RoadTrip #24: The Halden Canal in Norway and the Båstnäs Car Cemetery in Sweden (+ trying out a new border crossing point)

This roadtrip was done in February 2022, so the grounds are still covered in snow and the lakes – frozen! It was one of our mini weekend getaway. The plan was to stay in a herregård (manor house in Säffle, Sweden) for a night, and just visit a couple of sights on the way. I chose the Halden Canal in Ørje, one of the more popular border crossings between the two countries, and Carl chose the Båstnäs Car Cemetery in Årjäng. A car cemetery? Intriguing..

Early winter morning

We left home around 07:30 in the morning. After making a detour to Konnerud to deliver some tools to Carl’s boss, we drove on towards Ørje. February is probably the coldest winter month for me. Everything is white and dry and freezing cold. I am not very fond of it, but traveling is still better than just staying at home – no matter how cozy it can be with a hot cup of cocoa.

Now, we have passed through Ørje many times because that border crossing station leads to Töcksförs Shopping Center, which has been our preferred marketplace for a harryhandel (shopping in Sweden). We knew that there’s something to see there, an attraction. We finally decided to stop over and have a look. We found a big parking space for cars and home mobiles. Then, we took a walk along the frozen lake.

Frozen Rødenessjøen (lake)
Ice, ice baby
Winter – please take a vacay

I remember the area to be wide, with uphills, grass and towering trees. It must be a good recreational place for a picnic, a walk, or just a stretch for roadtrippers like us.

Ørje

But the main attraction in Ørje is the lock belonging to the Halden Canal. There’s a museum for the canal, but as we arrived there quite early in the middle of winter, it was unfortunately closed. However, there were helpful information boards and brochures.

Haldenkanalen was built between 1852-1860, a special cultural heritage which serves as a proof of norwegian innovativeness and creativity. It spans a length of 80 kilometers, and one of the two older canals in Norway (the other one being in Telemark, which I also visited in 2016 during the OiO ISS excursion: https://pinayodyssey.com/2017/03/12/norway-the-telemark-canal-the-wonderful-waterway-uio-iss-excursion-part-2/). More information about the Halden Canal and its locks here: https://www.visitnorway.com/listings/the-halden-canal/4491/.

The very definition of a communal library – where trust is the boss
Thick, thick ice
The boats that pass on the Halden Canal
The total length of Haldenkanalen

In Ørje, there are three locks. We also went to the museum, but as I’ve said, it was closed.

Ørje locks
Halden Canal Museum

We were literally by the border to Sweden, but then, we decided to use another border crossing. We were so excited with the new path, as it seemed more secluded!

Trying out a new road
Seriously, where were we?
Starting to get unsure…
Finally, the sign that says “Sweden —>”

It was thrilling to discover new roads.. and we were like, “Are we being watched? How do they know we’re crossing the border? Where are the hidden CCTVs?”

The marking of the border between Norway and Sweden
We have nothing to hide! Posing at the “new”ly discovered border crossing

And so we were in Sweden again. One of my ultimate favorite countries to visit! ❤ More and more kilometers of narrow and winding rural roads and we reached the junkyard.. or more respectfully known as the car cemetery in Båstnäs! It was like an open air museum, full of “dead” cars – from luxury ones to cars for practical use. It was vast, and we were not the only visitors in the area. So, here are the many shots I’ve taken from the Car Cemetery.. a.k.a. the Car Heaven. Imagine, each car had a life..

I’ve never seen anything like the brother Ivansson’s car graveyard.. It’s amazing. And creepy at the same time. There were like hundreds of cars there. Some were even decaying back into nature. Visiting the area is free and taking pictures is encourages, but they remind visitors that the junkyard is still a private property. Therefore, it is not allowed to steal parts of the old cars.

It was a unique experience, to summarize. After that, Carl and I continued our roadtrip to the humble city of Säffle, where the manor house was waiting for us. I also wanted to sightsee in the quiet city very much. More about it in the next entry. 🙂 #spreadloveandpositivevibes

An old house in the middle of the graveyard

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