RoadTrip #14: Sweden’s inner landscape and a visit to Värmlands Moose Park

This trip happened in September 2021, preomicron, when restrictions in crossing the border were eased. After having a good night sleep in Karlstad, we continued our weekend getaway and drove across inner Sweden – which, shrouded with fog and mist, looked mysterious and magical. We visited Värmlands Moose Park and learned a lot about the king of the forest through an expert tourguide (who also runs the park). Before the tour, I didn’t know that moose drop their antlers in winter to grow a new one (and boy, are their antlers heavy!). Also, the solitary animal usually mates during the autumn season. Elg-mommies are very protective of their calves, stays with them for a year, and then, shoos them away to fend for themselves! 🙂 The trip concluded with some shopping at Charlottenberg, one of the popular shopping centers by the border.

Breakfast @ Best Western Gustaf Froding Hotel & Konferens
The large dining area was helpful in maintaining distance

We left the hotel at 8 am, and the following pictures show how driving through Sweden that day looked like:

Roads were clear, but the views… not so much.
Extra careful – but the views are nice!

After about 30 minutes of driving, the views finally cleared up! We stopped over by the big lake Östra Örten to stretched our legs.

We knew we were in the middle of something
A little frosty
Östra Örten lake

It didn’t take long before it occured to me that Sweden is a country of many lakes! Sweden has about 95,000 lakes, while Finland (which is dubbed the land of a thousand lakes) has about 187, 000! Norway, on the other hand, “only” has about 65,000 lakes. During autumn, the lakes in Sweden are covered in mist, making it look mysterious, like in either a romantic movie or a horror one!

Autumn slowly creeps in
Do you see the mist? This is beautiful Gräsmången lake.
At this point, you can imagine my husband telling me how mist is formed. Haha

Next lake we passed by was Grässjön. We also had to stop over because, wow, it was beautiful!

Finding a road that leads to the lake I see to my right side
Grässjön lake
Is it floating? Nope. Yes. Stable? Ok. Let’s go.
Grässjön lake. Sjö is a swedish word for lake, by the way.
Just peaceful and calm

Grässjön lake was long, and we stopped over again on the north coast, where there was a camping site and a sandy beach. A couple of visitors also came with fishing rods. I suspect it’s a popular destination in summer.

Neimen.. (=norwegian expression to mean surprise, wonder, admiration and many other feelings)
.. here, my “Neimen” means wow!
The sun rises over misty Grässjön lake
Grässjön lake

Driving the rest of the kilometers to the moose park be like:

Rådasjön lake
Now you see it..
.. now you don’t!

Around 10 am, we finally reached the moose park. I was so pumped and excited! While waiting, we played with two chubby park cats!

Huge cats!
Missy will be jelly if she finds out..
Moose antlers by the entrance

The moose park is run by a half-English, half-Swedish family, which was interesting because, like, how did they come up with the idea of the park?, why?, and again, why moose-farming? They don’t really “farm” the moose, but I wondered if they get funding from the government, or just from the visitors’ fee. What do they do with the moose (meese?) after.. Do they just keep them, or release them afterwards? Why didn’t I ask these questions while we were there? Carl, being a Swede, talked with the tourguide during the tour and the breaks.

Hello, male elg 🙂
One of the ladies having a cozy time
The male enclosure

In the park, we met 5 moose. Girls and boys separated because, well, a 1 year-old moose named Gustav was “in the heat” during that time. We were told not to pet him, and to be extra careful if we try to feed him. So, there’s Gustav, Minty and Sonny on the boys’ enclosure, and Alice and Clara in the girls’.

Feeding time!
Husband feeding the moose an apple
Omg, it let me touch her!

The tourguide seemed very knowledgeable about the moose. He shared many interesting information about the animal’s behavior, mating rituals, birthing and rearing rituals, how to react when seeing a moose.. So, basically, how cool these animals are. I wouldn’t spoil much and will just highly recommend the tour to learn more.

A one year old bull
He’s taller than me at 1, eh?
Standing next to a European woman. I’m not as tall as I assumed myself to be.
Strong hooves

The moose in the park are babies. I wonder how big they’d be in their adult years. Scary to think about! At the end of the informative tour, we were allowed to try and carry the antlers displayed by the entrance. The animals also get help to cut the antlers if they become too heavy and they still haven’t dropped them.

Oh boy, they’re heavy!

The tour was finished at around 1:15 pm, so we drove off again and decided to end the trip at Charlottenberg shopping center, since it’s more “on the way” that our regular Töcksfors. We ate lunch in Torsby, and then reached Charlottenberg at around 4 pm. It was slightly bigger, but you know what they say about bigger.. More complicated.

Driving in Sweden
Lunch at Torsby
To Charlottenberg
Charlottenbergs shopping center

It took about 2 hours and 30 minutes to drive from Charlottenberg to Drammen. There were some quick stopovers, like the one in Røytjern, Norway, where caught a geocache and where Carl saw a beetle. Or the beetle saw Carl.

Røytjern (small lake)
The trees surrounding Røytjern
Salaguinto, salagubang!
Otw home

Yes, it was dark when we reached home. But it’s ok. We enjoyed the roadtrip very much, I think we both agree on that! Until the next roadtrip! #spreadloveandpositivevibes



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