More Mini Adventures in Dalarna, Sweden

Our road trip continues on!  On our way up to Orsa, we stopped at the Dala Häst workshop in Mora, to see the original place where Nils Larssons famous painted pony originated.  The butik was filled with every version possible, horses, pigs and chickens, along with other decorative items.  The painted items are a bit pricy at about 180-500kr ($20 -$52.50 US) but unbelievably popular.  Or you can buy a small kit for 199kr ($21USD) that has a machine cut horse, knife and instructions to whittle it into shape yourself.  There were crowds of people and the lines were out the door.

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Nils Larsson Dala Häst Shop

We got to take a tour of the workshop and it was surprisingly fun!  They had people sitting around whittling these horses at desks, while some used machines.

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Dala Häst Workshop

Then there were the painting rooms. They had a room for each main color.  It looks like someone had fun in here!

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Dala Häst red paint room!

We soon arrived at Orsa Camping and we were overwhelmed at the size.  It is is the largest campground we have ever been to and it was so crowded.  We found our spot at the end of a short rooad next to a pond, where we had our own front lawn.  There was a fishing dock, that we soon realized would be popular with many young kids, so we did not find much peace at our site.

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camping plats #405

That day we explored the beaches and trails around the area, planning our daily escapes by kayak. Watching the sunset along the dog friendly beach was so relaxing (more dogs and less people is just our style!). 

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How welcoming – a family of ducks decided to nest just a couple of meters in front of us.  As it started to get a bit cooler, we watched them move from 3 groups and cuddle into one. 

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We headed out to kayak the lake the next afternoon and the scenery was full of lush forest and many islands.  This was in a creek just across from the beach, that eventually opened up to the larger lake.

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Orsa sjön (lake)

Thanks to the folks who lent us their island and nice dock where we had lunch.

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Orsa sjön (lake)

Dalarna is full of rocky mountains, hiking and mountain biking trails. Before hiking on our own, we drove up a long dirt road (and I mean LONG) to find a historical village way out in the middle of the woods.  Skräddar Djurberga Fäbod, which means animal summer pasture village, this is where the farmers take their animals to graze in the summer months after midsommer.  A lot of old houses in Dalarna have the same type of timber construction and fences.PhotoEditor_20190725_131158993

Skräddar Djurberga Fäbod

Just up the road is a trail to Storstupet.  If you park in the lot down the road from Skräddar Djurberga Fäbod, the hike is only about 2k each way.  It is a bit steep in some parts, but was a moderate hike.

 

Here is the old railroad bridge where I tried to conquer my fear of heights. We were not sure if it was still in use, so I took my time getting out there.

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Storstupet railroad bridge

Storstupet is a waterfall canyon with a river that you can hike down into.  Since it was once used for transporting timber, there is a slide built with steel barriers at the center of the river where the rapids continue off the waterfall.  What a breathtaking view! 

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inside Storstupet

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Storstupet

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Storstupet

 

The hike is vertical most of the way, so it is important to have proper shoes.  A lot of the rocks and trails closer to the falls were wet and soggy.  Since you end up along a cliff above the canyon it’s good to take your time.

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magical mushrooms

I hope you enjoyed this part of our journey!

Please follow me as we continue on with more tips from our adventures in Sweden.

Road Trip In The Woods: Mini-Adventures in Dalarna, Sweden

It’s our vacation week here in Sweden, so we decided to hit the road again!  I have to admit, shutting off and stepping out into the woods just for a week can be tough to do, but at least I had a pen and a camera!  Feeling overworked and exhausted, this is just what I needed to focus mind and spirit on nature.

Dalarna county starts about 4 hours from us, so we needed to take advantage of time off so we could explore the area.  As we got closer to Börlange, we noticed a rest stop sign that advertised  ‘A First Taste of Dalarna’.  We had to stop and check it out.  It was a bunch of red Swedish cottages – a refreshment trailer, a store and covered seating, with a compost toilet at the end.  When I stepped inside the tiny shop, a happy Swedish man greeted me and guided me around the shop.  He is a great salesman:  I couldn’t resist the smoked salmon filet, local salami called Gustav’s Korv along with some cherries and oranges.  We sat outside and tasted some of these goodies and he was so hospitable as to bring us some rhubarb soda water.  I recommend you stop here and partake in this little gem, supporting local farms!

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En försmak av Dalarna

By the way, we later researched that delicious salami and found out it was probably the age old tradition of making ‘korv’ – I hope I have not tasted what may be horse meat!   I am going to ignore the fact that I was raised around horses and just go with it.  I am glad he didn’t tell us or I would have never tried it!

Having a camper is great – you can pick a spot, set up your mini homestead and still disappear into the wilderness on short trips.  We brought our backpacking gear, kayaks and bicycles. And bug spray – lots of bug spray.  Dalarna is northwest of Stockholm, where the forest is grand, valleys are deep and the lakes are humongous.  The humidity was high, due to the extreme rainstorms that have been visiting Sweden all month.  So, of course the bugs – insanely large hordes of mosquitoes and lots of ticks, were in need of victims.

 

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We arrived at Dalarna Älv Camping in Sifferbo on beautiful Saturday afternoon.  The sun was warm and we were pleasantly surprised at the beauty of our riverside campsite.

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Since there are only 48 camping spaces here, it is quite small.  The grounds are well taken care of and the building’s facilities are the cleanest I have ever seen.

Give them a visit!               http://www.dalarnarivercamp.se/

What to do nearby, you ask?  Well, how about some whitewater rafting!  I found Dala River Adventure online and they did not disappoint.  Christina is really helpful with the planning and Lama leads the adventure school.  Lama brings lots of adventure guide experience from Nepal and it is worth spending the day with him and his guides just to meet them.  They have a lot of stories to share!  Starting with safety, he explains the in’s and out’s of keeping the rafts afloat, working as a team and most of all how to have fun!

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Fänforsen rapids, Björbo SE

The water was a bit shallow, so the rapids weren’t as wild as they usually are at the beginning of the season.  We took three runs on the river with a group of 14, plus 4 guides – first with a group of 6 in a raft and then just my husband and I in a Ducky – an inflatable canoe.  That was the best!  I wish we could have done that a few more times.  It took just 10 minutes or so to get through the small run and then we would drive up the side of the river and go again.  We ended with ‘surfing’ on a River Boogie Board, which is small paddle board, which was wild!

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Next year, we plan on hitting the Kärringforsen from the top with some advanced training and then heading down river to rock the Fänsorsen again.  Thanks again to Christina, Lama and the gang!

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http://www.dalariveradventure.se/

Our stay in Southern Dalarna was too short and we had to leave the peaceful setting of our camp along the Dala Älv and head onto Orsa.

See my next post for more mini adventures in Orsa!

Hope you follow me on my journeys and share some of your own!

//Gina

 

 

Don’t forget when heading out into nature,

be kind and carry in what you carry out.