Serra de Tramuntana part 2

In the second part of our hiking trip in the mountain range Serra de Tramuntana we will inform you about the rest of our first hiking day + the early start of the second day. In this entry you will get to know among other things how sleeping in a dorm room with 34 other people is possible… To stay in the chronology of the adventure let us go back to the high route Camí de S’Arxiduc where we stopped last entry.

After we met the little bleating goat on the tree we followed the route to the next sign. At this part of the route you have to be very careful as next to the path there is a steeply dropping and vertiginous steep face. You don’t want to slip and fall here…

DCIM103GOPRO
Looks dangerous right?

 

DCIM103GOPRO
No worrys! Wasn’t that dangerous.

We followed the sign at the junction in the direction of Deià and went downhill on a rocky mountain track until we reached the Western end of the steep slope. From there our tour guide told us to hike (it was really hard – sometimes climbing would be a better description for what we had to do) downhill straight through huge stones and even rocks – they did their best to exacerbate our trip!

WAY
It was much harder than it looks like on this shot 😀

And if that was not bad enough we missed the exit to the serpentine track down to Deià. Hence, we hiked 30 minutes too far downhill – uphill it took us 45 minutes again. As we reached the end of the steep slope it slowly dawned to us that we went wrong. Our mistake was that we went too far in the middle of the stony area and didn’t hike close enough to the steep slope so that we couldn’t notice the exit marked with a lot of cairns.

Cairn
Shot of a cairn

But we have to tell you that it was not 100% our mistake – some of the stones on the trail looked like cairns what made us think we were right there. VERY IMPORTANT FOR THIS PART OF THE ROUTE: IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN A CAIRN FOR A WHILE YOU ARE DEFINITELY ON THE WRONG TRACK. GO BACK TO THE LAST CAIRN YOU REMEMBER AND FROM THERE SEARCH FOR THE NEXT ONE.

Make sure that you are always following the cairns. Otherwise you may have the same extra fun as we had 😉 The moment we finally found the millions of cairns at the exit to Deià we were so thankful and happy! So we were back on the right track down a wooden and serpentine pathway to Deià.

DEIA HILL
Deià + steep sloop + forest we went through to get down to Deià

Our happiness lasted only for a short while as this serpentine track was really steep and never ending… Finally we reached the end of the forest but still had to hike downhill on a small road leading through the beginning of the village. Our feet couldn’t wait to arrive at the center of Deià!

Deia
Cute village of Deià

Once arrived, we were so hungry and obviously a bit discouraged because of our silly mistake and time loss when we missed the exit. We didn’t even make it to Deià in the estimated time mentioned in our tour guide what gave us a bad feeling. But hey, it was our first real hiking day ever! So we sat down on a cosy terrace in one of the restaurants of Deià’s pretty old town and relaxed while eating delicious food and drinking a fresh beer.

Actually our plan was to hike the next stage of the route from Deià to Port de Sóller now because both of the tracks weren’t long according to our tour guide. But as the first stage to Deià took us longer and we didn’t want to arrive at Port the Sóller at midnight, we decided to take the bus. Anyway, the track to Port de Sóller just would have been along the street so we wouldn’t have missed a really worth-hiking part of the route. Not fitting in the full bus we had to change plans again – so we hitchhiked to Port de Sóller with a really friendly old French couple who were spending their holidays on Mallorca to hike as well. Finally we were lucky! This was our first hitchhiking experience 😉

SOLLER1
Shot of the beautiful village of Sóller
Train
Historic train of Sóller (in operation since 1912)

Like Deià, Port de Sóller is a small and cute village, but a bit more touristy than the first one.

