Sweden between elks and canoe

Between Bengtsfors and Vänesborg along our road trip in Sweden

Bengtsfors

When we wake up on the shores of Lake Lelång, we decided to hire kayaks and explore the wooded surroundings, but since we had to get as close as possible to our final destination: Gothenburg, we opted to head towards the town of Vänersborg, on the lake Vänern, the largest lake in Sweden.

For fishing enthusiasts: in this huge lake you can fish without license. In its waters there are many large fish including salmon, so that a suitable equipment is needed.

We looked for a campsite on the shores of the lake and chose the Ursand camping(http://www.ursand.se/).

Steneby

Driving along the road to reach it, we stumbled upon Dalslands Aktiviteter (activities), an Elk Park, in the town of Steneby. At the time of our arrival there was only one moose to see, in the large forest fence, and all the activities offered had to be booked the day before. Hoping to raise our spirits by finding an elk along the forest, we embarked on the Jättegrytor path that starts right behind the shelter. The trail runs along the Steneby nature reserve. The name derives from the numerous deep pit-shaped depressions carved into the rock, born from river erosion in these areas, once covered by glaciers. Proceeding along you have to make space in the thick bush.

The walk does not last long, so we returned at the car and head to Ursand camp. The desire to see elks in their natural environment, however, did not go away. Leafing through the brochure provided by the tourist info we find out that on Thursday a safari is organized in the mountains adjacent to the city of Vänersborg, to see the elk. So we booked the safari for the same evening at the following site: http://www.vastsverige.com/en/trollhattan-vanersborg/e/111695/Elk-safari.

Vänersborg

Once we arrived at the campsite, we pitch our tent by the lake and take a walk around the area. The campsite is quite large and full of activities: there are inflatables for children, a playground, swimming pools and a beautiful beach with fine sand.

We ate a delicious risotto with truffles Scotti and we headed to the store to take advantage of the canoes available. We rented one at a really cheap price and we started to explore the lake shores. Unfortunately the weather was not mild, shortly after our departure it started to rain and, not being very experienced, after an hour or so we came back to the beach. However, watching the thick woods from the lake is really an experience to try.

Back on the shore we decided to rest and enjoy a little sea, lying on the warm sand.

Halle and Hunneberg

When it was time to leave for the safari, we reached the tourist info of Vänersborg, the meeting point. With the full bus, with mostly Swedish and German tourists, we arrived on the Halle and Hunneberg plateau where we first visited the Royal Hunt Museum. The idea initially did not excite me but the stories of the guide made us understand a lot about the elk’s world.

A third of the Swedish elk population is hunted during the year in order to be able to reduce the many (very often fatal) road accidents that occur along the wooded roads. On the mountains of Halle and Hunneberg there are about 80 moose (summer 2017) with a good 30% growth in the months ahead, due to the period of births.

Inside the museum there are numerous interactive installations and you can see the animals that populate the mountains in the area: numerous birds, the bear, the wolf, the lynx and the fox. After the visit the dinner was arranged outside the museum under a beautiful Indian tent. We then left for the safari: climbed the mountain we made the round looking closely at the forest, always from the bus.

We have spotted two female elks: a rather young one and a very old one. It was really a thrill to be able to see them in the thick bush and meet their eyes, they are fascinating animals. Finally, a roe deer also appeared. We returned to the camp at about 11pm satisfied and ready to take full advantage of our last day.

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