Saturday, May 24, 2014

Tagged: The Liebster Award

I've recently been tagged by Stick in a post of his regarding The Liebster Award.  The short of it is that it's a blog award/tag that bloggers give each other, and so first off I have to say thanks to Stick for tagging me.  I'm a big fan of his blog and youtube videos, so I'm flattered that he tagged me in another post.

So how it goes is that whoever tags you gets to ask you 11 questions, and then in turn you ask 11 other bloggers 11 questions of your own.  Stick sums things up quite well, so I will just quote him:

"Honestly, I had never heard about the award, so I did some “Googling” and found that it is essentially an award that “was created to recognize and/or discover new bloggers and welcome them to the blogosphere.” This is accomplished by tagging/linking other blogs in the post (which could shed light on sites others may not know about yet), as well as through answering, and then asking, a series of questions. Then to finish things up, another group of blogs are tagged, and a new set of questions are made up, and so on… "

I must admit it is going to be a challenge for me to find 11 other bloggers to tag.  I only follow a handful of blogs, and some of them have already been tagged by The Liebster Award before.  But I have a plan.  I frequent the forums over at BPL when I have the time, and there are several members there whose posts I appreciate.  Well some of them have blogs, so that's how I will be able to tag 11 more bloggers.  Sorry if I have tagged someone that has already been tagged before!

Anyhow, on to the questions posed to me:

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cesar's Guide to the E1 Trails in Sweden: from Ulricehamn to Mullsjö and More


***Update 21/06/2015: Thanks to a reader named Heather, I recently found out that the E1 trails that connect the town of Hindås to the town of Mullsjö seem to have been updated as far as trail maintenance and also how it is conceptually organized.  Between these two towns it is now known as Sjuhärsleden, is broken down into 10 stages, and a new website (mostly in Swedish, but some English and German) with maps for each of the 10 stages and other information is available here.***

The experience of hiking E1 trails between the two towns of Ulricehamn in the west and Mullsjö in the east is... complicated, as the following report will demonstrate.  This section of trail is about 35km, and consists mostly of the first part (about 10km) of a trail called Redvägsleden--which goes generally north from Ulricehamn and continues to the town of Åsarp--and a set of roads and highways that are simply not trails at all.

Planning for my trip to hike this section, I did quite a lot of searching online, and was unable to find a map of Redvägsleden; nor was I able to find a map from this trail to Mullsjö, or that much information in general actually (*See update above).  With other trails there is normally an official website with helpful PDF files of maps, brief summaries of the path and its conditions/features, etc.  Not the case with this section of the E1 trail.  After arriving in Mullsjö and learning the names of some of the local trails there that cross paths with the E1, I was able to find more information online when I got home.  More on this later.

What you can do is contact the local tourism board and have them send you actual paper copies of some maps, which is what the official E1 Sweden website recommends, and is what I did.  They were kind enough to send me four different maps of the area and the trails in the Ulricehamn area--but no maps of the Mullsjö area--*again, make sure to see the update above and visit the new official website for Sjuhärsleden.

I highly recommend that if you intend on hiking in this area to somehow get and bring a map/maps of not only the Ulricehamn area, but also of the Mullsjö area, and make sure that each map includes trails and pedestrian zones.  You can either buy them, contact the tourism board to send you some, print out some online maps, or do a combination of all of these map options.

A few maps (with information in Swedish) that are very helpful are of the first section of Södra Vätterleden (which the E1 very briefly crosses paths with), and the last section of Västra Vätterleden (which the E1 follows in its entirety).  The Mullsjö area can be especially confusing, as will be discussed in detail below, due to several factors--one of the main issues being that there are many local trails that loop around or through Mullsjö.

Going northbound the section before this one is Sjuhäradsleden, which goes between the city of Borås in the west and the town of Ulricehamn in the east.  The next trail that the E1 continues on from in Mullsjö is Västra Vätterleden, and here is my guide to the first half of it going north from Mullsjö to Hjo.

If you have not read the introduction to this trail guide yet, you can do so here, and there is also a list of links to other completed reports of the Swedish E1 trails.  Please keep in mind this is still a work in progress.

Sorry for such a long introduction, but believe me, there's just no way around it in order for me to write a good and useful trail guide on this section.  As such, the report that follows will be longer and more detailed, and will have more pictures that previous trail guides I have written on the E1.  So go get a cup of coffee, a snack, and strap in for a bit--this is going to be a long one.