Winter has arrived

10 ways to enjoy winter in Blekinge

In the middle of January, the new year is made for wonderful excursions in the nature. The darkness is still imminent and slush is reality. But when the temperature is below zero, it is time to put on the covers and experience Blekinge's fantastic winter country. Pack your lunch bag at home or enjoy a meal over the open fire.

After quiet weekends around Christmas and New Year, the January excursions are eagerly awaited in many families. The light is returning - well it remains several months before the afternoon light feels reliable - and makes us return to the forest and the archipelago. Yet it is in January that longing for nature is as tangible, for the motion, the light and the economy. No matter how you evaluate the nature experiences, they rarely cost a penny. If you don´t get stuck in the material world and spend time on things rather than experiences.

Vinterlek i snön - Foto av Niklas Kämpargård - Visit Blekinge

Head out and enjoy the winter on a "kick".

 

Although it´s neccessary with thick ice for many winter activities, the Blekinge forests are full of shallow lakes that freeze quickly when the temperature falls. Make sure to become a member of Långsfärdsskrinnarna i Sydöst  (long distance skaters in South-East -part of Friluftsfrämjandet) to take part of others' experience and join guided tours. Don't forget safety equipment (ice nails, shoes adapted for ice and lifeline) and never head out on the ice alone. It´s also a good idea to tell a friend where you plan to do. 

10 wintertips

 

1. An ordernary walk

Take a walk in the winter, preferably in a beautiful nature reserve or along the sea on Listerland's beaches, is a great way to get out and take part of the crispy January air. Don´t forget about the tights, warm clothes and something nice to sit on. If you have time and opportunity, an open fire is an excellent way to keep warm. There are usually fireplaces in most nature reserves and also nice restareas around many outdoor facilities, such as Bastasjö, Mörtsjöåsen, Långasjönäs, Halen and Ryssbergsstugan. Ynde outside Sölvesborg is a lovely village on the border between Blekinge and Skåne where you can walk around the small lake Siesjö and enjoy the proximity of Ryssberget. You can easily get here by car or bus ( info about www.blekingetrafiken.se  at the bottom of the page) and can check in on the nearby Yndegårdens vandrarhem .

Vintervandra i Blekinge - Foto av Niklas Kämpargård

Wonderful winterenvironments in Blekinge.

 

2. Make openfire pancakes

Openfire pancakes (“Kolbullar” in Swedish) consists of pancake-like paste with diced salted pork. A nice meal after an active day, especially when it is a little bit colder outdoors. The openfire pancake was developed during the great coal and lumberman era in the middle of the 19th century when the Finnish food culture was refined and became Swedish. First you fry the salted pork in butter and then pour on the pancake paste. Serve with lingonberries.

 Vinter outdoorcooking i Blekinge - Foto Niklas Kämpargård - Visit Blekinge

Make openfire pancakes.

 

Recipe: Openfire pancakes, 4 persons.

  • 5 dl of wheat flour
  • 6 dl water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400 grams of salted pork
  • Butter
  • Lingonberry (jam or raw lingonberry)

This is how to make it: Mix the paste at home and store in a tight bottle. Preferably with a large lid so that the paste can be whipped out in the forest. Alternatively, you can close the lid and shake the bottle to prevent the paste from leaking. Dice the pork and fry it crunchy with plenty of butter. Remove the pork and put in a quarter of the pork in the pan and pour over a quarter of the paste. Fry the pancake on medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Turn it and fry on the other side. Serve with raw lingonberries.

Laga mat över öppen eld - Visit Blekinge - Foto av Niklas Kämpargård

("Kolbulle") Openfire pancake with delicious lingonberry.

 

3. Make a snowman

It may seem simple, but difficult if it is neither cold nor is snow on the ground. The advantage is that you hardly need small children, because as an adult you have the right to make your own snowman. Bring an old hat, a carrot and a scarf and head out on open lawns (it is perfectly in central parks or adjacent to a recreation area) and start rolling snow to big balls. Ask the children or neighbor's children to create the most beautiful snowman in the neighborhood. The advantage of big snowmen is that they usually cope with several warmer days before they collapse into a pile.

Visit Blekinge - Gör en snögubbe - Foto av Niklas Kämpargård - 830 x 437 Make a snowman.

 

4. Ride sledge on steep slopes or in small piles

There is nothing better than the first sledge ride whith newly-fallen snow on the ground. When the sledge slides hard against the ground and the leaves are spraying in the grove. That is when it is winter for real in southern Sweden. Snow racer or sledge doesn't matter. As long as it goes fast (put a helmet on both the kids and yourself), most people love a sledgeride. Do not forget to bring the obligatory thermos with hot chocolate. Of course, made of the right cocoa and nothing else.

