Minna Kinnunen

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Into the beech forest

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I had a long day yesterday. 650 km in the car, and two highpoints on the way (Dalsland and Bohuslän), but I made it to the camping in Kungsvik as scheduled.

It had been a warm and sunny day, but it’s still only spring and I woke up to a frosty tent and car. I had been ok through the night, woke up a few times and felt the cold on my face, but otherwise I was warm enough in the sleeping bag. I had another long day ahead of me and one important job to do here in Kungsvik, so I got up while the campground was still quiet and had a quick breakfast and then headed west – as far west as you can go in Sweden without using a boat!

The westernmost point of mainland Sweden

From the campgrounds it’s a short walk to the cliffs of Ledsund. There’s a bit of a problem though – in order to get to the westernmost point, you have to get up on those cliffs and then over. I had seen on the map that there are buildings on the other side, so I figured there must be a path. And sure there was, I found it right away and the climb up was relatively easy, only needed to use my hands for help a few times.

Then as I started going across the cliffs towards north-west, I found a new obstacle. There’s a ravine which is narrow enough not to register on the map, but long, wide and deep enough to pose a problem in the real world. I had to search for a good while before I found a spot where I could safely take myself down to the ravine and up the other side. I kept thinking, I’ve been down in Evagraven, I will not get beaten by this little thing… 😀 After that, it was only a matter of going down the cliffs as close to the water as possible, to be able to say that I’ve visited the most western point of Sweden on the mainland!

The cliffs of Ledsund on the south-east side
These trees are growing in the ravine
View from the top of the cliffs. The westernmost point is to my right here.

Highpointing

I made good time driving south on the E6. I went past two IKEAs and by the time I got to the third IKEA, it was lunch time and I thought I’d eat there. But surprise surprise, it was closed because of a water leak! Absolutely starving, I got my lunch from McDonalds (very disappointing that they don’t have the veggie McWrap any more, and they also don’t have any sallad in a vegatarian version, how crazy is that!) and continued driving south to Halland’s highest point, Högalteknall. It was easy to do, only a 100 m to walk from the car, and the view was pretty lousy. Forest in one direction and total de-forestation to the other. But this point gave me something much more interesting – my first look at the beech forest!

The first time I saw a beech forest
I just can’t get over that forest floor!

The highest point of Skåne was not very far and I got to drive some small country roads to get there. I had to make an extra stop when I got to a stretch where the road was winding through a beech forest, it was just as beautiful as I had hoped!

Winding road

Skåne’s highest point, Magleröd which is part of Söderåsen, was another easy one to do. And just like Högalteknall before, there were radio masts and zero views from the “top”.

Söderåsen National Park

As I had plenty of time left, I visited the Söderåsen National Park which is famous for the beech forest. I had done zero scouting about the place, I wouldn’t even have thought about it unless my friend had recommended it, so I just went to the trail head and selected a medium length trail to follow. There’s a deep valley at the heart of the park, and the trail took me to the south-east side of it. It gave me really nice views over the valley, with the bright green beech leaves being back-lit by the sun. The sun disappeared behind some clouds after a while, so I took the first best path down to the valley and followed the river back to the car.

All that was left was to drive east to stay with my friend, and look forward to the days ahead!

Shadows
The tree trunks can be interesting as well. Three individuals have merged here.
Roots above ground
Young leaves
Backlit beech
The valley in Söderåsen NP
Fallen beech
Umbrella

One thought on “Into the beech forest

  • Miika May 7, 2018 at 11:07

    On kyllä hiukan erinäköistä tuolla etelämmässä. Ja kiitettävän pitkälle ehtinyt kevätkin!

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