Soller2
Marius + port of Sóller

Next to the beach in the center of the village you find the port with a lot of private boats. It’s a beautiful view as the bay of Port de Sóller is surrounded by a hilly landscape. Here you have a huge variety of restaurants and bars with this stunning view. In one of them we enjoyed a Paella which was good but not the best one we ever had. So don’t expect too much, here you pay for the view and the atmosphere as well…

TABBLE
The view we paid for 😉
FOOD
Seafood Paella

Powered by the Paella we followed the uphill road leading our first Refugi located on a small hill from which you have an impressive view on the port from the opposite side than before. Especially worth taking out your camera during dusk and dawn 😉

DUSK
Sóller during the twilight hours

Arriving at Refugi Muleta we were impressed by its size. From the outside it looked two times bigger than an ordinary Majorcan house. What we saw from the outside was reflected by the inside. Entering the Refugi you went into a big rustically furnished dining room with long wooden benches and tables with seats for more than 30 hikers. After we went upstairs we entered the huge dorm room with bunk beds for 36 people. Arriving late at the Refugi it was hard to find two available vacant close to each other. Unfortunately there were only two on top of the bunk beds which were about 1,70 meter high and didn’t have any railing which protected us from falling down 😀 Pia who sometimes moves a lot while sleeping was a bit scared of falling down after she fell asleep. Although it was still loud at the dining room as we tried to sleep we were played out enough to fell asleep quickly. Luckily neither Pia nor me woke up on the ground the next morning. We set the alarm to wake up early at 6 am because the tour guide told us that the next day would be the hardest and longest on our adventure. Our first hiking day was much longer than expected so we were curious how we will manage the next day… So stay tuned 😉

We promise next time we will introduce you to our donkey friend who joined us for a few meters!! 🙂

Please follow and like us:

The Feast of Valborg – Sweden

Today I would like to tell you about Valborg, one of the biggest festivities in Sweden. At the end of the entry you will find a table listing the expenses you will have to face when coming to take part in this one of a kind event!

The festival takes place on the 30th of April. Often referred to as Walpurgis Night in other countries, Valborg celebrates the end of the cold winter and the beginning of spring. May Day celebrations have a very long tradition in Sweden. In its oldest university town, Uppsala people gather by the thousands in the park and sing hymns in their white captain’s hats – a traditional accessory for the city’s students.

I have celebrated it in Lund, where I study & live.

Lund Cathedral
Lund Cathedral

Lund is very famous for its 3 – 4 days of Valborg parties. As Lund is a very international & vibrant student city, people from all over the world come to celebrate Valborg here. From what people who have been living here for quite a while been telling me it is the best party in the country. This was made clear by many people from Stockholm whom I have met. Sweden’s capital is actually much closer to Uppsala and still…they come here every year.

Both, Lund and Uppsala, are the country’s biggest and best known student cities & in a constant battle about which one is better & who has the better Valborg. Briefly put: It is Lund. Deal with it Uppsala…

Back to the festival. Everything starts on Kvalborg, the night before Valborg. This year it was on a Friday and a major part of the population of Lund, namely its 47,000 students (of an overall 100,000 population), began to celebrate in the student clubs and the housing areas. Music boomed from the speakers since midday all over town & tourists began to arrive.

Party in Parentesen
Party in Parentesen

I spent that day in Parentesen, which is a housing area for students that is well-known for its parties. Sorry for the bad picture…it is the best I could do in my condition at that point in time. Forgive me.

Although it was a cold & windy day a lot of people showed up after their casual “Friday-afternoon System Bolaget walk”. Allow me to explain. System Bolaget is where people buy their booze in Sweden.

Beershelf in System Bolaget
Beershelf in System Bolaget

It is a state liquor store and the only option to buy drinks with more than 3.5% alcohol. One can also get light-beers with up to 3.5% at the 7/11 and other supermarkets. One thing for all you my fellow budget travelers, this is where a major part of your budget will end up being spent. Alcohol is anything but cheap in Sweden. However, the pre-drinking mindset is well-established here, as the pubsclubs are barely affordable. If you go to a regular Irish Pub in Sweden you will pay at least 6-8€ for a pint of beer…Yes, 6-8€. This is why we have student nations, accessible only to students, which have special deals with the government & are able to serve cheaper drinks (0.33l beer for around 2,50€). These nations mainly exist in Lund & Uppsala. Another fun-fact: Those two cities are also the only places in all of Sweden where it is permitted to drink in public, which has an imminent effect on the Valborg festivities in the parks.