 

5. Cross-country skiing

Despite modest winters, there are good opportunities to go cross-country skiing in Blekinge as soon as the snow settles. Apart from golf courses and open grasslands, Karlsnäsgården in Ronneby offers the absolute best cross country skiing in Blekinge. Choose between forest tracks with natural snow in the forest or the shorter, but well-prepared light track with artificial snow.

You can of course rent cross-country skiing at Karlsnäsgården which is open during the weekends. On weekdays, however, the ski rental is closed. www.karlsnasgarden.se

Fee: SEK 50 (per adult). If you want to rent skis at the same time, the fee is 150 SEK / adult (including track fee) and children up to 19 years 50 SEK (free track fee).

Längdskidåkning i Blekinge - Foto av Niklas KämpargårdCrosscountry-skiing in Blekinge.

 

6. Bathing in the winter

Bathing in the winter is much more than juming into the ice-cold water. Usually - almost always actually - the ritual begins with a long and comfortable warming up in the sauna before it is time to jump into the cold water. By first warming up, the bath feels like a relief. If you don´t want to take a sauna before you can bath in any water. I prefer to bath in the carved ice-hole where after a short swim, we might say as it is: a dip, you are quickly back in the sauna again. And longing for the next bath in the is-hole. At Friluftsfrämjand's facility Nytorpet at Långasjönäs in Karlshamn you can enjoy and swim in Stora Kroksjön. The men's sauna is wood-fired and almost always warm, but if you come first it will only take 45 minutes to heat the sauna to comfortable temperatures. The ladies sauna, on the other hand, is heated by electricity and it takes 45 minutes to heat it up. You can also take a sauna at Stora Alljungen in Karlskrona. Contact Friluftsfrämjandet in the cabin during the weekends.

 

7. Winterfishing

– fishing perch on a winterlake

There are few things better than settle down, on a reindeer skin (or sheepskin), on thick winter ice on a lake and fishing delicious perch (among others) with a jig. All you need is warm clothes, a jigrod, maggot or shrimp. Of course, an ice drill is needed, especially if the ice is thick.

You can break thin ice with an ax or skewer, but it is considerably safer with an ice drill. Keep in mind that fishing is free in some fishing waters and in others there is a fee for fishing. In general, the fishing waters are good in the northern parts of the county where the ice settles early on shallow beautiful lakes. Don't forget the lifeline, ice-nails and preferably life jacket. Never go out on the ice alone.

Pimpla abborre i Blekinges vintervatten - Foto av Niklas Kämpargård

Everybody should try and experience fishing perch in a frozen lake.

 

8. Long - distance skating on shallow lakes

Long-distance skating is an activity that fits both old and young. It is not very difficult to go and with long-distance skates (considerably longer than classic hockey skates) and warm and stable boots, you can quickly reach over frozen water. Shallow lakes are considerably safer to go on than the open sea. Keep in mind that the ice can be affected enormously by currents, outlets and inlets and hard winds. Never go alone and never without an experienced friend. If you´re on your own, you can join  "Långfärdsskrinnarna" (long-distance skaters) in South East on adventures. https://lss.skridsko.net 

 

9. Hike on Laxaleden

– follow the rushing water of the Mörrum river

The impressive Laxaleden (30 km) follows the Mörrum rivers shore all the way from Elleholm up to Ebbamåla Bruk or vice versa depending on the direction you go. You can also start in Mörrum and follow the river for a few kilometers north - or south - and then take the main road back. In winter, the flow in Mörrumsån is usually high with a fascinating force in the water masses. Don't miss a coffee at Ninas Konditori (Mörrum) or a visit to Kronolaxfisket . You can find the opening hours at www.sveaskog.se/morrum and www.ninaskonditori.se

Vintervandra längs Laxaleden i Blekinge - Foto av Niklas Kämpargård 

High water-flow in Mörrum river.

 

 

10. Slalom – is that possible in south Sweden?

Absolutely, especially if you can consider taking the car to Rödeby or continue across the border to Skåne to Vångabacken in Vånga (northeast of Kristianstad).

Both Rödebybacken and Vångabacken have lifts, snow cannons and impressive functionaries who, on a voluntary basis, make sure to manage thier slalom facility.  www.rodebybacken.se www.vangabacken.com

Skidåkning nedför nära Blekinge - Foto av Niklas Kämpargård

Mountainexperiences at Vångaberget.

 

“Open local transport” (Öppen närtrafik) - what does it mean?

If you want to take public transports to places where there is usually no bus or train, you can use the service "Open local transport” (Öppen närtrafik). There are certain requirements: the address that you are traveling to or from must be at least 1 km from an ordinary stop or that the stop (can be closer than 1 km) is operated at maximum with two double trips a day. Then you can order Open local transport that connects to so-called target points in your geographical area. This means that you will be picked up at one place and taken to the nearest destination where you can step on regular bus or train. The service is daily between 08: 00-18: 00 and can only be applied in Blekinge. You cannot go to or from an address outside the county. However, it is excellent to go between Blekinge's five municipalites. www.blekingetrafiken.se