Jämtland County: Overnight in Klövsjö / by Jennifer Leahy

Leaving Luleå, I decided to take the slightly longer, but potentially more scenic, route on my way west and south to Gothenburg, where my next contact lived. The total driving time would be 16+ hours, so I decided to split it up into two days and make an overnight stop.  A number of people I'd called had mentioned Jämtland, saying it was beautiful country, with mountains (especially close to the Norwegian border) and great hiking and camping opportunities. This trip, I wouldn't have time to explore it properly, but I could at least get a taste on my way to my next meet-up.  

Maj-Lis' Airbnb listing was chosen in about five seconds: it was almost exactly halfway between Luleå and Gothenburg, time-wise, the idea of staying in a small village appealed to me, and Maj-Lis herself looked friendly. I knew I'd be arriving late, and asked her in advance if that would be a problem, but she assured me it would be fine. Booking a room with her turned out to be one of my better moments of split-second decision making; I feel like I hit the Airbnb jackpot.

But first - getting there. As I'd been promised, the drive took me through beautiful, wild country: small mountains (think northern NH, not the Rockies - rugged but in a more rounded way), endless lakes and rivers, and several reindeer (no joke, one politely crossed the road with impeccable timing, seconds after I'd passed the sign indicated I was in Lappland (north of Jämtland, on my way west from Luleå). 

By the time I arrived in Klövsjö, Google Maps was having a little difficult with her address, but Maj-Lis kindly met me at the local ICA (pronounced 'eeka'; one of the bigger grocery store chains here), and I followed her back to her home. We had a cup of tea and sat up chatting - she's a retired school teacher and principal, which means, in the tiny town of Klövsjö, she knows just about everyone. The next day, after a breakfast of bacon, eggs, delicious cheese, and a taste of Kalles (spreadable caviar in a tube, a staple here), we set off on a tour of the village. The night before, I could already sense that Klövsjö was going to be beautiful - it's set on a hill, with a lake at the bottom and a small ridge (including a ski area) providing a backdrop. In the daytime, it was gorgeous - I couldn't have accidentally stumbled upon a better place.