July 2008


Mario del Monaco is one of the singers I don’t really know anything about. And really haven’t listened to either. But damn, this Tosca recording is awesome. Starts of mellow and moves with the music to a truly stunning peak. Awesome, so awesome.

Hat tip to Red-Eyed Jenna for the showing the stuff to me in the first place.

The Ansari X price really caught my imagination a few years back. And when Burt Rutan and his company Scaled Composites took the price and then subsequently announced a cooperation with Sir Richard Branson and the hydra which is Virgin, I was thrilled.

And now? By damn, things are getting really cool, really fast!

The signal tapping law and discussions have certainly been both interesting and revealing. Here follows a few links for those interested. I’m afraid they’re all in Swedish though ūüôā

  • First out, Sweden as an Echelon node by Rick Falkvinge (leader Swedish Pirate Party). Now, I’d be the first to admit that it feels absurd and far fetched. But it would also explain a few things, as for example the Swedish prime minister, or indeed the coalition itself, are so bloody close mouthed.
  • Secondly, Falkvinge again, but this time on the idea that it would be a crime for a Swedish citizen to witness a crime without interfering. Branded by the coalition as a way to improve safety, this is a terrible, terrible idea.
  • Thirdly, via HAX, Emma gives us a rundown on the laws and the ideas. This is truly scary stuff. A must-read.
  • And lastly, HAX himself gets into trouble with the law. Because you know, if you’re the head of an organization that has admittedly broken Swedish laws for several years, the best thing to to when discovered is try to silence the discoverer. Right?

What kind of idiots are running this country anyway?

In no particular order.

Enjoy!

Long time since I posted any YouTube opera. Here comes a movie version of Nessun Dorma, from Turandot, with Franco Corelli. It might not be beautiful all the time, but damn, listen to the man as he reaches higher, it just doesn’t stop. What a flow. It is one of the few times I think running water comes to mind, it’s like a god damn river!

Introduction
The normal gang, ie. yours truly, Marc, R+V was complimented this year by a man called Gustav to Fulufj√§llen. You never now what the cat drags in, but Gustav was actually a fairly normal person, and kind of cool too, which was a relief…

This year I actually know there will be people reading this little travelogue, which means… I don’t know, perhaps I’ll keep it shorter than normal i cheer protest? Anyway, I had no new equipment this year. I was a bit strapped for cash, and really, I do have most of the things I need, it’s the wants that’s the problem, and those can be overcome by determination. Or so I’ve heard. I do want to change my mattress to something else.. *grumble grumble*

This was the 3rd time I went out with my Akto tent. And by damn, it just gets better and better. Marc and Gustav shared another Hilleberg and R+V went in their Nallo GT.

The plan was simple, we’d go by car to Mora to Marc’s parents small cottage in S√∂rsj√∂n, park one car there and another at Njupesk√§r, and then walk “between the cars” over √Ėstra Tangen and then north.

This is what it ended up like:

  • Day 1: To S√∂rsj√∂n
  • Day 2: S√∂rsj√∂n -> Tang√•dalen (over √Ėstra Tangen)
  • Day 3: Tang√•dalen -> Tangsj√∂stugan
  • Day 4: Tangsj√§stugan -> R√∂rsj√∂stugan
  • Day 5: R√∂rsj√∂stugan -> Njupesk√§t -> Home

Day one; Luxury start
Me, R+V started off from Stockholm by car in the damn eraly bird morning. As an added bonus, all public transport buses in Stockholm where on strike, meaning I had to simply walk to the train station (which would take me up to R+V place north of the central town). Mmmm, early morning walking. Mmmmm.

Anyway, I survived that, and Rolf expediently drove us up to Mora where we in short order: 1) met Gustav who’d come down from Ume√•; 2) got stuffed on burgers fresh of the grilli; and 3) finished off the shopping and got under way to S√∂rsj√∂n.

S√∂rsj√∂n is… A nice place. Sorrounded by water and stunning nature. It does however have mosquitos. A. Lot. Of. Them. And at this point a curious pattern emerged. The otherwise animal-friendly and soft Gustav turned out to hate mosquitos with a vengence. He only wanted to kill them. Hard. And brutally. While the mosquitos loved him, wanted to cherish him, stay close to him, and ultimately, bite him.

