Hiking St.Olavsleden : Fränsta to Borgsjö 

23/08/2016

Today we left our accommodation in Fränsta in beautiful sunshine after a very foggy night, ready to head to Borgsjö.

We headed across the railroad and eventually came to a church building where we would find our next pilgrim stamp to record in our pilgrim passports.

We then came to an old red bridge which we were warned was safe for people to walk on but not horses. My right leg/hip was very painful after the day before and I was really concerned about the days walking that lay ahead. Our scheduled route required us to fit in many kilometres in the first few days which isn’t ideal for the beginning.

At this point Angeliqa received a message from a lady called Sara who works in tourism for the area, inviting us for lunch at her house nearby. We were welcomed with the warmest of hugs and instantly felt at ease in her company.

We made friends with her two horses, one of which is around 25 years old. I told her how much I loved spending time with them so she brought us some brushes and we relaxed by grooming them for a little while.

We went inside to make lunch and chatted about many different things. I keep talking about the road giving us what we need and again on this day it did just that. I mentioned to Sara that my leg was hurting and she told me she had something for it. She asked me to lay down on a special mat and she put a pad hooked up to a machine on my hip. The machine is called a Bemer and it helps micro circulation and is supposedly great for pain and all sorts of things. It didn’t feel like it was doing anything but a while later after I had gotten up and walked around a lot she asked me how it was feeling. I suddenly gasped and was so shocked to realise I hadn’t even thought about my leg after the machine because the pain had completely gone! Even though originally I couldn’t put weight on it without it hurting. It was amazing. I didn’t have any trouble with it the rest of the day until just before we reached Borgsjö.

We also spoke a lot about a technique called Freldenkreitz which was supposed to be very beneficial for the body.

After this we were served potatoes and fish for lunch after we had been talking so much about craving potatoes! The road that gives…

After lunch Sara walked with us for the next section of trail near her house, where we put the world to rights and discussed so many exciting ideas and thoughts. We really felt like we had met a kindred spirit and throughly enjoyed hearing about her thoughts and life experiences. A truly special meeting.

This was a particularly beautiful part of the walk so far. We reached some falls and it was time for Sara to leave us and for us to continue on our way alone.

We crossed the railroad again and walked towards the mountain. The day had been so peaceful, relaxing and fulfilling that it was difficult at times to prevent ourselves from sitting in the sun and keep walking.

The trail became more and more beautiful from this point as we entered the forest by the water.

After a while we came to roads again and walked past pretty houses. These cute dogs sang to us as we walked past.

We reached Borgsjö very late where we stayed at the Naturum. The lovely people there waited for us to arrive before they left and made sure we had what we needed.

Just when I thought the day couldn’t get any better, the trail gave me something I have longed for, for the last 14 or so years. I was doing laundry in the shower block and came out to walk back to the cabin and looked up in the sky as I always like to do. I saw a funny shaped cloud and thought to myself how strange it looked. Then the penny dropped and I thought ‘oh my god that’s not a cloud!!’. I ran into the cabin and threw my clothes on the floor and shouted to Angeliqa who was on the phone ‘NORTHERN LIGHTS!’.

I ran outside and sat on the ground and looked up. It was faint and white at first but soon the sky burst into green flames, pulsating across the whole expanse of sky above me. I cannot begin to describe the feeling. I felt like crying and shouting but instead I just watched open mouthed, excitement and awe bubbling in my stomach.

Image Copyright: Rania Rönntoft

I went to Tromso a couple of years ago to see them and wasn’t lucky that time. I didn’t even consider the fact that I could see them on this trip, thinking it was too early in the year for chances to be high. It was such a surprise and completely unexpected considering i’m the girl that regularly looks up in England expecting to see them when activity is good. Magic.

Today has been a real treat in so many ways and the first day of real contemplation while walking. I almost brought myself to tears in the forest thinking to myself that this might be the only time I see all of these sights and meet all of these wonderful people in my life. It made me think about how you really do need to soak up every rich and precious moment and hold them in your heart to warm you on the cold dull days. I thought a lot about people no longer with us on this earthly plane and how desperately special and short life is.

What a day to be alive. I am so thankful for it.

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