Sweden 21-23 February 2020

The aim of this trip was to try nordic skating. We booked a private tour and even though the winter started with unusually mild weather, we were confident that it would get sufficiently cold by the end of February. We were wrong! The temperature in Stockholm was way above zero, and we started thinking that nordic skating may have to be replaced by sightseeing... Fortunately, guides from Stockholm Adventures found some excellent ice (quite far away from Stockholm) and we had fantastic skating experience.

The red line shows our track before lunch. We did not record the track after lunch.

After a 2.5 h trip north of Stockholm, we are ready to start. We were provided with a floating backpack, two ice claws, a rope, knee pads, spare cloths and even hot lunch.

The ice is under a thin layer of water.

Ice safety training.

Eruption of an underwater volcano.

There were some cracks in the ice but the ice was sufficiently thick for skating.

Improving skating technique.

The day was largely overcast with occasional drizzle, but we also had a glimpse of blue sky.

Our guide is showing Sonya how to turn.

It may look like people are walking on the water, but there is ice underneath.

Another rocky "bump".

The views reminded us of kayaking trips in Kareliya.

A crack in the ice.

We saw different types of ice: transparent black ice, ice with lots of air bubbles, ice with straight cracks, spiral cracks...

Family photo.

Viggeby nature reserve

We stayed with friends in Linköping. For the last day of our trip we went to a national reserve nearby.

The red line shows our track.

We walked around a small peninsula on the Törneviken lake. It was so mild that it felt like Spring rather than Winter.

We saw quite a few of these wooden constructions. Not sure what they were for.

Knock, knock, who's there?

The beautiful pine trees are just like around St Petersburg.

This picture could have been taken on the Ladoga lake in Russia.

People go swimming here in the Summer. There are many cottages on the lake.

Reed plants.

We stopped for lunch in this little hut. Places like this have fireplaces and firewood, there are clean shelters, we saw no rubbish.

Checking the map.

Oak trees by the lake.

Some farmhouses have ramps to the 1st floor.

Southern Sweden looks very much like Karelian Isthmus. It is very quiet and peaceful here.

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