Green-washing & retro forestry

August 17, 2018 in SWEDEN | Comments (22)

I suspect the law does not cover all our concerns regarding clear-cutting (kalhygge). And worse, I suspect it never will.

How green is Sweden?

Biodiversity is still a catchword, but carbon trapping has become the trump card. If Swedish forestry companies wipe out a large number of species that is something for the tree huggers to mourn over – normal Swedes are proudly told that Sweden is super-green: Sweden is providing sustainable building materials and trapping carbon faster than the country releases it by cutting forests before they get old, and planting new. The industry has hijacked the word “sustainable”.   Extensive and expanded kalhygge seems to have become equal to “sustainable forestry”  because it allows them to plant lots of new carbon trapping trees.

So is Sweden happy to become a vast carbon trapping factory with big forest companies ruling alongside increased consumption of wood based materials? A factory where all that counts is production, and the deep forest culture of Sweden can be swept into the past?


Deteriorating scenery?

You can cut a forest down every 60 to 80 years – if they cut too many within a limited geographic area you are left with a bald and deserted landscape with (in our usually cold climate) a patchwork of  bare scarred earth, impenetrable brush and slow growing plantations.

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“Kalhygge” 1km from Ramshyttan in May 2018

This is what is happening in a big radius around Ramshyttan…and along Bergslagsleden (felling followed by impenetrable brush and plantation). Since Sveaskog has the whole country to play with, they can leave some forests somewhere else for future cutting. But Ramshyttan area does not benefit from that. If they take our last forests now, they will have nothing to cut in the area for some 40 to 70 years and we will have no forests in this country of forests though we are grateful for the nature reserves.  (A nature reserve protects a narrow band of trees along our little stream that flows out of Sågdammen into Kvarndammen, and on to Lilla Ramsjön; and protects a band of trees some 1km along a canal to near Lilla Damsjön – we also have a nature reserve consisting of meadows and some copses of deciduous trees)


The greening of Sweden?

The forestry business has a sizable investment in propaganda films that present a vision of Sweden as a heroic carbon trapper. Of course carbon trapping is good, but these films suggest old forests are dispensable as young growing forests trap more carbon. In such films we see giant machines (which will destroy the ground from earth to sky, obliterate animal homes, and reduce biodiversity) operating to happy music with a techno-enthusiast’s dream of GPS to guide them, while the ground is left merrily bare except for fallen branches that will be used for biofuel. If biofuel is going to release some carbon into the air, we are not told.

Is this applause for carbon trapping the reason Sveaskog took a step backwards in terms of sustainable forestry and began doing “kalhygge” all around us. Retro forestry!

Can they shelve their internal green revolution and still claim to be green? Apparently yes, to the detriment of our environment and our healthy forest recreation lifestyle.

You can’t walk in the new plantations for some 30 years or more – and they don’t feel like or look like forests for a very long time, definitely not fairytale magical forests (trolska skogar)

In the new “green” retro forestry, there is little respect for forest recreation with walking, riding, biking, berries and mushroom picking nor for Sweden’s ancient cultural fascination for old forest enchantment.  The paintings of Hans Arnold, the film Dunderklumpen, the forest trolls come to mind – will there be any “trolska skogar” left?

Sweden has preserved less virgin forest than countries that are considered as forest destroyers, and sits around 100th in the world for forest protection. But Center party has gone out to claim the virtue of Sweden as a carbon trapper and insists that 20% of the forests are protected. The Miljö party in Nora has not answered any of my mails about our distress in Ramshyttan. Apparently couldn’t care – or have also adopted kalhygge as sustainable forestry and a good way to get biofuel. The social democrats are traditionally happy with industrial thinking and big boss style – a nice big carbon trapping factory from border to border might suit them too?

Can anyone tell me which political party in Sweden understands the true meaning of sustainable behaviour/economy? Sustainable means you can go on doing it without destroying everything… cultural and spiritual, economic and social.


A microeconomic focus ?

Can we not put high value on small business and growth in rural areas? ? Ecotourism has tremendous potential for us in Ramshyttan, Nora and Örebro län. With due respects Örebro castle and the big Ica might bring a few busloads of Chinese tourists to Örebro but the real attraction for urban European tourists is our unspoiled environment of lakes and forests and the walking trails and mountain biking trails.  Beauty might be a suspect word in economics but it is everything in tourism. It’s hard to be happy about Sweden’s carbon footprint when our own environment in Ramshyttan and Bergslagsleden  is being subjected to huge “sores” – vast Kalhygge that might even make  a biker choose another route. See the video clip along a road at the perimeter of our village. We need our forests.





Early this summer (2018) we suddenly had a vast and devastating Kalhygge at one of the entrances to our village (see posts July & August 2018) though in recent years Sveaskog have limited themselves to checker board cutting which is less offensive to the eye, less disruptive to animal life and less destructive for biodiversity. At least 3 of us burst out crying when we saw the devastation of our favorite berry and mushroom forest, a once pleasant walk from home.

When the danger of fire was over after the summer they were back. With a petition from Ramshyttan village to save 10 forests on their table (small forests shown in the attached map) they without warning during the night brought in subcontractors to do a clear cut (kalhygge) adjoining the last bigger kalhygge, now facing one of the village properties.  Its not that they ignored our petition – Sveaskog have been very pleasant and agreed to look again at the plans for the small forests intimately associated with the village; they apparently just didn’t realize that the area opposite Grindtorp farm’s meadows is considered part of our environment in Ramshyttan.

So what is awaiting the axe?

The below map shows projected forestry operations in the village of Ramshyttan – due to commence soon (as of 18 Aug 2018). Outside the map and north of the village, four clearcutting operations (kalhygge) took place between May and 16 Aug, including its northern entrance by Ramshyttans Horse Farm.

10 places to cut

1, 2, 3 – an integral part of the village

Most important for the villagers are 1, 2 and 3 on the map which provide wind shelter, traffic noise protection, recreation (and are a vital part of the look of the village).


2 – the ski trail

2 is also an impressive part of the ski trail through Ramshyttan from Ånnaboda to Digerberget; and 3 is flush with the home of Vic and Kathleen Fenn – almost in their garden!


4 – scenic road by Ramsjön

4 is a small forest gracing the banks of Ramsjön’s scenic road to Ramshyttan..


5 on Bergslagsleden


5 is an old rugged forest on Bergslagsleden – a favourite spot to take riders from Ramshyttans Hästgård / Horse Farm (it also has a small stream with a bridge). Marie Elfversson will be very sad to see that destination disappear and become kalhygge, followed by brush or uninteresting young impenetrable plantation.

