Sunday, May 11, 2008

Allemansrätten in Sweden

Guaranteed in Sweden’s constitution is the right of public access, Allemansrätten literally, everyman’s right. According to Naturvårdsverket, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency: “The Right of Public Access is a unique right to roam freely in the countryside. But with the right come responsibilities – to take care of nature and wildlife and to show consideration for landowners and for other people enjoying the countryside. The Swedish EPA sums up the Right of Public Access in the phrase ‘Don’t disturb – Don’t destroy.’”

DCP and I took advantage of this and headed up a ways north. About 300 km north. To Dalarna. Home to the infamous Dalahäst. And a 75km lake formed hundreds of millions of years ago by a huge meteor. Lake Siljan. We made the drive, after a slight detour early in the trip (from which it has been decided it is better to trust an old fashioned map than it is to trust or The sun was shining, Sweden’s summer weather was warming our skins, or warming DCP’s, burning mine really, and life was good. We were going camping.

Once again according to Naturvårdsverket and Allemansrätten “You may pitch your tent for a night or two in the countryside as long as you don’t disturb the landowner or cause damage to nature.” So we did.

We managed to find a little dirt road, took that, parked the car and found a spot for the tent about 10 feet from the water. I promptly went swimming. Which was nice, and not as cold as it was in early April down near Helsingborg.

Having taken a dip there wasn’t much left on the
agenda. And that’s the beauty of camping I suppose. So we stared at the lake. Ate some food. And enjoyed being outside. It was light well past 11 in the evening.

And I woke up around 4:45 to the sun streaming into the tent as if it were the middle of the day. So I took pictures. Because it’s not every day you are camping in front of a lake with the sun shining before 5 am.

The morning was spent packing up. And taking another dip. This one much colder than the evening before. But finally I managed, before permanent shrinkage set in to submerge myself and get the hell out.

We started driving home in the afternoon. Leisurely. Stopped at a giant Dalahäst and took pictures. Apparently some sort of world record. I didn’t actually stop to read the whole sign because it was all just a bit ridiculous. Of course it’s a world record. What other country is going to build a giant concrete Dalahäst?

Having seen the horse we continued on. And found another lovely little lake to stop at. This one also involving a dip. A dopp if you will. Quite a bit warmer. And lovely all around. Kind of red murky water though. Which I summed up to being copper from the copper mining done in the area. Basically, that just made me feel better about the redness.

After having done enough swimming for the day we made it back to Stockholm and the lovely apartment. A wonderful weekend behind us. A wonderful usage of Sweden’s Allemansrätten. A wonderful usage of Sweden’s nature.

So Welcome to Sweden. And enjoy the Siljan Lake area pictures.


  1. Loved the pictures!!
    Looks like a beautiful place!!

  2. Pretty but creepy pics.

    Has anyone heard or Finnish tent massacre at the lake Bodom in 1960? Wiki link

    It has pretty much the same kind of scenery as in these pictures.

    Anyway, I'm glad you had a blast out there. It was one of the loveliest weekends here so far.

  3. Sorry, I fucked up with this link. Let's do it in an old-fashioned way:

    I'm not scaring you but the similarity in your pictures was surprisingly big.

  4. those are gorgeous pictures.

  5. Nice Dalarna is a beautiful place.

    Btw, you seem to write in every other post that you travel to Skåne once in a while. Here's a very beautiful place down there as well:

  6. Robban -
    Thanks for the link. That's my home starting this fall! ...and if its not, don't tell me.

  7. Hairy,
    Unrelated to your post but I wanted to pass this along to you anyway.
    the New York times just did a feature on Stockholm, specifically the amazing music scene.
    Thought it would be worth a read for you and many others.
    sorry for the thread hi jack but I didnt know how else to send it to you!

  8. @anonymous - thanks

    @smek this - well thats kind of creepy. interesting that so many people have confessed but that the case live son.

    @rinalyn - thanks

    @robban - very cool link. Skåne has some beautiful places.

    @john - you should just make that your home regardless

    @travis - thanks for the tip and no worries at all. Im always down for some good links. otherwise just shoot an email to aswedishamericaninsweden@