For this second journey, we invite you to ramble through the alpine landscape, in other words, the Scandes and the Scandinavian Montain Birch forest, where are growing the birch trees of the traditional Forge de Laguiole folding knife handle.
Running along 1700 km, the Scandes counts one of the highest peaks of Northern Europa, Galdhøpiggen at 2.500m, located in “the country of the Giants”, that is to say the plateau of Jothunheimen in Norway. The Scandinavian Alps, called Scandes, are shared by the three countries of the peninsula, Sweden, Norway and Finland. The birch of our folding knives handles come right from Karelia in Finland.
It is the Swedish geologist Erik Ljungner, who in 1940 suggested the name Skanderna, in French «les Scandes». Today, the name is used mainly in Swedish, in French or in English but the Scandes are on the whole known by the individual names of the mountain region that composed them: Jotunheimen, Dovrefjell… which in the past formed a range almost as big as the Himalayas.
Starting your excursion in Norway, the easiest way to reach «the Scandes» is by train. The Bergen Line connects Oslo to Bergen through Hardanger plateau.
Lakes, rivers, waterfalls, valley, crest, the world feels enormous and the wild is everywhere. Many trails crossing the range offer huts, hytte or hitter both affordable and comfortable. If living outdoor is almost a cult for Scandinavians people, it does not means giving up their taste for comfort!
The fauna is varied and rich. If you will no longer come across a wild deer, you may always see lemmings of the tundra (one of the only endemic mammals of Scandinavia) or even snow partridges.
The tundra is also the land of the Betula pubescens, sometimes called the moor birch. The tree cohabits with the mountain ash, the cherry tree, the aspen and the Marsault willow.
Furthermore, the Scandes are the country of the Sami people, a name they’d rather used instead of Lapon, which means “those who wear rags” in Swedish.
Those who are keen in classic literature will take a great pleasure in reading the medieval saga of Sigrid Undset’s Kristin Lavransdatter. The saga was published between 1920 and 1922, the action take place near the Otta River. Fans of Crime fictions will be thrilled by the novels of Jo Nesbø and the adventures of his hero, Inspector Harry Hole. Most of the novels exist in downloadable e-book version.
As for the gourmets, they will enjoy fenalar, a meat made of a dried leg of lamb perfumed with honey, or a karsk cocktail, a coffee mixed with vodka or moonshine, perfect to drink with or without sugar.