(A nature reserve protects a narrow band of trees along our little stream that flows out of Sågdammen into Kvarndammen, and on to Lilla Ramsjön; and protects a band of trees some 1km along a canal to near Lilla Damsjön – we also have a nature reserve consisting of meadows and some copses of deciduous trees)

Save our forests in Ramshyttan

July 13, 2018 in SWEDEN | Comments (40)

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The  village of Ramshyttan has been particularly hit by the hunger for timber and biofuel, and has seen the old forests in the environs disappear one after one and new monospecies plantations come slowly up – too thick to walk through and without the wonderful mushrooms and berries undergrowth. The kantarell / chantarelle is particuarly difficult to regenerate.

Click here for the latest “kalhygge”. I cried – I more than cried – I howled….

The shock of this sight has waves.  I have helped the villagers prepare the following petition for Sveaskog…please excuse my mix of English and Swedish. I write in English but some of the villagers have given me quotes in Swedish – which I prefer not to translate.


For the sake of our quality of life, for our children and grandchildren, for our visitors, and for the riders who gallop our living trails – please save our last few old forests

sågdammen from house2

We, residents of Ramshyttan (see names below), plead that Sveaskog revises its plans to cut down the last few small forests in our village area, shown as the black stippled areas in the map below.  In recent years vast areas of forest around us have been cut down by big machines that destroy the undergrowth and biodiversity for generations, and the last few small forests in our village are important not only for plant and animal diversity but also for wind shelter, recreation, quality of life and our tourist economy. Ramshyttan lies on Bergslagsleden so tourists come through our picturesque village for hiking, riding, mountain biking and other recreation. They bring income; and the loss of our forests means loss of investment in developing ecotourism.

We are a close-knit community of people, most of whom live here permanently. We chose to live here because we enjoy nature, so we want forests left in our village and around us where we can walk under tall trees, with a rich variety of species, an undergrowth of mushrooms, berries and so on, all in harmony with the wildlife. It is time to let the environment in Ramshyttan catch up. WE DO NOT WANT any more “kalhygge” in Ramshyttan or at the entrance to our village.

We want future generations to experience Sweden at its fullest. Our forests are part of our culture, our heritage and our folklore.

map of forests to be cut

Ramshyttan forests felled in May or soon to be cut down are stippled black. The pale green areas have been cut down in recent years, sometimes with far spaced pines left to seed  

  • SHRINKING FORESTS. Over the 10 to 15 years the forests around Ramshyttan have drastically shrunk due to massive areas being cut, gradually replaced by impenetrable plantations or thick brush that will reduce the recreation potential for decades and biodiversity for generations. Now the last old forests in the village are targeted – and some have already been cut. See map above: black stippled areas are due for felling and pale green areas that have been felled and not yet regenerated.
  • RECENT DEVASTATION. We were shocked and distressed when we saw the destructive “kalhygge” this summer in one of our recreation areas walking distance from the village. A vast area the size of many city blocks has been totally devastated and the ground left scarred by giant wheels. It will be far greater devastation if Sveaskog does “markberedning” (ploughing the ground for later planting). In recent years this forest was our main kantarell and berry picking forest due to most of the others being cut or diminished by big machine forestry. It’s doubtful that any kantarell will be there in the new plantation and it will be impossible to walk through for many years. The area is not in the above map – it is walking distance north.

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The devastation of our forests – this is not sustainable forestry

”Jag förstår det är skogsproduktion det handlar om, men kan man inte tänka sig en steg längre och avverka på ett hållbart sätt nära byar och turisttäta områden. Dess kalhyggen är som sår i naturen och det kommer att ta så många år innan de läker. Vem villa besöka dem?”

Comments by Ramshyttan residents and villa owners who want to preserve the forests in the village of Ramshyttan

”Vi tycker att det är viktigt att skogsägare visar stora hänsyn när det gäller avverkning i områden som har särskild betydelse utifrån ett naturintresse. Såväl Örebro kommun, Region Örebro samt Länsstyrelsen i Örebro har ofta påtalat vikten av naturhänsyn och värdet av miljön i och runt Ramsjön och Ramshyttan.”

Claes Wahlberg & Lena Källströmowners of a house in Ramshyttan for 27 years. Claes has helped to develop recreation in Ramshyttan and Kilsbergen.

Claes och jag har bott 27 år i Ramshyttan och vi vill inte att skogen nära och runt omkring oss avverkas mer. Vi valde att bo här just för närheten till naturen med allt vad det innebär. Att ha ett kalhygge som utsikt vill vi verkligen inte!

Lena Hellström – has lived and/or had a house in Ramshyttan for 28 years and written 20 books on Bergslagen including Den blåa Bergen. Lena has already informed Sveaskog she does not want the forest protecting her house from destructive winds to be cut down.

Hur ska via kunna skydda de sista resterna av underbar artrik skog med allt vad det betyder av växtliv, djurliv och glädje för människor? Sveaskog tänker avverka alltihop av det lilla som finns kvar i Ramshyttan.

Marie Elfverssonowner of house(s) in Ramshyttan for 30 years/ runs Ramshyttan Horse Farm riding ventures:

Ryttare kommer från hela Sverige och olika länder i Europa. De älskar det här området och berättar för sina vänner. På väg från Ramshyttan mot Mogetorp frågar de om detta är ett naturreservat, men det är det inte. Sveaskog kommer att avverka den gamla skogen på både sidorna av Bergslagsleden. Jag gråter varje gång jag ser en gammal skog nedhuggen – speciellt skogen runt Ramshyttan. Skogarna som finns kvar borde räddas.

Så här står det i
Ramshyttan Horse Farm i Bergslagen har ridning i lite skala men i stor natur. Här rider du i ett kulturlandskap som innehåller både trolska skogar och gamla hyttor. Att bo i Ramshyttan är att bo i den svenska historien. Att Rida i Ramshyttan är en fröjd då du får kliva upp på magnifika Frieserhästar eller de mindre Islandshästarna / Marie


Jan Hermansson & Karin Tellås Hermanssonowners of a house in Ramshyttan for 29 years, active as photographers and painter.

Vi bor omgivna av skog sedan många år och vi älskar det – vi går i skogarna och inspireras av den för målning och fotografering. Skogarna har minskat mycket de senaste år och nu borde det som är kvar räddas.

Ragnar Sutter & Lena Bergsten Sutter Lena och Ragnar har bott i Ramshyttan i snart 30 år och bedriver en uthyrningsverksamhet för turister.

 Hit kommer människor från hela världen för att uppleva Kilsbergens vildmark och skönhet.

