Staying in a cabin in Swedish Lapland for Easter, that can only be reached by snowmobile in winter and boat in summer was definitely a special experience for me. Even more so as the cabin wasn't one of those modern touristy ones but instead, it was built by Simon's great-grandparents in 1913 and has been passed on from generation to generation.
A great part of the Swedish half of Simon's family still have their holiday cabins in the area and they all gather each year at Easter to celebrate together.
Now while I have to admit that huge family gatherings aren't exactly my thing coming from a very small family myself, I did enjoy learning more about the history of Simon's one.
Simon's family has herded reindeers in the area by the cabin since the 17th century. On a snowmobile trip in the mountains (that ended with us getting stuck in a snowstorm - a story I'll tell you at a later point), Simon's Dad pointed out an ancient Sami turf hut to us that had been used by the family for many decades as a shelter.
And back at the cabin, he even had a family tree to show that went back to the 17th century as well and listed all the names of family members, whom they married, how many children they got and how old they were when they died.
The cabin itself also had stories to tell with a portrait of Simon's great-great-grandfather hanging in the living room and well, no running water during winter as the pipes freeze and of course, no bathroom - an outhouse instead.
I was kinda scared that I'd freeze to death at the outhouse but it actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. You did hurry up during the evenings of course but during the day, the sun totally heated it up so all my worries were unnecessary.
We only spend 3 days at the cabin but beside getting stuck on top of a mountain, I also learned how to drive a snowmobile. Apparently my driving licence even includes snowmobiles so it was totally legal for me to drive too - not that anyone cared of course in the Swedish wilderness...
They did test people driving snowmobiles in the nearest village on alcohol though which is definitely a good thing.
There sometimes can be ice on the frozen lake showing up from the snow and the lake isn't even of course so it can get slippery and dangerous if you fall off the snowmobile and don't wear a helmet. Also, the lake isn't frozen completely.
A few kilometres outside of the cabin, you'll come upon the open shore and if you're driving at night and drank, you might not be able to see it in time and drown. These things have happened in the past and since the area is so remote, the ambulance helicopter might not come in time.
Simon and I weren't drinking during our stay of course and rather tried to enjoy the wilderness safe and soberly. The enjoying part wasn't exactly that easy though with a whole family clan driving around on snowmobiles just for fun - did you know how loud these things are?
Anyway, one highlight of the weekend was the annual ice-fishing competition that is held every Easter Sunday.
As the organisers are aware of how difficult it is to catch fish during that time of year, they didn't just give out prizes to the actual winners but everyone who participated had the chance to win a snowmobile at the end of the day. I guess Simon's family was pretty glad that we were there too as that increased their chances to win, haha!
Needless to say that none of the family won in the end and waiting 3 hours in the cold for a fish to bite, was quite exhausting (aka cold). Fun to experience it though. Plus, on our way back we spotted some reindeers in the forest!
All in all it was a pretty interesting Easter weekend and I definitely want to visit the cabin again during summertime. And you know what, Simon's Dad is currently in the process of building an extension cabin as Simon's brother just had a baby. Talk of passing the cabin on to next generations...
Have you ever stayed in a cabin? And would you like to try snow-mobiling or ice-fishing?
Welcome to Wanderful Wednesdays!
My favourite from last week was the post "What Travel has Helped me do" by Carrie Lippert. It was such an inspiration to hear how Carrie achieved her dreams and grow as a person by travelling the world. Isn't it amazing how travel can change you and make you so much more courageous?
Anyway, thanks to Carrie for linking up with us!
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