The warmest welcome I had was here, at the Mountain Hut at Alesjaure. We arrived very early in the day (around 1:30 or 2 or something like that). Most hikers don't arrive before 4 o'clock in the afternoon, so it was rather quiet at the Mountain Hut. But the welcome of the staff was so nice and heart warming. I felt at home here right away!
You can camp at the Mountain Hut itself, but they were very friendly and gave us the tip that camping just outside the Mountain Hut area would be for free! A perfect combination of having the luxury of the Hut in the area, but without paying the camping fee. So nice of them! So that's what we did! We crossed the bridge over the river and set up our tent. A big and good lunch was prepared in the kitchen and we enjoyed a lazy afternoon.
Sitting on a little bench in front of the mountain hut we looked down on the surrounding area. Down there, just across the hanging bridge, a bit to the left at the river you can see a tiny blue dot.... our tent and resting place for the night. It's quite the climb up and down to the mountain hut, but it is just perfect. It was nice and quiet down there, and we found a rather secluded spot, away from all the other tents. And from up here, on this little bench in front of the Hut, you have stunning views over the valley.
Looking a bit more to the right (compared to the previous picture), you have this amazing view. It somehow reminded me of the photos I have seen about Rapadalen in Sarek National Park. A park that is said to be one of the most amazing of them all and one of the last true wilderness in Europe. I am sure that Rapadalen is much more grand than the view I have here, but it must have a bit of the same feeling. The two rivers splitting up, a wide valley, an amazing view. Sarek must be so amazing! No other area in Europe has equally large quantities of unbroken and monumental wilderness.
Sitting here and looking over this landscape I start dreaming of Sarek. How much I would love to visit this place. But it is much more of a wilderness there, compared to hiking here along the Kungsleden Hiking trail. There are no real hiking trails there, no mountain huts, just endless nature..... one day, I promised myself.... And as difficult terrain as this may sound, it is not an impossible dream and trip either! The park is quite doable I heard. It just need more planning and a bit more experience. So some day I'll write to you here about Rapadalen and Sarek National Park.... This is what I promised myself :-)))
Okay, I think I've been lazy enough! Filled with new energy after a great lunch, a nice rest with amazing views, it is time to put on our hiking shoes again. The view you see is taken from the mountain hut. The direction the photo is taken towards, is the direction we are going to hike to! We first considered to go towards the glacier on the other side of the lake, higher up in the mountains, as this the place where the moose are hiding out in the summer season, looking for the colder areas (strange animals, hahaha, going to look for the cold on such a nice summer day!). I would love to see the moose, but climbing a long way up the mountain didn't seem the thing to do for this afternoon. So we opted hike in the opposite direction and take an easier trail, hoping I would spot the moose on another time during our trip.
It was so wonderful to hike without my backpack! Hahaha, amazing feeling to be without it! With more energy than I thought I would have after todays hike, we walked for a few kilometres towards the Sami village. The way back we took a more challenging route, making up our on route, climbing straight up a hill. The views are again amazing! The mosquitoes for once a pest, hahaha, and I felt more like a climbing goat then a hiker :-) But fun it was.
There are many nice hike to do from Alesjaure Mountain Hut, so this place is excellent to stay over for an extra day, and make a daytrip in and around the area. The perfect chance to go out without your heavy backpack and just take a lighter daypack with you.
On the way back to the Mountain Hut we found a nice big stone to sit on and relax. From here we had some great views over the landscape and also towards the Mountain Hut and its sauna. Hahaha, we actually had 'front row seat' to see some fun sauna behavior, looool :-) In the picture you can see the sauna (bastu) of Alesjaure, we sat on the right side of it, across the river.
The sauna here is a quite popular and maybe even a 'must do'.... oops, I didn't, hahaha, but I wanted to! Maybe next time :-))..... After having sweated it out for a while inside the sauna it is time to cool off in the freezing waters of the river below (that's the icy blue water you see on the right side of the picture). The way to get there is to take the many steps down the hill and they just jump into the freezing water. The sauna costs 50 SEK to use and the bathing is for free :-)) The front row seats we had costs about 100 SEK, hahaha, that was what we were told jokingly anyway when we got back to the Mountain Hut, loooool :-) Unfortunately we didn't have any brave bathers when we were sitting there watching. They didn't get any deeper into the water than up to their ankles.... A thing I can understand. But heeej... if you do the sauna-thing, do take that dip in the water too! It's part of the whole experience :-))
It is said that the sauna in Alesjaure is rather good. It's a mixed sauna and it opens up I think around 5 in the afternoon. If you are an early visitor to the Mountain Hut they might fire up the sauna a bit earlier for you.
Alesjaure.... a place for me to remember and a place I long to visit again. For me this picture says it all, the beauty of the landscape, the tranquallity: a dreamspot. Seeing this picture I can feel the crisp cold of the mountains in the air, but at the same time the warmths of the sun on my face. The quietness, birds flying free in the sky, a bird singing in the distance, the sound of the water flowing rapidly in the creek, the smell of the green meadow. The colours ranging for blue to bright green, topped off with some patches of white in form of snow in the mountains. Alesjaure is a place where body and mind can come to rest, far away from the rest of the world.
A last tip about Alesjaure and a forewarning of tomorrows day to come. Our day has come to an end at Alesjaure and tomorrow we are off to Unna Allakas. A trip I am looking forward to with anticipation, but also a bit nervously, as I also know this is going to be one of the hardest parts of our journey. Today the day ends with a beautiful blue sky, but also with winds that are picking up quickly. The night is going to be a cold one, the temperatures do go down quickly at the end of the day. But luckily it is rather warm in my sleeping bag, that can handle the cold well. The wind though is another story. The tent is not quite made for these weather conditions and creaks and moves under the pressure of the wind. I wonder what it would be like tomorrow when we hike further up into the mountain, while I look worried at the flag, waving energetically in the wind......