Vi tycker att det är viktigt att skogsägare visar stora hänsyn när det gäller avverkning i områden som har särskild betydelse utifrån ett naturintresse. Såväl Örebro kommun, Region Örebro samt Länsstyrelsen i Örebro har ofta påtalat vikten av naturhänsyn och värdet av miljön i och runt Ramsjön och Ramshyttan.

Henrik Bergström – owns a house in Ramshyttan for 1.5 years

I moved to Ramshyttan in Kilsbergen after falling in love with its natural beauty and the calm surrounding it. The forest has always been close to my heart and I feel that it is a big shame that so much of the beautiful and important forest surrounding the central part of Ramshyttan is planned to be taken down! It will permanently alter the framing and wildlife of the entire village. I fear that this is only the beginning and that this has to be stopped in time in order to save the forest, wildlife and local business.

Sabina Schnegotski  – owner of a cottage in the village for 12 years – lives in Örebro.

Nej dom får inte förstöra vår vackra skogen i byn. Skogen är så vacker. Försträckligt om man skulle göra det till en kalhygge mitt i byn. I Nora villa politikerna stasa på att får så många turister som möjligt att kommer till vårt område. De verkligen prioritera detta. Det som lockar är bla Bergslagsleden, mountiinbike tracks, svamp och bärplockning. Att campa och bada, och uppleva lugnet och djurlivet – och allt hänger på att vi har en fin nature. Varje dag vandrar det förbi och cyclar turister från alla världens hörn vid min stuga och de säger att det är fantastisk med all skog och fina natur.

Just nu blir det fler och fler kalhyggen runt byn. Om detta fortsätter kommer turisterna inte ha något vacker att åka till.

Jag förstår det är skogsproduktion det handlar om, men kan man inte tänka sig en steg längre och avverka på ett hållbart sätt nära byar och turisttäta områden. Dess kalhyggen är som sår i naturen och det kommer att ta så många år innan de läker. Vem villa besöka dem?

Borde inte Sveaskog som är staten, alltså vi, tänka på att bevara omgivningarna runt byar och turisttäta områden? Fortsätta detta så kommer inte det finnas någon vacker skog kvar.

Erik Burghgraaff – from The Netherlands has visited regularly for 6 years

This place has such beautiful nature. To take away all forest would be devastating not only for our generation but for coming generations. The reforestation cycle is so long! How in a sane mind could one make such a decision – to leave the nature as if it is a war zone!!!  You can see it all round Ramshyttan already. Please save the last pieces of forest.

Kristina Bervenståhl – Ramshyttebo sedan 2001

Jag är ägare till Ramshyttans äldsta Bergsmansgård byggår före 1861. Ramshyttan är en av de småbyar som uppskattas av de boende men även av alla turister som passerar dagligen inte bara från närområdet utan också nerifrån Europa. Dessa uppskattar precis som vi att vi har frisk luft, rent vatten, tystnad o vilda djur. Om skogen försvinner förstörs närmiljön i Ramshyttan för innevånarna men även för alla turister från när och fjärran som besöker oss i sitt sökande efter en vacker och ursprunglig natur och hittar oss via sina datorer. Jag hoppas att alla förstår vad eftersökta dessa miljöer blir i framtiden med tanke på den miljöförstöring som försiggår.

Juha Raivio – Finnish musician – has lived here to write music together with Ramshyttan resident, the singer Aleah (died 2016 and has a memorial garden facing the Sågdammen forest). 

We walked and rode horses among the beauty of these woods and we wrote the Hour of the Nightingale Album together inspired by these woods around us. I wrote Swallow the Sun’s Emerald Forest and the Blackbird, Songs from the North triple album and Hallatar album inspired by these woods and landscapes. Aleah did all the photography for Songs of the North album in these forests. I even shot a vido for the song ” Pray for the winds to come” in these very same woods they are going to destroy.

Magnus Hansen & Carin Juhlinhave lived in Ramshyttan for 9 years.

We are against the cutting down of any more forests in Ramshyttan. Our area in Kilsbergen is called Eco Park by Svea Skog. The forest around Ramshyttan ought to be considered as ecologically important.

Kathleeen Fennfrom South Africa – lived in Ramshyttan for 6 years, been visiting Ramshyttan for 13 years.

They are murdering our forests. Surely there are some official bodies in Sweden who can step in and save these beautiful forests around Ramshyttan. It is my understanding that Ramshyttan is an important part of Bergslagsleden, not only precious to Swedes but an important tourist attraction.

Victor Fennhas lived in Ramshyttan for 6 years, been visiting for 12 years and former owner of an Insurance Broking Company that insured growing timber in South Africa.

Referring to the Sågdammen forest:

This is not a plantation I would want to insure – it is steep and rocky and marshy. Not worth very much (from a production point of view). It looks like a jungle. If they fell this little forest it is not going to recover for a long time.

Howard & Ingrid Simson owner of the “manor” (herrgård) in Ramshyttan for 8 years.

The rhetoric of Sveaskog and of the Swedish government about sustainability seems to be forgotten – judging by the scarred ground and the big deforestation on our doorstep. It’s not acceptable that they cut all around us and then come right into our village to take the last grown forests AND remove our wind shelter.

Per-Olov Broddesonlives in Ramshyttan since 2016.

Jag förstår inte varför de vill fälla den lilla skogen (Sågdammen skog). Det är så svårt att köra en stor maskin runt i, den är full av träsk där maskinerna kan fastna, träden är inte fantastiska för timmer – men det är en vacker plats att besöka för bär och svamp. När de har kört runt där – det blir inget kvar, även om de inte skär alla träd. Om de lämnar en rad av några träd på banken som de har planerat kommer det bara att se dumt ut.

Roland Stanbridgeowner Grindtorp farm for 12 years:

Their enormous logging machines cause immense environmental damage which will probably not recover for hundreds of years. They should leave our last forests in Ramshyttan to help regeneration of the whole area with different types of mushrooms, plants, insects, animals and birds. Ramshyttan and the surrounding forests had, until recently, wonderful biodiversity. This attracted scores of international visitors. Now we are being surrounded by clearcut ‘kalhygge’. We hardly see deer or elk anymore….

Michal Kaczmarek –  Polish citizen, visited Ramshyttan many times and became a resident here 2.5 years ago.

I visited for many years and walked a lot in the forests. They have cut too much. There was some really beautiful forest on a hill by Ramsjön. When I came back I was shocked. It looked like the moon.

Gillian Stanbridgeowner of a house in Ramshyttan for 11 years and been coming here for 17 years – the targeted forest on Sågdammen is within full view of the house.

