June 6 is National Day in Sweden. As such Swedes take the day off and spend their time relaxing with friends and family, many making their way outdoors to explore all that Sweden has to offer. I too followed suit and decided to do some exploring of my own. Instead of going west into the heart of Umeå I decided to go east to Nydalasjön, or Nydala Lake.

The campsites by the lake were for the most part full with people enjoying their day off. I walked around on the road that follows the lake for awhile, stopping here and there to catch a view of the placid lake. I quickly realized the need for insect repellent as the mosquitoes in summer are both relentless and in seemingly unending numbers, But with a little bit of good ‘ol deet they suddenly disappear and you are left wondering if they ever really existed.

Despite the application of insect repellent, little flies called midges still fly around you constantly, desperately searching for a repellent-less spot to take a nice tasty bite of you. To the midges dismay, they were unable to find a nice chunk of my flesh to sample and I was permitted to go about my day in relative peace.

I eventually made my way away from the crowds to a boggy wetland area to the west of the lake. The area is covered in sphagnum moss which absorbs a large amount of water so when you step on it, it is as if you are ringing out a sponge. Needless to say, my feet got a bit wet despite my best efforts to stay dry. Fun fact, Native Americans used sphagnum moss as an absorbent material for baby drapers.

Once out on the bog, I sat down on some logs and rested for a bit. The bog was treeless where I sat and I suspect that is because the moss grew over the once open water and is merely floating, therefore not allowing any large trees to be established due to instability. While sitting on the logs I decided to try and take a panorama of the area. The final product is the picture linked above. If you look closely on the right side you can see the bridge I walked over to get onto the peninsula the bog is located on.

All in all I think my small escapade on Sweden’s National Day was quite a success. Being within walking distance of an area that seems so remote while living in a city is just so mind boggling for me. But in northern Sweden this is normal, and perhaps this is something that I could get used to.