A road trip to Ostersund via Hegra Festning
I’m an expat living in Trondheim, Norway with my husband, 8 year old daughter and 6 year old son. We moved here last week from Australia. We hadn’t even left Australia when my husband booked us 2 nights accommodation in Ostersund, Sweden. He intended that we would catch the train from Trondheim but because we have the use of a hire car until the end of this year I suggested we drive instead. Both he and our daughter are prone to motion sickness and don’t like car journeys so I felt pressure to stop often to make the journey bearable for them.
The road to Hell
When I saw this sign for a road to Hell I had to take it.
Hell shopping centre
… And we discovered that Hell is a shopping centre so I wasn’t too surprised by that considering my stance on consumerism.
Further along we saw a brown sign to Hegra Festning and it’s hard to resist a brown sign, especially to a fort so we headed off the highway to investigate. We drove up and up to the ridge and wandered from a small car park along a gravel track thinking it was the way to the fort. It wasn’t but we soon found ripe blueberries and combed many bushes for a few berries. As we wandered along we were amazed to find wild strawberries as well and picked as many as we could find of superbly delicious tiny strawberries, which was about 20 of them.
Ruins of a building
We strolled along the sunny edge of the clearing (which is where the berries were ripe) and headed towards the ruins we could see, thinking that these were the fort. We walked down to cross the creek and noticed some ripe blueberries so we diverted and combed the little bushes, prizing every ripe berry and sharing them fairly.
More blueberries than we could pick
Soon we realized that the forest floor was carpeted with blueberry bushes that were laden with ripe fruit. We lent forward and slowly gorged on those delicious treasures, finding our good fortune difficult to believe. Soon we stopped picking for each other because everyone had access to more than they could eat.
The forest of plenty
We were thrilled to discover a pile of elk baer (moose berries – poo) because it means that those magnificent animals roam in this forest!
As the hours ticked away and we became no closer to our destination in Sweden I coaxed my family to prepare for departure of the blueberry patch but it took over 20 minutes to succeed!
View towards the car and an eventual departure
Back at the car we discovered a large patch of sunny ground that was covered by ripe strawberries so we got straight to work and picked as many as we could eat. We also picked about 500g of blueberries to take with us. We were enjoying gorging ourselves when a woman that lived beside the berry patch struggled to recall her dog then told us that we should watch out for dog shit (her wording). It somewhat dampened our enthusiasm but actually just made us more careful of where we stepped.
Blueberries, strawberries and red currants all growing together
We were berry stained and very happy indeed when we set off to finally see the fort.