My heart broke when I saw what Sveaskog did to the vast forest near us, which was so full of magic and memories of picking mushrooms and berries with my daughter Aleah who died. That special forest has become acres and acres of nothingness churned up by their giant forestry machines – and it now feels like the end of the world. For weeks I have woken with dread every time I hear a heavy vehicle, as if it were the sound of tanks roaring in to conquer our village.

I have been talking to Sveaskog representatives about saving the last forests in and around our village of Ramshyttan – all targeted for cutting – including the beautiful forest fringing the lake in front of our house. They have been very helpful but need to find a way between the rules of their vast organization, in order to fulfil the promise of the new generation of more ecologically aware staff, in line with a new generation of Swedes who value biodiversity.

I live with the Sågdammen forest day and night – and I will shrivel inside if it is destroyed. It has a delicate ecology, with marshes, fabulous mosses and a little stream, and I am very worried about the plans to leave only a fringe of trees on the bank; they will stick up like a broken comb and the wind will howl through the valley. I am worried about Sveaskog’s insistence on taking all the spruce (gran) – as it is an important part of our wind shelter. Also – to me the spruce is a truly Nordic tree full of the magic of Dunderklumpen and Swedish folkore. Can’t the very old ones be left along the ski trail as they add so much magnificence?

We want a lush, exciting entrance to our village – not a kalhygge followed in later years by a grey green growth – and finally something you could call a forest perhaps 40 years later – most likely with no kantarell. I will then be long gone and so will most of my neighbours.


Agate CurieFrench citizen – visited Ramshyttan for a holiday and to help with organic farming

The nature of Sweden is remarkably preserved, In contrary to most areas in the world, and it was especially impressive in your area. The air is pure, the woods are alive, walking in it was wonderful. I think it’s of the utmost importance to keep these natural jewels intact…And if only to appeal to the governmental priority, its nature is the first reason to visit the country for most travelers. You take away its nature, you give up the money for tourism. That’s of course not my personal concern but it should be one of the government’s.

Clementine CurieFrench-American citizen – has spent many months in Ramshyttan in the last 2 years, and worked from here.

The first time I came to Sweden in 2016, I was stunned by the beauty of the snow-covered forest of Ramshyttan, the epitome of what I imagined a Nordic scenery to look like. The forest and nature are truly what makes this area a magical and special place, one amongst very few of its kind left in the world. It is a treasure far more precious than any immediate profit could ever be. More recently, I was devastated to see what has been done to some areas of the forest already – they have been turned into battlefields, graveyards.

A forest that is centuries old can’t be replaced simply by planting new trees, especially of just one species. The relationships and interactions between trees are complex, and should be understood and respected by those who claim management of the forests (for reference, see for example the documentary “Intelligent trees”). In our own interest and that of future generations, we must start working with nature rather than against it.

Henrik Perrin – Ordförande Naturskyddsförening Nora.

Det är främst tre regler som ska beaktas av oss och ansvariga skogsägare.

  1. Social hänsyn: Varje avverkning ska ske med social hänsyn som t ex vindskydd för privat egendom eller andra direkt påverkande faktorer som försämrar de boendes förhållanden.
  2. Ekonomisk hänsyn: Enligt FSC ska särskild hänsyn tas om skötseln av skogen påverkar företagares utkomst av marken ifråga. I Ramshyttan finns flera näringsidkare med hästuthyrning, kulturarbetare, konstnärer som är direkt beroende av naturen för att kunna bedriva sina respektive rörelser. Detta beskrivs mycket väl i petitionen.

Den ekonomiska hänsynen måste även ses i ett vidare perspektiv då en hel kommuns ekonomi påverkas i detta fall. Nora lever på sin kulturmiljö, inte bara hyttor och träkåkar utan även den helhet som skapas av en vacker natur med mycket liv och aktiviteter. Moutainbikeleder, ekoturism, bergslagsleden, ljusstråk, turisters önskan att få uppleva vår ”unika” natur, hästridning, inspiration för konstnärsskap mm mm blir direkt påverkade negativt av kalhyggen och andra ”naturbruks”-metoder. Nora kommun borde vara mycket bekymrade över denna fråga nu och i framtiden.

  1. Alla bolag som lyder under FSC ska på anmodan från boende och andra intressenter i det aktuella området för skogsbruksåtgärder, komma ut för ett samrådsmöte på plats. Detta har Nora kommun och alla boende i Ramshyttan rätt till.


  1.  QUALITY OF LIFE & RECREATION. Our forests are important to us for walking, riding, picking berries and mushrooms, photography, painting, inspiration, peace and enjoyment. We chose Ramshyttan as a place to live largely because of its position amidst forests and lakes. We want the last forests in the village to be preserved.
  2. TOURISM POTENTIAL AROUND BERGSLAGSLEDEN. Ecotourism is an important source of economic growth for Bergslagen, now and in the future. Tourism advertising always mentions the unspoilt forests.  Not only in Ramshyttan area but in Nora and other areas of Bergslagen tourism will be negatively affected by the lack of forests worth walking, riding or biking through so close to Bergslagsleden, and the disappointing sight of the devastated newly deforested areas.  Riding in Ramshyttan is famous and people come from far and wide to ride on its many forested paths. The village should be left with some real forest or tourists will feel cheated and will certainly not recommend that others visit.
  3. DESTRUCTION OF BERRIES, KANTARELL & OTHER BIODIVERSITY. Because of modern forestry methods with huge logging machines we in Ramshyttan have lost many or most of the rich berry and mushroom picking forests in a wide radius. The number of plant species (and assumedly of animal species) has been reduced drastically with planting of single species.  This makes it all the more urgent to save our last forests.
  4. REPLANTING & ACCESSBILITY.  We are surrounded by large areas where forests have been cut down and dense growth of saplings or grey green brush have taken their place – too tight together for us to walk through. A few pockets of biodiversity must be left so that the vast areas cut down can regenerate in a healthy way with seeds and spores carried in the wind or by birds and insects. Please leave our last little forests.
  5. SMALL FORESTS. Our last forests in Ramshyttan are small forests, worth relatively little economically if one considers the destruction of our biosphere, quality of life for villagers and the negative impact on tourism.
  6. SÅGDAMMEN FOREST’S DELICATE ECOLOGY. The Sågdammen forest due for “avverkning” (felling) is seen from the Pershyttan-Ramshyttan road leading to Bergslagsleden. It is a very delicate environment with several marshes, a variety of mosses, a small stream, beaver-gnawed trunks, badger homes and mixed species of trees and undergrowth. Leaving a standard 10m band of trees on the bank will spoil the beauty of the lake and drastically reduce shelter from the wind. All the spruce are to be felled and most of the pines, further increasing winds in the valley. There are “naturvårds” ribbons placed near stream, marshes and bank – but it is such a small, steep forest it is hard to see how the machines will avoid creating immense damage. The forest will not regenerate easily due to large areas of boulders and marsh.**
  7. WIND SHELTER. We already have very high winds and now they will become even more destructive. The swathe of forest along Sågdammen and skirting the village to the old trail to Mogetorp should not be removed. **
  8. BERGSLAGSLEDEN. Some of the planned felling operations in the above map are along the famous forest trail (red/stippled line on map), and along the ski trail in the village area. Care should be taken not to give passers-by – on foot, on horseback, on cycles, on bikes and on skis – a feeling of desolation and loss. There are further close-by areas awaiting felling outside the scope of the map, where the impact should also be carefully considered.
  9. AWARENESS OF AFFECTED COMMUNITIES. Forest owners should show special consideration around communities where local people have a strong interest in interacting with unspoilt nature.

