Thursday Thoughts – Memories

Almost 30 years ago I took the train for 23 hours up to Abisko to walk on The King’s Trail (Kungsleden). This is Sweden’s most famous hiking trail, approximately 440 kilometres (270 mi) long, between Abisko in the north and Hemavan in the south. It passes through, near the southern end, the Vindelfjällen Nature Reserve, one of the largest protected areas in Europe. In the winter Kungsleden is a ski trail with approximately the same route.

Arriving at the same station as I did 30 years ago, memories come alive. I was 31 and I had lost my much loved grandmother the year before. I needed to think and to be alone – with only myself.

The view from my window is just the same…Abiskojåkka river joining Torne Träsk lake.

I hit the trail instantly, almost at arrival…eager to know if I recognized it…because here I hiked when I was young, alone with my dog, Amanda, and a huge packing (16 kg is a heavy weight for my size) because of her food.

At home now everything is brown or yellow, dry, burned down. Hot. Here the lush green and a temperature about half the heat – 18 instead of 36 C – made life easier again. Meet Lingonberries on their way!

Carl von Linné and his own flower came alive during this hike as well.

The fragrance of the tiny Linnea is stunning, when walking you hardly notice her, but along this path, you could not help loving her. She was everywhere. And I – I was happy.

36 reaktioner på ”Thursday Thoughts – Memories

  1. It sounded like a lovely trip down memory lane for you, Leya. Wow, you managed to carry 16kg when you were younger…you must have been strong and fearless back then, and still are today 🙂 I think traveling alone is something we all have to do at least once – you realise how much you can actually do and actually listen to your own self and own thoughts. Beautiful images of the Linnea.

    • Thank you, Mabel. I totally agree – everybody should travel alone at least once. I still think of this trip long ago as one of the best things I ever did in life. One of the hikes was 22 kilometres in heavy snowing and two rivers to cross – no bridge. I don’t know how I made it really. But that is what it’s all about – you learn how to manage on your own and realize your own abilities.

    • I remember that train ride…I took out my dog, Amanda, on every station stop to make her pee…but she never did. She sat on the floor for 23 hours…

      • Oooo! That doesn’t sound like fun. Only once I was travelling by train and dog alone from Trieste to Rome (some 8 hours). Plus one suitcase, one rucksack, computer bag and dog bed. He was one year old. First he didn’t wish to enter the train, in Rome he didn’t wish to exit it. He was afraid of the stairs, I guess. And also, his ticket was more expensive than mine. When we got to Rome, it was 41 degrees C. Unsurprisingly we didn’t repeat this.

  2. How lovely to be able to revisit such a beautiful place and relive your memories. Thank you for sharing these thoughts with us and the photos are beautiful

  3. A bold and beautiful hike re-treading the years – you have captured the delightful delicacy of the Linnae

  4. How absolutely marvellous – to revisit a place and not be disappointed, and for it to bring back so many memories, Ann Christine. Brilliant to be in a cooler place, and surrounded by those fragrant Linnea

  5. Great to read that you returned and found this beautiful place back like it still is. I’ve never hiked the Kungsleden (instead I partially did the High Coast trail) but it’s still a wish to do so. Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

      • Yes we have! You can check out our Sweden section on our website or type in “high coast” in the search field and you will find it. It is such a beautiful area. I hope it’s not being affected by all the wild fires in Sweden right now.

      • Thank you for writing – I like your series very much! No idea if this area is affected by the fires, but I hope not. On the other hand we have more than 100 fires raging now, and most of them in the middle of the country.

  6. I am smiling. 30 years ago you walked this track with your dog Amanda. Now in a virtual sense another Amanda is enjoying this walk with you. The linnea, and the wild flowers in your first photo, look beautiful.

  7. I’m glad the re-visit didn’t disappoint, A-C. What a lovely place to hike! When our younger daughter was born, I had a friend whose first name was Linnea and we gave it to our daughter for her middle name. When she was much younger, she said she was going to change it to mine middle name and that of our older daughter, but she eventually changed her mind and came to enjoy her unique middle name. 🙂 There’s a woman at our church named Linnea. She pronounces it ”LinA” (with a long a sound), but my friend and we pronounce it ”Lin A uh.”


  8. Happy memories to you across three decades.

    Some years ago I read a brief biography of Linnaeus. When young he was poor and had to struggle, but of course back then that could be said of almost everyone.

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