Borgafjäll in South Lapland
In February of 1986, I traveled with my parents and younger brother to Borgafjäll in South Lapland, Sweden. I remember parts of that trip very clearly. We were in the car going there when the radio announced Sweden’s prime minister, Olof Palme, had been shot. A monumental occurrence in Swedish history. I was a young teenager, and the rest of the trip has been lost in memory. For a few years now, I have been obsessed with going back and staying at Hotell Borgafjäll. A while ago I even talked to them about working there for the winter season. It’s not a comfortable place to go; there are way easier ski resorts to visit, but if you have an obsession, you just have it. One thing I remember from way back when was the building itself, designed by the architect Ralph Erskine. It’s very quirky, and it has made me interested in his work in later years. A few years back I visited a rebuilt version of his super small family home, “Lådan”, a true inspiration for someone like me who wants to rid herself of all excess baggage. Anyhow, finally this year I took the time to go there!
I booked a weekend package, a flight to Vilhelmina (sorry Mac, it was the most practical), a car to take me the last 160 km, gear, and a snowmobile. To my delight, my very good friend Pialena decided to tag along! Little did she know my snowboarding was a little rusty, but I was betting on my snowmobiling skills to be somewhat intact at least.
After my brother’s snowboarding accident two weeks ago (a crushed knee after a missed landing), I was a wee bit scared hitting the slopes, and it showed. Thankfully, Pia decided to try telemark skiing, so she was slower than she normally is (ordinarily she is a speed queen, but the new discipline slowed her down to a reasonable speed). Ok. Snowboarding was fun, but what really kicked up my serotonin levels was a day on the snowmobile! My goodness—the most fun I’ve had in years! We rented two Ski-doo touring snowmobiles, and Leonard (the poor fellow in the ski shop) looked truly scared when we took off. You don’t need a driver’s license for those things if you are as old as we are, but it’s good with a bit of knowledge. We promised we were experienced but still had to ask how to start the thing. The poor boy looked very relieved upon our return! Anyhow. We had planned a round trip from Borgafjäll to Klimpfjäll, Saxnäs, and back. A good day’s ride mostly above the tree line but also on the frozen lake Kultsjön and among the mountain birches in between. Clear skies, not too cold, and mostly calm winds And practically alone on the mountains. This was truly a day to remember. I honestly lack words.
Of course I brought a golf club (an old wedge) and a few colorful balls. I need to work if my game is to improve. So I do. Anyway – great weekend, great company and the most fun I’ve had in a while.