** Gillian Stanbridge has already communicated with Nils Nygren about the wind protection provided for the whole valley by the forest on Sågdammen, and the delicate ecology in that waterside forest in danger of total destruction from the big wheels of logging machines. He said that Rune Andersson would get in touch with Gillian Stanbridge. He hoped a mutually satisfactory position could be reached. A field assistant Moa, recently given the brief of Ramshyttan’s forestry, walked with Gillian and Marie Elversson through the site on 17 July.  Moa will visit again to study the forests and to try to find a more favourable solution that possibly takes into account both natural assets like Sågdammen and community recreation. Gillian informed her she already had a petition from villagers, and that she would send it as support for Moa’s endeavours.

We thank Sveaskog for a chance to talk to staff and air our views, and trust that our wishes will help to shape plans for sustainable and community-aware forestry in Ramshyttan area and surroundings in Bergslagen.

On behalf of ourselves as residents of Ramshyttan, our children and their children

On behalf of our visitors from Nora, Örebro, Stockholm and further afield (Holland, France, Germany, England, Ireland, Thailand, South Africa, USA and more)

On behalf of the riders who cross the world to ride on our famous forested paths

On behalf of our budding eco tourism economy in Ramshyttan and Berglslagen

We plead that our last few small forests in Ramshyttan should be preserved.


To sign the petition to save our last forests in Bergslagen and Ramshytan



Ramshyttan is a picturesque village with a 400 year old history of iron working , situated in Bergslagen on Bergslagsleden, 500m from Ramsjön. It is a popular destination for Örebro and Nora people for swimming, cycling, berry picking, and mushroom picking – forest recreation – and hundreds of people walk through the village and along its paths including Bergslagsleden every summer.  It is also a growing eco tourism destination, like the rest of Bergslagen, and several Ramshyttan properties get income from stays by tourist visitors. Ramshyttan Horse Farm is becoming increasingly well known – riders come from all over Sweden and abroad to ride on many paths and quiet roads through the forests according to Allamansrätt.

In snowy winters, people from Örebro and further afield ski through Ramshyttan village and through a spectacularly beautiful forest in the heart of the village – which is one of the highlights of the trail along with the meadows, Friesian horses and red and white houses of Ramshyttan. That spectacular forest is one of those due to be cut.


  • Sveaskog have marked out some small areas for special attention regarding culture (kulturhänsyn) and nature conservation (naturvårds hänsyn) in the targeted forests. The culture markers follow an ancient trail from Ramshyttan that goes through forests (including one of the targeted forests marked for avverkning) towards Mogetorp. Some of the kulturvård markers indicated the ruins of a community 100 years ago which lies in another old forest close to Ramshyttan, which has already been cut bare while preserving the remains.  A few naturvårds ribbons can be seen in the beautiful forest by the ski track awaiting “avverkning”; and near some marshes in Sågdammen forest and along the bank of the water. Many ribbons are half hidden so it’s a lot to expect that the drivers rushing to get through their work will not cause damage.
  • Fortunately, when cutting down vast areas c.  2010, Sveaskog has left a small stand of trees around one of the shelters on Bergslagsleden (the famous forest trail) and that means there are berries and mushrooms there too for the tourists (subject to competition). Earlier they cut away a beautiful forest up on the left bank of the Bergslagsleden pathway from Ramshyttan and on both sides further on. Pines were left far apart in part of the forest – which remains quite bleak. In other areas there is a plantation growing up  – at this stage not very interesting.
  • Also fortunate, a visionary employee of Sveaskog sold forests and meadows in the village to Grindtorp farm to prevent the sort of trouble we experience now. So there are beautiful pastures where horses feed; and some small areas of very old forest standing (mostly birch but with some genuine old forest covered in lichen), used for keeping horses and thus not usually visited by the village. Also there are some beautiful birch groves in Ramshyttan nature reserve, which was donated to Örebro by one of the former residents – as well as lovely pasture land where cattle are grazed in summer.
  • On the far corner of Ramsjön (a few km from the village centre) is part of the Kilsbergen Ecopark, created just before Sveaskog started massive felling “avverkning” in Ramshyttan area in 2010. There is a beautiful stand of trees on the far corner of Ramsjön (lake) beside the forest road to Närkeskil. (marked red on the map with text nyckelbiotop). However much of the park area is scrub – not old forests.
  • A nature reserve (domänreservat) protects the running stream from the waterfall out of Sågdammen to Kvarndammen and on to Lilla Ramsjön – one of the most exquisite parts of Ramshyttan and Bergslagsleden. World class beauty though limited in extent. A few km along the ski trail that passes through the village, you can find the remains of an old community and next to it a nature reserve of magnificent trees, stretching down to the river and the site of the former mill. It is a pity that they did not try or could not add the area of the old community to the nature reserve. Sveaskog in May this year did an immaculate kalhygge on the site of the old village. Kalhygge in the sense that no trees were left on the site (though remaining in the nature reserve). Immaculate in the sense that they exposed various remains like a former cellar, and left 1.3m high trunks of trees around the various remains  – “kulturstubbe”. Care was taken not to entirely remove the moss cover of the ground – though the wheels have left ruts, and a former transport road from the village was ignored in their preservation efforts.


During the last large scale forestry operation around Ramshyttan in 2010, Sveaskog’s machine drivers caused damage to ancient paths that traverse this village. Later they tried to fix one of the stone-paved paths – which is good, but easier of course than restoring biodiversity  (See my think-piece blog written at the time.)



