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Sweden: Back to the wilderness


Take a trip back to the wilderness in Sweden’s most primitive hostel with plenty of fresh air and stillness, though without running water or electricity.


Only a couple of hours away from the Swedish capital, in the middle of the woods, lies Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge. This is a small hostel which consists of 12 forest huts that the guest live in. What makes this hostel special is that it has no running water or electricity. Instead, the guest are encouraged to live primitive by going for a swim to get clean, chopping wood for the fire and collecting water form a well. And even though there is neither electricity nor any other aspect of the modern society, this place offers something else. A chance to live like people did a long time ago, and a chance to get back to nature and enjoy its charms.


Andreas Ahlsén, who runs Kolarbyn, said that the idea came from an old tradition of making charcoal.  Mr Ahlsén further said that: “From the beginning the idea was to build this charcoal huts to use as a school for teaching people how to make charcoal like they have done over 400 years in this forests.” However, after a few years, people wanted to rent the huts to sleep in and that is how the hostel got started.


Even though most hotels and hostels try to make the stay for the guests feel personal and special, few spend time with the guests and tell them about their own lives. However, at Kolarbyn that is not the case, wildlife watching guide Marcus Eldh said that he tries “to be personal with every guest telling people more about my life and work rather than just the wildlife.”


There will never be a boring day at Kolarbyn, as the list of activities which is offered is long. There is a survival course which educates the guests how to survive in the forest by themselves and a moose or beaver safari. However, if none of the activities offered would be appealing, than the guest have the chance to explore the nature and wildlife or just relax in the sauna, which is located in the middle of the lake.


The huts that the guests stay in are also primitive. The beds that are offered in each hut are two hard beds with sheep skin rugs on them. And each hut has a wood heater for the wood that the guests have chopped themselves. This might not seem like the ideal sleeping arrangement, but it will offer an experience that most likely will be remember for many years to come.


Mr Ahlsén describes that the essence of Kolarbyn is to “explore and to get a great nature experience. The silence and the primitive and unique way of living make this an extraordinary experience. You really get one with the nature.”




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