grenen are very turbulent. Attempting to swim at this location is likely to be fatal. The Grenen sandbar still grows about 10 m a year and has extended towards Sweden approximately 1 km over the last century.

Another interesting location is the “Tilsandede Kirke”, a 14th century church that is buried below the dunes, except for the upper part of its tower.

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