Västerbotten

5 07 2014

After a day at home after our trip to the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria I decided to see what I could do about adding a new county to my Swedish geocaching map. A couple of months ago and unexpected trip to Halland allowed me to fill in the first of the four remaining counties where I haven’t found any caches. See post Halland.

I decided that I would add the county of Västerbotten to my list. It’s a 480 km drive from Gävle to Umeå, which is the county capital, so quite easily done in a day. It was also a good opportunity to find caches in new boroughs in Sweden as well. In hindsight I probably wouldn’t have taken the E4 both north to Umeå and back south again. It would have been much better to have taken an inland route and ticked off a few more boroughs. However, the preparation time was minimal as the journey was more or less made at a whim. In addition to that an inland route back would have added a further 300+ km to my journey as there are not that many major roads in the north.

When I was sitting in my hotel room on the Wednesday evening I toyed with the idea of continuing on to the county of Norrbotten so I could consider that “done” as well. A quick look at the map showed me that I would be adding another 450 km to my trip if I drove up to Piteå and back and that in terms of time would be over five hours. I think I will take the train up to either Boden or fly to Luleå in order to save time and the wear and tear on my car. The only downside to that is that I won’t be passing through new boroughs on the journey, at least not anywhere that I can stop.

My first stop was in Timrå at WHY. You can guess that by looking at the photo.

Y

Y

From there I continued on to Härnösand where I found Kriget som aldrig kom. I would love to see what is behind that door.

The door to the ex- civil defense control bunker. I wonder what is there now?

The door to the ex- civil defense control bunker. I wonder what is there now?

Then it was on to Örnsköldsvik where I was able to find my 100th earthcache at Giant’s Kettle” as well as a couple of other caches. The earthcache photos weren’t so good so I haven’t posted them.

I managed to drive right through Nordmaling without realising it but consoled myself by knowing I was going back the same way. Rain was forecast for the afternoon and sure enough as I approached Umeå it started and poured all night and into the morning which meant that caching in the city was called off. Some rain doesn’t bother me but it was torrential. Luckily I had stopped to find TB Hotell Hörnefors Södra just as I came into the borough of Umeå so I wasn’t too disappointed.

One of the caches I found in Vännäs, where it was also pouring down, was B 1219 an old goods class steam engine. I always wonder where the cache will be placed on such a huge piece of steel and hate it when the hint is “magnetic”. Luckily this was easily found. I thought that the station building was fantastic but there won’t be many travellers who will see it these days.

An old goods engine in Vännäs

An old goods engine in Vännäs

Vännäs station after restoration

Vännäs station after restoration

A completely different style of station in Umeå

A completely different style of station in Umeå

I stopped at Olofsfors and another spot in Nordmaling on my way back home and found the old ironworks to be interesting. The cache was Olofsfors.

One of the many building still standing in the Olofsfors ironworks.

One of the many building still standing in the Olofsfors ironworks.

I made a few more stops on the drive home and found a few interesting caches. Can you spot the one in this photo?

Can you spot the cache? It's in plain sight.

Can you spot the cache? It’s in plain sight.


My final stop was close to home. Futuro Just south west of Tönnebro is an area where the squadron F15 based in Söderhamn used to have target practice. It’s possible to go there, but never leave the roads. There are two really amazing towers that were used for spotting how accurate the bombing missions were. I was there some years ago before a cache was placed on one of the towers but now I had a new excuse to visit the place again. There are two barriers on the road. If the second one is also up expect muggles to be in the tower area.

One of the two observation towers at Norrbränning bombing range.

One of the two observation towers at Norrbränning bombing range.

The trip netted me six new boroughs and a new county thus filling in a large white area on the map of Sweden. The new boroughs I found caches in were thus: Timrå, Härnösand, Örnsköldsvik, Nordmaling, Umeå and Vännäs. The county was Västerbotten. That leaves me just Norrbotten and Gotland before I have a fully shaded map of Sweden, at the county level at least.

A couple of days after my return home it was time for a new adventure.

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