We have settled at my cousin Stefan‘s place. He owns some huge land with a big house, a tool barn, a shed for chickens, three big black dogs (one is a husky brought over from his time in the Yukon Valley, Canada), two cats, swings and things to climb – right on a big lake.
For the delicious pizza dinner, we were 16 relatives: Stefan, Sandra, their kids Tabata, Mattes, Espen and Lennart, Stefan‘s parents Uwe & Gundula, Sandra‘s mom Karin, my parents, and the five of us *wow*
Now we also know why so many houses are red. About 200 years ago, rocks containing iron oxide were a cheap by-product from mining that could be used for protecting the wood from being degraded by the weather.
We took two days to explore the entire outdoor museum ‚Jämtli‘. The first day it rained the whole time. Luckily, we could visit the different houses where people seemed very happy to tell us about the old times.
We visited a laundry house from 1895, some family houses from 1975 and a dairy.
The girls went on a railway ride where they had to help turning the train cars around using a turnable track piece on a disk.
At the lumberjack, we got to try some very greasy pancake with meat; at the bakery some kind of Knäckebrot.
By the hunter‘s hut, we practised shooting at cardboard animals with a sensor rifle. Magda and Alan were our shooting stars.
When we talked to the actors, we felt like we had time traveled. One woman told us about her husband who was drafted to the army during World War II and how she was looking forward to seeing him on his visit.
The wife of the postman told us about gnomes who live under the thresholds in the house. That‘s why people don‘t step on the thresholds during the day. When you treat the house gnomes (Tomte) nicely, they help with the house chores at night.
Next day’s weather was luckily completely the opposite of the day before. Impressions of Lake Alsensjön:
Our second day in Östersund: We first took a stroll through the city. There were painted statues of the monster Storsjöodjuret (meaning: great lake animal) that is supposed to live in Lake Storsjö along the main street and a game where one could throw sacks into a hole.
Back in Jämtli, we visited a big farm, collected our last time stamps and nibbled red and black currents – this time in comfortable sun shine.
For the stamps we had collected in our passport, we didn‘t get a present. We only put down our names and phone numbers for a lottery that would be decided at the end of summer. What there was to win was also an open question…
At the end, we explored a super nice exhibitions. For kids, the entrance was a slide through the tummy of the Great Lake Monster Storsjöodjuret.
There were tunnels and drawers to explore, stuffed animals, even a small creek, a dress-up area…
Back at the log house, we enjoyed Oma‘s nut chocolate cake on the terrace although there was barely any sunshine left.
Afterwards, we went on a small boat tour. Magda did amazingly in her own little kayak. The other four of us sat in a canoe. As the wind picked up, it was a little tough to go against the waves.
Eventually, there was a heavy rain shower but with sunshine and double rainbow:
Today, we went on a hike called Bröllopsstigen (‚wedding path‘). At the beginning, we saw some 6000 years old rock paintings, mostly of elks. In a cultural hut, elk pelts, hooves and skulls were hung up all around the ceiling – a bit scary.
It was a nice hike through the forest where we found many blueberries and edible mushrooms. Unfortunately, we could only keep a third for a meal because they were full of worms or too old.
On the way back, the girls ran down the mountain. Wilma looked like a little hopping gnome. On the meadow, they couldn‘t stop feeding and petting the friendly sheep. When the strong wind was blocked, it was very comfortable in the sun.
Back at Alensjön, we picked around 2 kg of blueberries, just down the road of the log house. So we had a super special dinner: fish (pike) caught by Mattes, mushrooms and blueberries picked by us with furnace fire making the flat comfortably warm.
The girls played conquering the boys.
It was not easy to leave the kids paradise with grand parents, fun playmates, animals, huge playground, interesting activities (trampoline, crossbow shooting, table tennis, hot outdoor bathtub…). We all would have liked to bring at least the living beings along on our trip.