Signing the atmosphere
Welcome to Bollnäs and Söderhamn – two small towns in ”Norrland” (the northern part of the country), and yet they are situated in the southern half of Sweden. Both town (the municipalities) have a population of 26 000–27 000; they are big enough to offer a variety of activites and small enough to give you the advantages of small-town living.
In both Bollnäs and Söderhamn there are many organisations and clubs. People join to sing in a choir, play an instrument, do handicraft together, dance or practice and compete in a sport. Football is the biggest sport in summertime while bandy (played on ice), ice-hockey and skiing are the big winter sports, and a lot of people also swim, run, ride horses or play golf, table tennis, floorball or tennis. The bandy teams from both Bollnäs and Söderhamn play in the top national league and Söderhamn has one of the best table tennis clubs in Sweden.
Since you find a lot of forest and many lakes in this part of Sweden, a popular pastime is to walk, hike, ski, pick berries or fish. The Right of Public Access (Allemansrätten) gives you the right to walk and camp (for a short period of time) more of less where you want to, and to pick berries and mushrooms. If you want to fish and hunt you need a special permit or a hunting licence.
Many Swedes also have their own little ”sommarstuga”, a summer cottage, preferably situated on a lake or on the Baltic Sea. This is the perfect place to relax in the weekends and in summertime, often together with family and friends.
Mårten Andersson from Bollnäs was a famous painter with a big production of colourful artwork. He has also designed and painted an outdoor scene next to Kulturhuset.
Especially in summertime there are many concerts and open-air theatres to visit. The tourist information centers will give you ideas to keep you busy every day! And if you are hungry, there are restaurants that serve good food while you enjoy the beautiful scenery of Hälsingland. Pay Skärså, Växbo or Orbaden a visit!
Turistbyrå = tourist information center
Idrottsförening = sports club
Bandy = bandy
Fotboll = football
Friluftsliv = outdoor living
Sommarstuga = summer cottage