The evening ended with a brilliant wok performed by the ever surprising Rolf. In fact R+V took care of the cooking this trip, and did so brilliantly. And there was a bottle of Shiraz involved as well. Penfolds Koonunga Hill I do believe it was.

Day two; The heat is on
Some of us woke early. But that I mean, I was up quite some time before the rest of the pack. The mosquitoes in the cottage drove me mad, untill I surendered and moved out in the early morning sun instead.

It was a brilliant early morning though.

Also, we had good weather almost the entire duration of the trek. And it started here. As we made our way up the woods towards √Ėstra Tangen it quickly became apparent that this would be a hot trip indeed.

Starting with woodlands was also a nice warm up for the walk and as we closed in on the mountains the woods were nice and varied. Although slightly rough the last kilometer or so, climbing very quickly upwards giving your muscles a final rough down. Compared to the dramatic ending of the woods, crossing √Ėstra Tangen was eventless, and to be honest, rather boring.

Day three; What path?
We were lucky and stumbled upon a brilliant camping place right next to Tang√•n the day before; rushing waters, sunshine and a very nice woodland valley. We continued up the valley floor following the river. This seemed fine as an idea but quickly turned out to be slightly harder than we had anticipated. There was a path marked on the maps, however it was marked as “hard to navigate” and that was an understatement.

But hell, it was fun. And featuring a very, very beautiful, gnarly, wild and wondrous woodland. Here I did wish for a better camera, I didn’t even try to capture this part with my little Pentax, it just wouldn’t make it justice.

After much amazement and a very slow pace we arrived at Tangåstugan were we met the worlds tiredest dog tm.

Continuing up towards Tangsj√∂stugan, you’re again reminded that Fulufj√§llen, although reknowned for their variyng landscapes and flowers and wildlife and what not, offer a very uniform view on “kalfj√§llet”. Not very inspiring, and since the first day of walking was kind of tuff for untrained rookies like us, the second day, ending as it did with a stretch of uniform “lets just get across this bit” of walking, I think it is safe to say that I wasn’t alone in being damn tired when we arrived at Tangsj√∂stugan.

We made camp close by, and collapsed for an hour or so. The evening featured, in no particular order: Yet another, by trekking standards, luxurious meal; a fire; some pipesmoking; a surreal d-day mosquito invasion across the lake; yours truly submerging his left foot in the lake (with the boot on) for no apparent reason at all (which, let me tell you, offers a very refreshing view on the intelligence of men in general and this particular man specificly); a very nice sunset; Lindemans bin 45 Cabernet Sauvignon; and, some more whisky.

Day four; Re-la-la-laxing
We were all relieved that the last day apparently was to be relaxed. A nice short trek (10km or so). And the possibility of a sauna and some refreshments at the, or so the rumor said, well stocked Rörsjöstugan. And so it was. And personally, the first 5km will stand out in my memory; the weather was nice, I had no particular pains, and the path seemed to simply flow below me without me noticing. Really, really nice.

R√∂rsj√∂stugan did indeed have a sauna. And they sold beer. They also had the worlds most close mouthed mother of a host tm, but hell, given the sauna and the beer we didn’t mind too much.

Here I also lived through something which will settle nicely at 2nd place on my personal “amazingly surprising uncommon things to do”-list when I by accident almost stepped on a nest with a baby “ripa”, after which her mother literally chased me back to, and around, the camp. Brilliant fun for the entire family! (For reference, the 1st place on said list involves accidentially tripping on a rat).

Later me and Marc went to the top of Njupeskär to see if the passage north of the fall down to the valley was an option. Again, a very nice evening and now also a dramatic landscape. However, the bridge at the top Njupeskär was swept away in the spring floods and had yet to be replaced, so we decied to take the easy way down the day after.

After which the rain entered. And didn’t let go…

Day six; Home through the rain

We cleared the camp in hard rain which simply did not stop, went down to the car, walked up to Njupeskär to have a look, ate lunch at the restaurant and went home.

This was yet again a very nice trip. The weather was very nice until the end, there was no big hickups and, yes, we had not forgotten sunscreen this year.

Yes, we have pretty pictures!

Now I’m thinking of hitting the mountains one or two more times this year. One with a few friends who’ve never been up there trekking and one trip by myself. It’s just… er… that I’ve been saying that for 3 years straight. Well, 3rd time’s the charm, eh?

Oh, and the whisky for the trip was Caol Ila 12YO. And good it was too.

Damn, I love this stuff!