|On the Northern Kungleden|
Did I like this hike? Yes, despite some definite lowlights overall I had a good time - but I don't think I'll go back to Scandinavia for hiking in the near future. Of all the four parts of my big European hiking project (West, East, North, South), I liked the Northern part the least. My favourite part was Eastern Europe, followed by Western und Southern Europe (France and Spain).
|Forest in Central Sweden|
These answers probably surprise you because they are totally opposed to the general image of Scandinavia as an outdoor destination. Norway and Sweden are every European hiker's dream. German outdoor forums are full of Scandinavian trip reports and in no other European country have I met so many other hikers.
My evaluation of a hiking destination is the result of balancing two reasons: What does this destination offer me - and how much effort do I have to put into hiking there.
|Food store in a Swedish Mountain Station|
|Hiking in swamp|
|Watching the storm moving in on Nordkalottleden|
|Wooden church in Central Sweden|
And I personally felt another fact quite frustrating: Although I have hiked four months through Sweden and Norway I have learnt very little about these countries. I saw a lot of trees and fjell and wonderful landscape but almost nothing about their culture, history and how people are ticking here. In all other countries I have hiked through in Europe I constantly came across waycrosses, chapels and monuments along the trail - but here cultural experiences were limited to my short town stays. And because everything was so expensive I rarely went to a restaurant or a museum and therefore missed out on regional food or sightseeing.
|Hut on Kungsleden|
Don't get me wrong: If you like Norway and Sweden go there and enjoy it! Despite all these negative points even I had a good time on this hike. But don't think that Scandinavia is generally the best place for an outdoor adventure in Europe for everyone. Because it is the most popular outdoor destination in Europe does not mean it is the best for you ...