The natural landscape of Bohuslän is well-known and world famous – both within and outside Sweden’s borders! Someone who definitely agrees is the adventurer Annelie Pompe from Mölndal. She has climbed Mount Everest, beaten the free-diving world record in Egypt, and plans to ski all the way to the Antarctic, which means she has seen quite a large proportion of the world, but she is still certain: The Bohuslän landscape is the most beautiful in the world.
Despite the fact that Annelie works all over the world and alternates free-diving in Egypt with mountaineering in the Himalayas, she is clear about one thing: Bohuslän is the most beautiful place in the world.
— I love the barrenness and soft lines of the rock formations, the underwater world, and the small communities along the coast.
Earlier this autumn, Annelie and her boyfriend Erik took a three-week long so called SUP trip through Bohuslän. SUP is short for stand-up paddling.
— It’s so simple! You stand on a board, paddle in hand and glide along. It is a very quiet way to travel, and you get extremely close to nature. From the first time I tried it, I knew that ‘this is something I want to do more of’. My next thought was to travel this way along the coast of Bohuslän. To experience this area from a paddleboard felt like the perfect choice.
Cleaning the ocean
During the three weeks it took to travel from Gothenburg in the south to Strömstad in the north, Annelie and her Erik took the opportunity to combine pleasure with doing something useful. When they were not admiring their glorious natural surroundings or free-diving, they spent quite a lot of their time on the waterways of Bohuslän doing what Annelie refers to as ‘cleaning the ocean’. Many of the currents bring jetsam and flotsam from all four corners of the world, which then end up along the coast of Bohuslän and this is something Annelie wanted to put a stop to.
— It’s so sad to see se human waste products in the lovely setting. As a nature lover I wanted to give something back, and we decided that the best way to do this was by cleaning up along the way. We were sponsored with bin bags and gloves by the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation, and picked up rubbish whenever we went ashore for a coffee or to spend the night. Out at sea, we sometimes came across plastic bags and ice cream wrappers – and the tourist areas were the worst; here we found everything from empty cans and bottles to disposable barbeques in the water.
Fell for Ramsvik
On their way north, Annelie and Erik passed places like Marstrand, Smögen, Stocken and Ramsvik. And if the natural landscape of Bohuslän was beautiful, the area around Ramsvik was the most beautiful of them all.
— The rocks, the colours, and the peacefulness were simply breath-taking. And I enjoyed the contrast between camping and getting soaked through by rain, then walking into a spa hotel, jumping into a warm pool, drying out the equipment and having a delicious meal.
Bohuslän is known for its rich offering of first class fish and shellfish – but this was something vegetarian Annelie could only observe through her boyfriend. Her greatest food experience was to witness how much he enjoyed all the locally sourced ingredients on offer.
— He particularly loved having salmon for breakfasts whenever we spent the night in a hotel, laughs Annelie.
Whether you travel by boat, plane, car, train, or standing on a paddleboard, the experience is similar: once the journey is completed, you will have found one or a few places that have become special favourites. Which ones are on Annelie’s list?
— Hummerviken on the island of Öckerö was among the most beautiful places I’ve seen, and Blåbergsholmen near Fiskebäckskil was a great surprise – almost exotic. And we fell in love with Sotekanalen and the strait by Hamburgö.
Finally, Annelie has a simple tip for anyone who is thinking of taking a holiday and spending some time close to nature:
— Find your own time! If you are not afraid to take a holiday outside high season, you won’t encounter vast numbers of people. There were times when we were completely alone on the ocean, which made the nature experience even more tangible.
Text: Johan Wetterberg