So in June we had to go to Copenhagen for our US visa interview (so this is about a 3h train ride, not cheap either) and we thought: as we’re here already, why not take a train to Sweden and hike a part of the Skåneleden during the Midsommer weekend.
We first took a train to Malmö and then another train a bit northeast, to Hässleholm. The section of the Skåneleden North-South passes right through this town and there’s a lot of dense forest around the area so we though this to be the best place to hike. We were right about the forests – even though you’re never that far from villages and roads, the forests are so deep, green and dense that they make you feel as if you were all alone. The trails are well kept and in most part also well marked (with orange dots or arrows). There were some crossroads where the markings could be misunderstood but as the next mark was always close-by, you could see were it was intended that you turn.
On Friday evening, after reaching Hässleholm, we hiked about 15km. On the way, we passed an unmarked shelter where we had some snacks and killed a bee. We also met two other hikers – also from Denmark – going the opposite way. In general, the area was so calm – all the Swedes were at their homes, celebrating the Midsummer eve (not at all in the way we are used to in our home countries) in a quiet manner. Oh and – did I mention it rained basically the whole time?
We found a nice spot for the tent right next to a small hut built for hunters (it was free to enter, so we had our dinner in it). Across the small road was a big field with cows, who we hoped would not make too much noise during the night. Our shoes and clothes were of course pretty wet from the hiking, so we left some of these things to dry in the hunter’s hut.
At around midnight, when we were already in deep sleep, we hear an insane roar – our first though was of course that it’d be a cow but the roar was just so un-cow-like that we couldn’t believe it. So we just stared into each other’s scared eyes, whispered about what animal it could be. The roar repeated a couple of times – some times closer, some times further off. We decided to call the animal the cow-elk-moose but all in all concluded that some predator or other form of threat must have forced the cows to try to scare the predator off and protect their herd. It was just so scary! We felt so helpless in our little tent.
On Saturday it was raining the whole day – we must have had about 30minutes of hiking without rain. The shoes were still wet from the previous day but of course not maximum wet – this didn’t of course take long to happen; soon enough we could feel the small puddles in our shoes and enjoy the splash-splash sound while walking. All the long grass that decorated the trailsides made sure our pants would be wet, too. At least Kristians had his rain pants, I don’t have such fancy equipment. After many hours of wet (but nevertheless awesome) hiking, the sun showed up for about 15 minutes, which is when we had our lunch and also the only break we took that day.
We continued to hike and made about 40km until the shelter Kristians had chosen. Luckily, we were there all alone and the place was great. That was also exactly the time the rain stopped and the sky started to clear out, so we put all our wet things to dry on all the nails and corners of the shelters and made a fire to try to dry our shoes and socks. I of course ended up burning a hole in one of my new Darn Tough socks 😛
We did the compulsory tick check and of course found one each. No wonder with all the grass and bushes we’d been through. The sleep that night was very calm and invigorating. The next morning we only had about 5km hike to the town of Hörby, from where we took a train back to Copenhagen and then another one back to home.
All in all – a good training, especially for getting used to the “suck” of wet hiking and being uncomfortable in general.