Röd kajak ut drönarperspektiv. Kajaken är omgiven av näckrosor.

Spring dreams of the Northern Vättern Archipelago


Lunch Break. I stand in the sunny corner of the block and turn my face towards the sun. The first warming rays of spring make me melt. The pleasant warmth creeps inside my sweater collar. Long awaited. Thoughts wander freely. A memory awakens.

The memory of the glistening water in Lake Vättern's Archipelago. I close my eyes and sense the small archipelago island where last summer I stretched out on the warm rocks. I remember the silence and the lapping of the waves. What was the name of the island again? Aspholmen. Yes, that's probably it. Far out in the Northern Vättern Archipelago. The sound of occasional motorboats in the distance. Waves reaching the rock much later. I remember the silence, only nature speaking.

Tre kajaker paddlar bland näckrosor i skärgårdsmiljö.

Sweden's most secret archipelago? Absolutely. It had been easy to find a rock to land on. There we spend a few hours. Talked, napped, had coffee. Enjoyed. Filled our souls with fantastic views and impressions that now reappear in my memory in the first rays of spring, just as clear as then. Memories forever, I would think.

It had been so simple. My friends and I had a few days off and decided on a whim to rent a couple of kayaks. Where should we go? The Vättern Archipelago – perhaps Sweden's most secret, why not? A little adventure, just like that. Perfectly moderate. Moderately exciting, moderately demanding, and moderately comfortable - no, it was actually more than that; it was wonderfully enjoyable!

Drönarvy över Norra Vätterns skärgård i dagsljus med öar och vatten. Kajaker i nedre delen av bilden.

We put the kayaks in at Aspa's guest harbor on the western shore of Lake Vättern, stowed some gear in the compartments, and ourselves in the cockpit - and off we went. And immediately: soothing, astonishing, magical. From the first paddle stroke. No, I don't have any words that can describe this nature experience in a fair way. It's just mine, deep into the soul.

Kajak paddlar mellan två öar.

I definitely noticed that Lake Vättern is a mighty lake as we paddled among the islands. Wild and beautiful at the same time. To the south, the lake stretched as far as the eye could see. Only water. Still sailing boats in the distance. Could we catch a glimpse of Visingsö far away on the horizon? No, probably the islands Lilla and Stora Röknen, which we understood later when we studied the nautical chart of Lake Vättern and the Archipelago.

Solnedgång över skärgårdslandskap i Norra Vättern. Personer som har satt upp ett rött tält på en ö och två kajaker ligger uppdragna på land.

We had been lucky with the weather. The lake lay still among the islands, only a slight ripple after the winds sneaking around the bays. Quietly, we moved among the forested islets. Admired the rocks where the ice and the waves had left their marks. New views around each islet. A single long and quiet exploration in untouched landscape. Enchanting. Traces of nature's forces everywhere. Polished boulders worn by water and ice next to rocks dropped by the inland ice. Areas with charred tree stumps embedded in flourishing undergrowth hinted at forest fires that had left their marks in this eco-park. And then this crystal-clear water. Drinking water. Swimming in drinking water. Yes, we did. We pulled ourselves down from the rock and let ourselves be carried for a while by the sparkling waves. I remember the feeling like it was yesterday.

Ett sällskap på tre personer sitter vid lägereld på en ö. Solnedgång i bakgrunden.

We had also followed the trail that led past our rock and looked around a bit on the island. Picked some blueberries. Found the perfect spot for a hammock - if we had brought one! Archipelago views from the sunny glade between the ancient trees. We would come back here. I had drawn a little cross for the spot on the nautical chart when we studied it at the kitchen table much later. Soon we had also come across a barbecue area. A few stones around a simple fireplace and old logs to sit on. We lit a small fire and grilled our sausages. It had never tasted so good. The journey home in the sunset was magical. Here and there, we quietly passed by the occasional boat moored for the night, gently swaying in the evening's last rays.

Liten måne speglar i i stilla vatten över en ö. En ensam paddlare i bilden.

A small shadow fell over my face. A lonely cloud had sailed across the sky and obscured the sun for a moment where I stood warming up on my break. A reminder that it was time to return to work. But tonight, I would definitely call a friend and start making plans for the next trip out to Sweden's most secret archipelago. The dream was there and had been awakened by the first rays of spring. With a smile on my lips, I hurried across the asphalt and dodged between cars and cyclists, warm all over. Warm with anticipation for the upcoming summer's new experiences in the fantastic archipelago of Lake Vättern. Longing, longing. Summer is almost here...