Mopping up the last old forests of Ramshyttan follows vigorous forestry and kalhygge operations by Sveaskog in other areas of Bergslagen last year – including Dalkarlsberg and Pershyttan, a picturesque village full of history with a steam train station and thousands of visitors vising the old mill. A vast forest was taken down facing the station – once a wall of impressive gigantic trees – they could at least have left that awe inspiring living wall of greenery and cut out down trees out of sight. The forest by the Pershyttan lake was also cut down (a smaller area) and some trees left along the bank of the lake and a jogging trail. One is grateful for the trees, but looking at the lake from the road, it doesn’t look like a forest on the bank – just like trees standing. On the banks of Kvarndammen a forest was cut down leaving only a single line of trees, quite far apart. Birch brush is growing up beyond it – not very interesting.


The Swedish parliament and Sveaskog itself have spoken out for sustainable forestry and Sveaskog has practiced it in some areas. Please hold up these principles for us in Bergslagen and in our village of Ramshyttan. We have lost too many forests too fast and the forestry methods have destroyed the undergrowth and biodiversity. In villages and the outskirts of cities – sustainable forestry methods should be developed so as not to destroy the undergrowth and the biodiversity that gives us so much joy. Tree cutting need not devastate the landscape as in the latest extensive “kalhygge” by Ramshyttan village. Patchwork cutting, as developed in recent years, is more acceptable, or most preferably continuous cutting of mature trees, which leaves a natural forest with trees of all kinds, shapes and sizes, along with the precious undergrowith (and provides a regular income). Please consider employing this ultimate form of sustainable foresty in villages and important tourist areas to maintain their appeal and recreation potential, and to help maintain biodiversity for us and the generations who come after us.


forest stream


Sågdammen, is the central waterway in Ramshyttan and can be seen from two little bridges used by traffic and hikers on Bergslagsleden. It is also the view from 413 Ramshyttan.

In the projected forestry operation with big machines in the little forest, this is the most varied and vulnerable area targeted. I have the following concerns in addition to my fear about my precious view.

  • The wind through the valley. Only 9 pines are to be left in the whole forest (an estimate excluding trees on the bank) – and all the spruce (GRAN) will be removed (which is the main growth and wind protection of this dense old forest). On the banks, trees will be left in a narrow area  – leaving little protection from already destructive winds. In one area I understand there will be no trees – thus creating a wind tunnel.
  • Protection of the forest marshes (sumpmark). It is important that the big forestry machines do not traverse the swamps and that this area is left alone. It is full of beautiful mosses – 3 different kinds including a rare moss I heard.
  • Protection of a little waterway in the forest There are some nature conservation markers near the waterway, but not along its whole length. It is important the giant machines do not cross this delicate waterway anywhere along its length.
  • Sustainable tourism. By leaving only denuded stones and a few trees here and there, the beauty of the lake will be spoilt, creating a negative impact on eco tourism – by disappointing visitors to Ramshyttan and along Bergslagsleden walking, riding, cycling, and camping. Niche tourism is largely spread by word of mouth and ecotourist visitors seeing the last forests cut down in Ramshyttan will be unlikely to bring new tourists.
  • Poor future as a production forest (plantation) due to a large area of boulders, marshland and crumbly slopes and river bank. The majority of the trees are spruce (gran) possibly because their roots can hold on in these stony thin soils – but all spruce will be cut down.
  • Destroying undergrowth and animal habitats. Will the economic gains in cutting down this poor forest for timber be worth the destruction of a priceless habitat for animals and plants?
  • Reducing recreation potential for villagers, The locals live here to be amidst the forests for walking, berry picking, mushroom picking, riding, or conducting tourism. Örebro, Nora and other visitors also visit, searching for berries, mushrooms etc. Almost every berry and mushroom patch will have disappeared in the next few weeks and our favourite walks are looking sad and sorry. Several residents are so devastated by the deforestation of Ramshyttan that they think of selling and leaving, including myself.
  • Responsible sustainable forestry/maintaining biodiversity.  There is a qualitative difference between a forest in a village and out in the bush, and the responsibility of a state owned company to think also of the well-being of the people it impacts with it operations.

Gillian Stanbridge Ramshyttan

Memories from Life’s Journey

July 10, 2016 in SWEDEN,THAILAND | Comments (498)

Aleah our Julia. These are a few memories from Thailand.

It was our journey, my beloved daughter. Our journey in life. Our sad, illness torn lives. Our wondrous, creative inspired lives. Now you are gone, forever and forever.

I try to put on the torn coat of my life for my onward journey. Sometims I hear you talk to me so deep inside my mind. I dont believe in heaven or anything like that. But you live on in so many of us. My cheeks are wet with tears.

So darling I know you would think I was crazy to cry. You would grunt with dissaproval. I was not allowed, none of us were allowed to be sad about you. You believed in magic and if you didnt say you were ill, you could materialize health.

There were times of pure escape from that all. Its when we travelled in faroff tropical climes, where winter never comes. You hated the winter, You hated the cold. Your lungs could not take it.

Here are some images from one of our holidays in Thailand. Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Kamalaya was our favourite spot. Our paradise. But everywhere we found joy and a soft peace, divorced from your illness that lingered and lurked in wait and played games and disappeared and then came back and then went and then came back….leading you out of this life.



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Banyan Tree Samui - networking


Silver circle on the ice

January 29, 2012 in SWEDEN | Comments (4)


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The skating track seen from the shore

Today Sunday, the skating continued on Drevviken, on a silver ring of scraped ice. Last week’s snow covered the lake.

This is the third glorious weekend for skaters on Drevviken. There is now probably a kilometre of shining silver track on this beautiful Stockholm lake – on previous weekends the skaters had the whole wide lake skatable.

Meanwhile kids are out with toboggans and snowracers. Last week’s snow was warm and sticky enough for snowballs and snowmen  – “kramsnö”. And turned this little dog in the gallery above into a walking furry American cockersnowgirl.

Below zero: the place to be

January 15, 2012 in SWEDEN | Comments (21)


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Icy Drevviken Stockholm 15 January

Below Zero. The lake Drevviken in Stockholm is now covered in silvery grey ice, with ripples of white frost…

The ripples continue over the frozen grass.

If there is ice at all on the lake, it is usually covered with snow, which is cleared away to make tracks. But today the whole lake was glittering with promise for long-distance skaters. The parking lot at Hökerängensbad ( a public beach) is usually empty in winter. Today there wasn’t a parkling place left.

From the bus window on return from the winter sales I saw the crowds. Then raced with doggy down to the lake. We sat on a pier and watched the long distance skaters on the other side. Some disembarked at our pier from their “sailing” over the lake,  to take off their long silver skates … and walk home.

