#MySweden: ‘The further you go, the more wild the nature gets’

Every week one of The Local's readers takes over our Instagram. Today, photographer Darren Hamlin shows us his remote part of Sweden.

#MySweden: 'The further you go, the more wild the nature gets'
Darren Hamlin lives in Swedish ski resort Åre. Photo: Private
How old are you and what do you normally spend your days doing?
I am 44 years old.
I work as a freelance film-maker/photographer, so my days vary a lot. I travel a lot when on shoots, and that can be anywhere in the world. Shoot days are long and intense, but great fun.
When I am at home I can dictate my schedule somewhat, so I normally take the children to school, then work on editing, pitching, marketing etc.
When and why did you move to your town?
I was living in Stockholm and working in Uppsala when my first child was born. The commuting was getting to me, and quite often I would leave before the kids were up, and got home after they went to bed.
We decided we needed to change something, so we looked at all the options, then decided that we wanted to head for Åre, and make that happen.
What do you love the most about your town?
The big outdoors, forward-thinking and creative people, passionate people, the fun of living in a place that people come to for fun, the weather and the light.
It is also great to live in a place that is a tourist destination. People come here on holiday, so people are generally happy, and I think that that rubs off on you.
What annoys you the most about your town?
I would not say that anything annoys me, but there are some challenges. I live in a place that has a lot of wealth and investment, but the school system needs more finance, teachers, resources. 
How should I spend a day in your town?
Well, that depends on a few things. In the winter you should hit the slopes. If you want to be a bit more adventurous you can go off-piste. You can get a guide locally, but be aware of the avalanche dangers and go prepared – transponder, shovel and probe – checking the conditions.
We also have an abundance of cross-country ski tracks, or husky sledding.
In the summer you have hiking and biking, with many downhill and cross-country tracks. You can visit the two waterfalls, Ristafjället and Tännforsen.
Around an hour away you have direct access to some really beautiful and big nature. Storulvån, which is the gateway to many hikes, and the famous Jämtland Triangle, a hike that takes in Storulvån, Sylarna and Blåhammaren.
We also have Vålådalen, with some really beautiful hikes out, and I find it a really great place for families.
For some fantastic views you can visit the small village of Ottsjö, the lake and surrounding views are fantastic. From the village I recommend a hike up Hållfjället. The tourist station at Hällfjället has no electricity, and still has the original decor from the 1940s.
Heading to the north of Åreskutan, the road heading towards Kall is beautiful, and the further you go, the more wild the nature gets.
What's a fun fact not everyone knows about your town?
The cable car was built in 1975, which was also one of the worst winters in memory. The Swiss workers were actually snowed in on occasion. It takes seven minutes to climb the 860 vertical metres. Each of the two cables is 3,190 metres long and weighs 43 tonnes. 
Tourism in Åre really began with “air tourism” in the late 1800s, with people visiting for the clean air.





Thank you for having me this week, and showing #MySweden It has been lots of fun, and if you get a chance to head north, do it. Be it Åre and Jämtland, or Idre, Luleå, Kebnekaise, Sarek or the wealth of other amazing places in this country that many of us now call home. Remember one thing, leave it as you found it, and take advantage of allemansrätten, it a very unique and special thing. If you liked my feed, please head on over and give a follow to @darrenhamlinfotoandfilm and my film company @kollektiveproductions If you do find yourself heading to Åre, and have questions or need some pointers, don't hesitate to contact me. Over and out… #MySweden #TheLocalSweden #åre #älskaåre #årelive #jämtland #jämtlandhärjedalen #åresweden #fujifilmnordic

A post shared by The Local Sweden (@thelocalsweden) on Aug 22, 2019 at 11:15am PDT

Follow Darren on Instagram here. To find out how you can become The Local's next #MySweden host, click HERE.

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