Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/466

This page has been validated.
450
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

NATURE AND LIFE IN LAPLAND.[1]
By C. CHAMBERLAIN.

NONE who have had experience of travel in Swedish Lapland are likely to deny to it the charms of perfect freshness and originality. The almost primitive character and habits of the people, the singular conditions of their life, the unique splendor of the scenery, the bright intoxication of the air, and the glory of the arctic sunsets, are all a constant source of pleasure and surprise. For the angler there is almost unlimited trout and grayling fishing, with possibilities of salmon; and for the sportsman abundance of ptarmigan, willow grouse, hares, and wild-fowl of all descriptions; while the cost of living, not indeed sumptuously, but sufficiently well, may be covered by two or three shillings a day. Unfortunately, these advantages can only be reached by routes so little tempting to the ordinary tourist that it appears from the visitor's book at Quickjock that only three hundred persons in twenty years have braved the discomforts of the approach. Now, however, that Norway is becoming hackneyed ground, and that all its available streams are rented and preserved, it is possible that the attractions of Lapland may yet counterbalance the well-founded objections to the gulf of Bothnia. At the present time the trip cannot be recommended to ladies, unless they are willing to put up with more than the usual inconvenience and discomfort of out-of-the-way travel; but for men, willing to rough it a little, there is no hardship or difficulty greater than those with which most sportsmen must be already familiar.

Stockholm, the starting-point of the expedition, may be reached direct by Hull and Gothenburg; or, if the land-route be preferred, through Calais, Cologne, and Hamburg, and thence, either through Jutland to Friedrickshavn, and across the Cattegat to Gothenburg, or by Kiel and Ivorsoer to Copenhagen, and thence by Malmo to Stockholm. For bad sailors the last route is to be preferred, as in the other cases the traveler must make the acquaintance of either the Skaggerack or the Cattegat, or of both; and he will probably find that their names are not rougher than their waters, and that they are in fact the most diabolical cross-seas on the face of the globe. The captain of the little steamer which plies between Gothenburg and Friedrickshavn, who has spent the greater portion of his life in ocean-ships, informed us that he never dared to go below when the Cattegat was rough, but found his only safety from sickness in the fresh breeze on deck.

  1. From an article entitled "A Visit to Lapland, with Notes on Swedish Licensing," Fortnightly Review, December, 1876.