The air felt rare and full of promise. Skaters made these sounds I love – scrapes and a hollow kind of dwoing dwoing dwoing whooing.

Days like today are a  gift. Today’s minus 2 or 3 deg C feels warm compared with the previous week above zero,  with invading moist winds creeping down your neck armed with tiny cruel drops of chill factor.

We continued round the lake on the icy path (wearing extra spikes) and then saw where all the ducks had gone. The water at the end of lake was not frozen and lay at the foot of a copse of trees, making a sheltered pond for the duckies. Taking snap of them I raised false hopes that I had come bearing food and despite the dog the ducks floated up to us expectantly.

Happy new year sparkles

January 1, 2012 in SWEDEN | Comments (0)

The old year’s timber and fallen branches were piled in the centre of the village. Blaze it all away for a new year…

Juha from Finland does a leap for the camera, somewhere in Bergslagen – the Killsberg hills. This is the little hamlet of Ramshyttan, a postmodern village. Inmates not born here as in old villages, but migrated here, choosing quiet and nature, yet highly wired, plugged in all over. Jan had his image of the fire up as it crackled, shooting it off to facebook with his iPhone.

That was actually late afternoon sinking into the last night of the year.

Here we are, come midnight, saying a happy happy new year.

Warm wishes

December 30, 2011 in SWEDEN | Comments (0)

Dearest all,

I hope you had a happy Christmas and are heading for an even more wonderful new year

Here is my Xmas and New Year spirit – playful innocence with a warm heart



All the best for 2012

More coming soon 

Warmest greetings

Gill & Lady

Remember remember, on the Fifth of November

November 6, 2011 in SWEDEN | Comments (1)

All Saints Eve

In Stockholm thousands upon thousands of people bring lights to the forest graveyard of Skogskyrkogården and other churchyards on All Saints Eve. Saturday, yesterday, we were in this vast cemetery where among multitudes of others Greta Garbo’s ashes found their final resting place.

All day people had been coming to place their candles and burners, flowers and messages – on family graves or along the walkways . So many came. So many have gone. Some of the lost ones are mere children remembered with photos and flowers and sometimes toys. Toys are the saddest of all.

The night was filled with sweet touching melancholy of lights for souls flown on. Yet in another way it felt like festival, this public holiday placed on a Saturday in the Swedish calendar.  Families get together to make this pilgrimage for someone they shared. They talk and walk and hug and smile and there are traffic jams for miles. Dogs and toddlers bounce and run, reminding that as death comes new life does too.

Between the tall dark streaks of pine trees there were fields of candles glowing among rows and clusters of square stones – many more lights would come. It was only 4pm. The walkways up to the tall hills curled like strings of living jewels as people trudged their way up to the glowing top. From there you could see lights below in a valley – like an army camped in the night.

We placed two lights for my own beloveds gone on 2006. I used to write often to tell my mother about Sweden, knowing how she was missing us, and how she loved to hear of every flower that opened, every step our kids took, and every leaf that turned and fell.

“Mum” I said. “There are so many people here. Their faces hover in the dark behind the beds of lights. We have this new little dog you know …”

The night folded its sadness around me. November came – and where have I been?

Why have I not written my blog for 6 months? What would I tell my mother?

I have been writing something else. I have been foraging among clichés. I sniff them, gnaw them, polish them clean and arrange them so they become new ones to decorate 400 pages of glossy brochure.

You could say I have been too busy to write my blog, as I have this big fat deadline…

Fact is after looking day after day at this virtual reality you google to, I felt that sometimes you donät want to leak out drops of the PRECIOUS real stuff in words.


Briefly, it was a warm summer…

At midsummer we watched them dance around the midsummer pole at the palace at Tyresö. Remember midsummer in Sigtuna with the haunting sound of nyckelharps and men in yellow breeches, and all the other ones you shared with us? Now the midsummer dancers are getting old and sing with quavering voices.

But July we celebrated at our place in the country with warm nights and barbecues by the river, smoke drifting over reflections. We planted fruit trees and drank champagne for new growth, hoping the deer will not demolish them yet again.

July 2 was the wedding of the century in the hamlet of Ramshyttan – at the manor house that faces us over “dammen” – the serene dark river that flows out over a waterfall.  Tess married Paul from down under. The bride and her sister arrived in a carriage drawn by Ardennes horses (from down the way in Pershyttan).  I saw a local woman with tears in her eyes, ti was so moving to see the old days come alive. We met guests from 21 countries, including a barrage of Aussies  and a few guests bearing kilts.


Chris made the speech, banned from talking about God he did a good job of spirtualizing with TS Eliot. Fabulous to see Vicky with flaming hair, Kaarina and Tandi …and all wonderful local friends one never sees. And to see time can mend many sores 

We had three birthdays to celebrate that July, with Princesstårta from our new bakery  in Örebro – with blueberry, cream and vanilla filling. The flowers in the meadow tangled with the fluffy long grass,  in blue, white and yellow – the sweetest most warmly abandoned summer meadow since the  horses began their munching. Alexis wandered along picking St Johns Wort for medicinal wonders.

Every evening we saw Mr Beaver swim by with a silver streak as the twilight stretched into night (or Mrs Beaver or Miss or Master Beaver) – there are loads of them living in these waters. We saw a badger toddle over the road. The new Norwegian Forest cat roamed the village like a snowy princess. The reigning Norwegian forest cat sniffed at her cotton wool delicacy.

Took a floating dinner on a raft with dining table and grill, and good company, slipping slowly over Ramsjö as the low sun burnished the ripples and trees. Vic and Kathleen from South Africa were there – Vic wore a mask of mosquito netting to maintian his serenity.


August we rented a teeny romantic red and white cottage on Utö – our accessible island in the southern Stockholm archipelago. The cottage, booked over the net through Utö turistbyrå ( cost SEK 1750 for 2 nights for 2 to 3 people. It was around 22 sqm – but managed to feel very livable with bedroom, teeny dining room with white table and four chairs, teeny porch with table and chairs, teeny teeny kitchen with oven and loads of cupboard space fully stocked. The kitchen lacked a sink and there was no bathroom. The loo was 20 m walk to an “utedas” outhouse. The washing up place was on a table under the pines – there was a garden tap. This is genuine Swedish milieu – a simple “sommarstuga” in the country side (“på landet”) – it might have electric heating but plumbing is ragingly expensive to install.  Might I guess Sweden has half a million such habitations left from the days when people really did live in the countryside. Now they merely visit it. Or the Dutch and Germans do.