So, Parentesen, as well as other places in town started going wild on Friday and to a large extent partied all night. I was doing the only responsible thing and went back early (around 3 am) so I could get up early for Valborg – because that is what it is all about. Due to the unbelievable mass of people coming to the small city of Lund for the party on Saturday you have to be in the park early. This is what a typical Valborg morning looks like:

  • Wake up around 6:30/7am
  • Take a shot of a spirit of your choice, which you wisely placed next to your bed the night before
  • Take a shower, brush your teeth etc.
  • Grab a chair, food, summer clothes, sunglasses, a raincoat, winter boots, a scarf…basically be prepared for any kind of weather
  • Go to the fridge and take out the massive amount of alcohol you have stored
  • Go to Stadsparken (city-park)
  • Arrive no later than 8am to find a decent spot
  • Sit down and enjoy the show
  • Drink
  • Don’t stop drinking

When arriving in the park – after following this morning routine – I was impressed by how many people have already been there. The pictures below were taken at around 8:30.

Valborg morning in Stadsparken
Valborg morning in Stadsparken
Get up early & go to the park
Get up early & go to the park

By 9:30 it was extremely difficult to get anywhere else but your spot. We were a group of around 40 people from different study programs, countries and continents. The day proceeded with live music from the stage and more drinks. True festival vibes were created by the usually reserved Swedish people who – on that day – went all out… Partying, shouting, dancing, singing, drinking, kissing & mating.

Frederik & I in front of the pile of wood
Frederik & I in front of the pile of wood

At around 3pm authorities start to clean the park & everyone goes into town or to private “inbetween-parties”. Frederik & I went to one of those, where we sat around had some more beers & ultimately went for a Lundafalafel, which is the infamous must-have meal in Lund on such a day. Around 8pm everyone gathers back in the park to see a huge bonfire. An about 3 meter high pile of wood is lit. At this time you will also see quite a few families & hear a choir singing. In the video below you can see the fire and hear the choir chant.

At the end of the night I went to nation event. Three of Lund’s student nations gathered together and opened their clubs. Everything from Electro/Dance, over Hip Hop, up to Swedish Folklore & pop music was represented in the clubs. The night went on until 5am for me. I can say it was a long & exhausting two days. The Swede did not quit there though. The day after Valborg they were out partying again at some nations & the parks. They call this last day of the festival “Finalborg“. Some crazy people even add a fourth day and call that one “Katastrophalborg“. Now that I know how things go down I will be prepared for the full 4 days next year! 

Below I have arranged a small list of budget considerations you should have in mind when thinking about attending Valborg. Also, you can get a better idea of the festival here.

Budget:

Activity

Amount in Euro

Flight to & from Copenhagen (Denmark) within Europe, when booked in time

50-100€

Train to & from Lund

25€
Beer in System Bolaget (0.5l & alcohol 3.5% – 10%)

1,20€ – 3,00€

Wine bottle (1l) in System Bolaget

6,50€ – 20€

Spirits in System Bolaget

>20€
Fetsival day in the park

0€

Meeting new people & joining them for “inbetween-parties”

0€

Bonfire

0€

Public transport

0€, because you do not need it in tiny Lund

Accomodation (Hostel) in Lund Pp Night

30€

Accomodation (Hostel) in Malmö (between Copenhagen & Lund) Pp Night

20€

Or just couch-surf or crash at the place of someone you met on Valborg 🙂

0€

All around the long weekend will cost you anything between 150-250€.  I agree that this is anything but cheap but it is also really worth it. If you plan on going to Sweden anyway you should really consider this weekend!

If you have any questions about the festival, Lund, Sweden or the budget just let me know in the comments and I will get back to you right away! 🙂

Thanks for reading this entry, I hope you liked it.

Please follow and like us: