An important part of the Tourism Master program is not only the theoretical education but also practical experiences in form of study trips. My class mates already wrote about the trips we had in the autumn term in this blog, but this trip was the one we were most excited about since it included an overnight stay and even travelling to another Nordic country and not only observing tourism but also participating in tourism like a guest. The trip consisted of visiting SITE Destination which comprises of 4 different destinations, two in Sweden (Sälen, Idre) and two in Norway (Trysil, Engerdal).
So after our return from the winter break, on a cold Swedish winter morning, we entered the bus driven by our great Swedish driver Björn who was supposed to take us to our first stop, Kläppen ski resort and stayed with us for the whole trip. After a 2,5-hour bus ride which most of us spent sleeping, we arrived at Kläppen where we were welcomed by the CEO of Kläppen. After a presentation of the resort we were allowed to ask questions and then it was time for some tourist experience: skiing. We all got skipasses, the equipment and two guides who skied with us, one for the more experienced and one for the beginners. At 12 we got a typical swedish lunch at Karelius, the restaurant at Kläppen resort.
After lunch we got back to the bus and continued to our next stop, the start of Vasaloppet in Sälen. Vasaloppet is the biggest cross country ski race worldwide and taking place in the first week in march every year. Since a few years there are even biking and running competitions in summer. One of the employees told us about the history of Vasaloppet and the competition itself and we were served the traditional warm blueberry soup every competitor gets at Vasaloppet.
The next stop was Experium, a building situated in Lindvallen, which is part of Sälen, a big ski area. Experium is a big entertainment area, including bars, restaurants, cafes, a cinema and a big adventure pool with sauna and indoor surfing. Furthermore, there are shops, a connected hotel, a wellness area and many other activities for guests who are not only there for skiing. First we got a guided tour around Experium and the Hotel and then we had the opportunity to participate as tourists again, enjoying the adventure pool and sauna. In the late afternoon we left Sälen and reached our final destination for the day, Trysil in Norway. We were invited to a great dinner at a nice restaurant, where the owner told us about his business. After dinner it was time to move into our great accommodation in Trysil. It was a very cozy house, with a big living room, several bathrooms and bedrooms for two persons each. Since it was a long day we all went sleeping quite early after some cozy time in the living room for some of us and building a snowman and snowhorse for others.
We started the next morning with a breakfast altogether before we left to Knut Hotel where we listened to a presentation about the destinations Trysil and Engerdal and about the project SITE Destination. Since all our hosts seemed to be concerned that we might die of hunger or thirst we got some coffee and cake as well. We traveled through the protected area around Engerdal and crossed the border around lunch when we arrived at our next stop, Renbiten. We met Helena, who offered us reindeer meat pita and told us about the Sami culture and especially reindeers. We were even given the possibility to meet the reindeers she and her husband tamed and who lived behind her house.
After this really great experience we travelled on to Idre, our last destination. Here we were welcomed with sandwiches and coffee of course and listened to Fredrik, who works at Visit Idre and told us about the destination and answered our questions. In the afternoon it was time to leave Idea and travel back to Borlänge where we arrived in the evening. It was such a great study trip with welcoming and caring hosts and we were all really sad that it was over already.