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Hunting treasure in Uppsala

Since April this year a consortium of the Uppsala municipality, outdoor suppliers and other sponsors are trying to get Swedish people off their couches and out into the woods again. For this purpose in and around towns like Uppsala dozens of aluminum poles with a number and letter code have been placed and corresponding hiking maps have been distributed to all.

The idea is to gather as many number/letter combinations as possible and enter them on the website http://www.hittaut.nu in order to participate in a monthly lottery. I have been visiting the poles in my direct surrounding in the past, but the last two days I really made an effort to “find my way out” as the Swedish title of the game translates.

A hiking path in Nåsten nature reserve

Yesterday I started in the nature reserve Nåsten, west of Uppsala. The day before yesterday I had collected some of the codes during an evening jogging tour to this area, but quite many were to deep inside the forest for me to visit that evening. Despite of the mosquitoes and horse flies Nåsten is really always worth a visit and I wonder why I hardly ever meet anyone else in the forrest — I suppose this lack of people outdoors it what inspired the makers behind hittaut.nu in the first place.

A sign-post in Nåsten - a rare sight

However, the marking of the hiking trails and the placement of sign posts inside the nature reserve could certainly be improved — which by the way seems to be true for most Swedish hiking areas I have visited so far. Not that the Nåsten area would be so large that you would be afraid of getting lost, but trail markings in the form of colored rings on trees can suddenly disappear and you will have to guess your way forward until you find the next bread crumb — that’s perhaps the reason why orienteering seems to be so popular in Sweden.

Welcome to the Lunsen nature reserve

Just south of Uppsala there is the next nature reserve Lunsen. As with the Nåsten nature reserve it seems to be completely unvisited by fellow human beings right now. During my 5 hours in the forest today I did not meet a single person and even the blueberries directly next to the trails were almost untouched (until I cam that is).

Crossing a patch of swamp

In both nature reserves Nåsten and Lunsen the forest is intersected by patches of bedrock and swamp areas — the latter is the natural breeding ground of all the mosquitoes, but hey, it’s supposed to be a nature reserve! On the hiking trails you pass the swamp areas by means of wooden constructions which are in different stages of decay but still serve their purpose.

Heath Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata)

And finally you can really find those precious things which the nature reserve means to preserve. In this case it was a field of small orchids close to the only lake in the Lunsen area, the Stordammen. This lake is actually quite close to Sävja at the north-eastern end of the nature reserve — close to where Carl von Linné used to retreat…

curious cows

Close to Sävja I made a final stop to collect yet another code. This one is at a bird-watching tower where the stream Sävjaån enters Fyrisån. The cows on the neighboring pasture seem to never have seen a bicycle before…

In all I collected 24 out of 60 codes in these two days.

6 comments to Hunting treasure in Uppsala

  • Ruthann Masterton

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    • uwezi

      Personally I couldn’t care less whether my blog is listed at bing or not – I do not use this search engine myself and I do not have any idea how to trick it…

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