The best thing about Norrland is the unpredictability. Like when fine culture moves into a sheep house. In the small village of Holmnäs outside Umeå, a well-attended opera performance is held once a year in the sheep house where the acoustics send a libretto echoing far over the meadows in the bright summer night.
For many, Jokkmokk is most associated with the annual market and with Bengt Djupbäck, which the singer Jokkmokk-Jocke was really called. For others, Jokkmokk is the obvious center for Sami from all over Sapmi.
One of the world’s largest cities, one of the most remote, one of the most mythical. From deepest mine to highest mountain, through space research and reindeers – yes, all roads should lead to Kiruna.
Along the slowest part of the E4, between Umeå and Skellefteå, you pass the seemingly insignificant village with the self-explanatory name Ljusvattnet. Crystal clear lakes, summer and winter.
Outside Storuman is Stensele, a small village in large forests. In the mighty wooden church, one of the largest in the country, besides Queen Kristina’s Bible, there is also a copy of the world’s smallest Bible, small as a stamp.
Storavan is a lake which, like Hornavan, is part of the Skellefteå river system. In the spring Storavan has always been a valuable land for many migratory birds, but it grew again for some time. By pumping water, removing scrub and grazing cows, the valuable habitat has been restored for roosting and breeding birds and today swans, ducks and many other species of birds can be found breeding around the lake.
Scotland has its Nessie, Östersund has its Storsjöodjur. Less famous but locally still captivating are the myths about the beast in Tavlesjön between Umeå and Vindeln that once dragged a dog to the bottom.