Saturday, May 24, 2008

Sweden, part 2. Hegra Festning.

Past the airport we hit some gorgeous countryside in Hegra. We knew we should start watching for the Leirfall stone carvings, and as we rounded the corner south into Hegra, we entered another world. The lush beauty of the countryside and wooded mountains drew us off the E14 and we found ourselves following a sign pointing us to the Hegra festning, an unscheduled side trip. Up, up, up, we drove on a one-lane paved road through the forest, reaching the woods on the top of a small mountain. We couldn't see a fortress... and as it turns out, that's part of what makes it a good fortress. This surprise trip was the highlight of our strange voyage.

The festning was built 100 years ago during WWI and was in operation from 1910 to 1940. Tunnels, trenches, bunkers, secret passages, bridges... the passageways went on and on and on. There were still seemingly endless places to explore. I was in the fort of my childhood dreams.
We were in a ruin on Halo, or maybe Yavin IV, or perhaps a moon of Endor. This would be the perfect setting for capture the flag or paintball.

The view through the trees over the wooded valleys was spectacular. . . and no one else was there. No cars in the lot, no signs of life at the museum or infomation centers, not a single person, vehicle, or sound save for the roar of the river far below, hidden in the trees of the steep green valley.

We stayed so long, we decided to forego the runes. We shall see the carvings another day.

Here's some tiny pictures, click on them to see bigger ones.

The final picture shows some graffiti on the wall by Norwegian royalty.

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