This morning I received my flight confirmation. It now feels real – I am going to be spending most of August and September hiking from the west coast of Sweden to the east coast of Norway! Anyone who knows me will appreciate how much of a dream come true this is for me, to be spending a month in Scandinavia. This is the place that has captured my imagination for most of my teenage and adult life so far. Now I will be seeing it the best possible way; slow paced immersion via walking along St Olav’s Path.
On the 18th August I will fly to Stockholm and meet my lovely friend Angeliqa. Then we will travel to Sundsvall ready to begin our walk at the start of the trail in Selanger on August 19th.
We will be walking for 28 days across the country, over the Swedish/Norwegian border into Norway where we will finish in the middle of September in Trondheim. A 564km coast to coast hike, carrying almost everything we need on our backs. The plan is to camp most nights, but we have also arranged some pilgrim accommodation along the way. Some kind people along the trail have also offered us a place to sleep in their garden or home during our walk.
I’ve been dreaming about this for months now, waiting to find out for sure that it was really going to happen. Dreaming of pine forests, mountains, lakes and little red wooden houses (and lots of elk and reindeer!). I almost feel the need to keep pinching myself now that it has all finally fallen into place.
St Olavsleden and some of our hosts along the trail are very kindly helping to support us on our walk, which has made it all the more possible. The plan is for me and Angeliqa to keep a daily diary while hiking along the way and produce content to help promote the trail to a wider audience. The trail is currently very newly completed, with only 150-300 people making the journey each year – mostly Swedish and Norwegian nationals. Only a handful of hikers from the UK have walked the trail so far, but it has aspirations to become to nordic version of the Camino. A trail which attracts thousands of walkers every year from all over the world.
I now have the overpackers worst nightmare of packing my rucksack with a very Swedish mantra in mind; ‘Lagom’ – which means ‘just enough’. The lighter the pack, the more enjoyment possible out on the trail. It’s a hard task when you’re a photographer and your camera gear weighs almost half your recommended pack weight. It means no room for luxuries and little room for necessities. Wish me luck!