After the amazing Northern Lights we are already awake at 7:30 a.m., still excited and tell our Swedish hut colleague, who didn’t want to get up during the night, how intense the play of shapes and colours was. We have breakfast, chat with the warden and for the descent into the Visttavággi we get the tip to keep rather low at the block fields and to take the left path at the last descent to the Vistasstugan.
We start at 9:15 a.m. with a crossing of the river a little above the hut (the best spot varies, ask the Stugvärd). No bright sunshine anymore, today it is more or less cloudy, with 7°C quite cool and a cold wind is blowing through the valley – which means headwind for us. The clouds that come up through the valley and surround the peaks of the mountains create a special atmosphere.
A block field whose stones are a bit slippery when wet, that sounds like the introduction to a small to medium catastrophe, doesn’t it? Don’t worry, the block field is not the problem, we walk concentrated and carefully. The flat path afterwards, all around shining autumn colours, the mountains in the fog, the photographer on duty with his eyes everywhere, but not on the track: ankled, quickly let go and plumped, but nevertheless, collateral ligament in the right ankle – once again. After the first pain fades away, but the second remains: shoe tied tighter, more weight on the trekking poles, on we go – not bad actually and hardly slower than before.
In the last part of the descent to Visttasvággi we first see some small birches and later reach the light birch forest. Most of the birches are already yellow, some are red – until Abisko it is another week, we are curious how colorful the Abisko National Park will be!
At 14:15 o’clock we reach the Vistasstugan and meet Vintervik as Stugvärd, which we also only knew virtually from the Outdoorforum. He invites us on the traditional hut lemonade and afterwards even on coffee, which is a real pleasure in the Fjäll after a few days of abstinence. We spend a comfortable afternoon, chatting with Vintervik, making noodles with Köttbullar and beer from the shop in Vistas and reading in our Kindles. Without the super-tight laced shoe I can hardly walk, the way up to the toilets with the trekking sandals is a pain, although I walk with the trekking poles – well, that can be fun the next days. Since the bad weather has now reached us and we have not used any of our three bad weather or rest days so far, but on the contrary have saved one day with the direct stage from Kebnekaise to Sälka, we decide to spend an additional day in Vistas.
In the late afternoon a group of 14 Belgians arrived, so the hut was quite full. Mixed sauna is not desired by the Belgians, so first Elisabeth goes with the women, later I with some of the men (we both didn’t want to wait for the mixed sauna afterwards at 8 pm). We spend the rest of the evening writing diaries, drinking tea, eating and reading.
We start at 9am relaxed and well rested with a big cereal & porridge breakfast with crispbread and salami. My foot? Hardly better, I just hobble around. While Elisabeth washes the dishes and our laundry, I literally hop to the woodshed, saw meter pieces to furnace length and then split them into handy logs. Here at Fjällstugan, which is well looked after by Vintervik, it’s child’s play – the saw blades are sharp and in addition to the wood splitter there’s a nice heavy axe for solid manual work, so it’s fun! 🙂
After we were already busy in the morning, we are allowed to be lazy for the rest of the day. We chat with Vintervik, watch him baking bread, make Kaiserschmarrn (a famous Austrian dish) from our stock and Vintervik adds blueberry jam – it couldn’t be better! The day flies by, outside it rains more or less, the view from the window to the cloudy and foggy valley is a lot of fun sitting next to the warm oven. Unfortunately no moose in sight, but we see reindeer on the mountain vis-à-vis.
Vintervik also tells us a bit more about the STF and the huts in general during our stay, including that this hut was designed by the architect Tore Abrahamsson and is unofficially called Abrahamssonstugan, the official name is Fjällstuga 65. The hut is symmetrically designed and has two identical rooms for guests with a common entrance area and an intermediate room for the Stugvärd. Besides Vistas (built 1972 according to Vintervik with source “Fjällstugornas historia” or 1980 according to Wikipedia.se) you can also find this hut type in Nallo, Aktse, Singi, Hukejaure and some other places. In the Swedish Wikipedia there is an article about it.
In the afternoon two young Swedes come to us in the hut, siblings, whereby she lived half a year in Germany. We chat and get a mini Swedish course. In the evening there is a mixed sauna, except for us there is only an older German couple who bought a house in Sweden and tell us a little about life in Sweden. The rest of the evening is spent eating, drinking, chatting and reading.