Thursday, 22 May 2014

Along the North South Trail

The Nord-sydleden runs from Hårsjö in the north of Skåne to Malmö and further south to Trelleborg as well the trail forms part of the E6 walking route connecting Kilpisjärvi in Finland with Alexandroupolis in Greece, a length of around 6300 km.  But for me it was a shorter trip from Löberöd to Malmö. I was fortunate with the weather as there were 3  days of glorious sunshine. The trail south from Löberöd passes through an ever changing landscape including farmland where the Rapeseed crops with their striking yellow flowers are visible for many kilometres.

South of Löberöd


Stopping for morning tea at Höghult shelter I was impressed by the wooden water race that sat below the hand pump, someone had taken a lot of time to carve it.

Water channel Höghult

Perhaps that is because the woodshed was padlocked and they needed some kindling for the fire.

Woodshed

On the side of the shelter, and in the only location I found one, was a sign indicating the E6.

E6 and Nord Sydleden

The efforts, at all levels to fund, support and  maintain the marked trails, and shelters should be commended and supported wherever possible. Leaving the shelter and the locked woodshed, I continued my journey southwards, passing through farmland and stands of forest. The birds were active and apart from the occasional vehicle on nearby roads it was quiet. The trail took me past the oldest bridge in Skåne before following a newly mown grass trail around a paddock, I wondered how long would it last. The next barbed wire fence was the answer.

Oldest stone bridge (1759) in Skåne

Clambering over the stile making sure not to touch the electrified barbed wire fence I was now in a lush green grassy paddock and my mind turned to ticks. There was no way to avoid the long grass in such warm conditions and it appeared to me that the trail, or perhaps better described as the marked route followed the western bank of the river and without the nearby fence it could have been a pleasant walk. However, I also noticed the Petasites Japonicas foliage these large trumpet leave shaped plants spread quickly especially near watercourses and are evident in many of the places I wander.

As I wandered a little further I was confronted by the following sign.

No more tanks

I thought to myself the Swedish Defence forces have come up with a new strategy for stopping invasions, just tell them not to come. Maybe I should have paid heed to the sign as I was soon confronted by about 6 soldiers pointing guns in my direction. They were spreadeagled in the long grass, I did wonder if the soldiers worried about ticks.  They were in full camouflage including the regulation shrubbery growing from their helmets. What gave them away was someone chatting away a little distance further back. I laughed and kept walking knowing that my pacer poles would win any battle with an AK5. I also noticed 2 dark silhouetted figures in the fork of a tree nearby, I hoped they did not think they were invisible.

So now I was passing by Krankesjön, with its bird viewing platforms and towers, as I sat eating lunch and could hear the tanks rumbling along the trails nearby accompanied by the occasional explosion. I wondered if the tanks, or at least their drivers, obeyed the signs. Given my experience with drivers in Denmark, I somewhat doubted it, but there again Swedish drivers do stop for you are on a pedestrian crossing.

 As I continued along the old railway line embankment I was soon in Torna Hällestad waiting for a train, more importantly though it was a pleasant spot to sit and relax in the afternoon sunshine.

Waiting for a train

Leaving the station and after a short sharp climb I was entering Knivsås-Borelunds nature area and I was now wandering through a beautiful beech forest along the ridge towards the main road where I had started my previous walk. Crossing the highway I was in familiar territory and with evening approaching I was also looking forward to my planned campsite with its views to Malmö. But first I needed to pass through Björnstorp again with it Dresscyklin railway where you can ride the rails, as long as you pedal.

Dressincyklar Björnstorp

An alternate view

Dressincyklar Björnstorp 1

Not long after I was climbing up towards Romeleklint, and located my campsite for the night, this time it would be with my Stratospire as the Notch was in for an update.

P5150154

I awoke late to another sunny and warm morning and took my time enjoying coffee and the view, much of today's walk would take in the area I and visited just a few weeks ago.  However, now the forests were green and the varying colours provided a never ending visual spectacle as I walked.

Häckeberga

Passing through Risens nature reserve I followed the road bordered by rapeseed flowers on one side and Beech trees on the other.

On the road to Glamberga

Arriving at Glamberga shelter, I immediately thought what a beautiful spot, but as the next jet departed from Malmö airport (Sturup) directly overhead I soon had a change of heart. I was in for another surprise as I approached the fireplace, discovering 4 sausages sitting on the grill with the hot coals underneath. I looked around expecting to see someone fishing or evidence of some one but no, there was no one just 4 sausages. What would you do?

Sausages

After lunch, and the passing of several more jets I continued south and eastwards to Eksholmssjön, with its beautifully located shelter adjacent to the lake, it was here that I also noticed the mosquito activity had increased, later after passing by the Bokskogens golf course. I entered the forest, avoiding a small grass snake and found a spot for the night.

The following morning I entered the beautiful township of Torup with its extensive outdoor play area, its castle grounds and numerous coffee shops and eating places. It was early so most were closed but I can visualise the area as being a hive of activity at the weekends. Soon, I was heading out of town and into the forest being quickly reminded that Malmö, the crime city, was 15 km away.

Malmö 15

I passed the PGA Sweden National Golf course with it expansive grounds and innumerable marquees, soon to be the home of the Nordea Masters . Later, after chatting with a strawberry seller I commenced the final section along an old railway line.




Rail trail

Ultimately I arrived in Bulltofta on the outskirts of the Malmö, the area is was formally an airfield which has been converted to an outdoor recreation area, and on a sunny Saturday afternoon, I spent a few minutes watching a cricket match.

The conclusion seemed like an anticlimax, as I had followed the magical orange markers for more than 80 kilometers only for them to disappear, no sign saying the end  (or the beginning) just a coffee shop. Oh well, it had been an enjoyable walk and with so many different aspects from forests, to parks, gardens, castles, rivers and so on. It was the variety that made it a fascinating and enjoyable walk.