DAY 54: SPOTTING THE STORSJODJURET


A walking tour around Östersund, Frösön Island & Lake Storsjön

After our long travel day yesterday, and the excitement of losing then retrieving our jackets, we both slept like logs last night and enjoyed a bit of a sleep in this morning. Mind you, sleeping in ’til 7:00am is nothing compared to the locals, who seem to stay awake until the wee hours of the morning and don’t show their faces until at least 11:00am. So even though we were off to late start (for us), it was still dead around town when we took ourselves for a walking tour through Östersund. It’s a pretty enough town, with a number of landmark buildings and historical sites (highlights of our petite tour are shown in the photos below).

 

Built in 1879, the Östersund train station is very quaint.

 

The Östersund Gamla Kyrkan, or Old Church, builtin 1846.

 

One of the large, wooden lake-front homes in Östersund.

 

The Stora Kyrkan, or New Church, was built in 1940 to accommodate the needs of the growing city of Östersund.

 

Östersund’s impressive City Hall building.

 

Since the town centre of Östersund is so small, our self-guided tour took all of half an hour. So we stocked up on some supplies from the local supermarket and spent the rest of our day hiking around Lake Storsjön and the island of Frösön, which is accessible from Östersund and the mainland via a bridge. Most of Frösön is taken up by residential suburbs as many of Östersund’s permanent population lives on the island; the lakefront is all parkland however, and made for an easy, peaceful walk with lots of gorgeous views over Lake Storsjön.

 

Back down at the lakefront in Östersund where things were all a-buzz last night. Much quieter this morning!

 

Looking out across the lake from Östersund towards Frösön.

 

Walking along the shores of Lake Storsjön, heading towards the island of Frösön which can be seen in the background.

 

Once we made it across the bridge to Frösön it was just us and the geese.


Storsjön is one of the largest lakes in Sweden, covering an area of over 460 square kilometres. This beautiful lake is 91m at its deepest point and is said to be home to the Storsjödjuret – a serpentine lake monster not unlike the Scottish Nessie. There  have been numerous reports filed over the centuries by people who claim to have seen the monster in the lake, and the Östersund Tourist Information Office even has a map of the lake with prime Storsjödjuret-spotting sites marked. We looked long and hard, but unfortunately did not spot any lake monsters today. We did come across a number of lovely fields of wildflowers and soft, green grass that were perfect for contemplating the wonders of the universe, however. We did lots of contemplating. Lots.


Contemplating the wonders of the universe from the shores of Lake Storsjön

 

More profound contemplations.

 

Storsjödjuret-spotting along the shores of Lake Storsjön.

 

We found it – the Storsjödjuret!

 

We managed to walk our requisite 10km minimum today and earn our picnic lunch, which we ate in a field of green grass and flowers that we shared only with the odd bumble bee. It was an easy walk, but an epic one. We’re heading off now to enjoy dinner and some more free live music down by the lakeshore again. We want to make the most of Östersund’s beautiful lake and the atmosphere of the music festival while we can, because tomorrow we’re on the move again: tomorrow we’re leaving Sweden behind and are off to Norway! So our next post will be from Trondheim, but until then, feel free to enjoy the following examples of how beautiful Östersund can be…

 

The view from our picnic spot.

 

“I give you… EPIC SWEDISH SCENERY!” says Shane.

 

Wish you were here?

 

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