This cottage lies in a historical mining village on Utö, near the pits now filled with deep water.  Gruvbyn is the main village on the island, and has the yacht marina, 4 or 5 restaurants and cafes, tiny museum, camping place, bike hire and beach.

We extended our favourite walk to Rävstavik. Starting at the smooth and rippled rocks of the outward facing shore and its gnarled pines, we followed a trail laid out by the school kids on the island.  It takes you along the coastline round a peninsula, disappears in reeds and emerges in boardwalks, meditational somehow in its gentle natural beauty and confusing directions.  Quaint educational signs written by the school kids of Utö. Met French, Dutch, Belgian tourists on the walk – as puzzled as we were by the signposting. Into the fringy, shaggy forest and finally home.

We saw the sun go down facing west on an island just offshore Utö island, reached by a bridge. Mesmerizing to just stare at the water and the ripple of rocks, with ducks swimming amid the dapples and dazzles.


Kajsa, Karin, a colleague from the old days (1990s) at another travel operator. We indulged in all-inclusive at Superclubs in Jamaica, including a toga party at Hedonism, and endless strawberry daqris and banana daqris/daqueries  (which we drank without spelling) – and then no daqris at all. A hotel in Montego Bay had allotted us a room at the back with a severely hollowed out bed, plus the scuttle of cockroaches. And a cut off phone. As comfort we went to the bar to ask for a strawberry daquri (daqueri)? The barmen popped his nose in the fridge and said. No strawberries. Banana daquri? Same ritual. No bananas. What do you have? Jamaican beer. There were many more happenings at that hotel to make it a stronger runner up for Faulty Towers than John Cleese’s namesake.

So the point is. Karin had a birthday in August this summer, in true Swedish style…she managed to find a stuga (wooden cottage) – this one in a park. But this was to be more of a Spanish occasion. Borrowing from her family holidays in Spain, she dressed herself up like the world’s most famous beachside paella restauranteur and made a gigantic paella that took hours…


September was warm by our standards. We were grilling by the river still in Ramshyttan. It seemed summer would go on and on forever. Happiness is sometimes just this, a fragile dream.

October was golden. It was a treat to walk through the suburb of Sköndal, by lake Drevviken, along endless walking paths and through copses of oak and other deciduous trees.

The oak woods came alive with the sliding sound and kluff of acorns dropping. I understood why the sagas have the woods peopled with elves and fairies. You sensed hidden friendly life there. A pitch black squirrel ran up a tree bearing one of those precious acorns so there really was something.  

Meanwhile maples flamed their magic way, dropping deep piles of red leaves (still deep and crunchy through into November). Then all the other trees turned gold.

Last week the grounds, lawns, and even the paths were totally covered by these crusty golden drifts of leaves.  Mellow, almost liquid gold. Our little American cocker spaniel bounced through them enjoying the crunching.

But a big machine came and lots of men. Big blue bags of leaves were placed beside our walking paths, and Lady barked to see something new there.  Luckily it costs too much to get rid of them all, and the little sculpture park is still drifting with this old magic. And Lady can still bounce and crunch.

Tomorrow I will go back to writing about luxury hotels for this big and glossy publication…

Talk to you later.


May 1, 2011 in SWEDEN | Comments (45)


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1 May 2011. Stockholm Kungsträdgården & Sköndal.

Bright day with chill breezes swooping up petals dropped from the trees. Cherry blossoms are still  pink in Kungsträdgården – once the Royal garden, now a place for all.  Quite full of concrete really, but the sweet spring comes to “Kungsan” notwithstanding. Today cameras are snapping in the modest avenue of cherry trees, transformed by frothy pink.  More cameras aim at a foam of pink petals on the pond. Kids play with cherry confetti, lying eveywhere. A Coffee Cow guy with his mobile coffee shop asks brightly: do you want latte? “I think you are good at your work,” I say, admiring his bright cheer, “but I have just had coffee…” (over there in one of the glass walled restaurants lining the park). “Oh I will make money soon,”  he says, “when the communists arrive. They will be marching (to or from) here.”

Just up the road is the chilly heart of Stockholm (Sergels Torg), an unfair blemish in a beautiful city – a sort of place or space that tried to be modern once and still looks like it got left behind. Mostly drifters meet here, and judging by police presence pushers and rogues.

But today is first of May. Its one of those days where people with a purpose actually meet in Sergels Torg. First I see women with flags and signs, showing that feminism did not die yet. Some are very young and beautiful. Feminist sluts (they announce on their streamer) for real freedom – against the alliance (the ruling alliance of centrist and conservative parties). The stirring sound of accoustic guitar and folkish ballads remind me of another Stockholm, another age, a time of idealistic youth dissent and Dylan.

Later its the communist party in the square. Even redder. Well very red – all their flags and signs. The performers now are doing the anti capitalist spiel in racy hip hop style.

Back home in the worker’s suburb of Sköndal, in a little park of sculptures, maple leaves keep bursting sappy green, forest flowers dot the ground, the lake gleams in the distance. Amazing that nature gives blessings still – despite the greater importance of economy and finance, markets and growth, and all the other stuff that those that lead us would feed us above all ..


March 1, 2011 in MAURITIUS,SWEDEN | Comments (2)

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Palm lined beach

3 Feb inspection & lunch

This resort epitomizes grand old Mauritian style and hospitality. All the perfect details are there. From the turquoise lagoon, to the park with thousands of palm trees, and white beach sweeping round the peninsula. From high quality furnishings, to the hotel’s famed service and friendliness. And its Michelin-starred dining…

Guests get hooked on this style, and nothing else will do.

For all its posh reputation, the hotel feels relaxed. Maybe it’s all that space. We enjoyed the pool bar lunch restaurant, with its combination of fine dining dishes and snack favourites on the same menu. There are also two fine dining restaurants, one further along the beach. One is under Alain Ducasse and the other under Vineet Bhatia, both Michelin-starred chefs.

Sportiness is part of the hotel’s fame. It has a tennis club, plenty of watersports (free waterskiing) and a dive centre. Naturally fitness rooms and a spa, where we noted relax beds had a lovely view.

Evening entertainment is another part of the St Geran holiday experience.

The resort offers 162 suites all with terraces or balconies facing the sea. We saw a couple of rooms. Despite some new refurbishments they did feel rather old style. Not sure where the fine line goes between traditional and dated elegance.


Room 402

Unfortunately inspection was rather rushed and it was hard to hear what this room type was. Have not been able to find out due to their skimpy website.

Do read on – 14 more posts on Mauritius last month

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