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Interesting Places – Linbana in Norsjö Posted by on Jun 27, 2009 in Culture, Geography

A week ago the season started at one of my favorite tourist attractions in Sweden. And I hear you groan… If it’s one of Anna’s favorite attractions it must be somewhere up north. Ridiculously up north. Hard to get to. Rather obscure. Infested with mosquitoes. Filled with blueberries. And surrounded by wild nature. Yep. You’re right. On all accounts, except for the “ridiculously up north” bit. The place I’m going to tell you about today is moderately up north by Swedish standards. It’s practically southern Lappland. And that’s practically central Sweden if you squint at the map at just the right angle.

And the attraction I’m talking about? Världens Längsta Linbana (the world’s longest ropeway) in Norsjö. Well, technically it’s between Örträsk and Mensträsk, but since nobody’s ever heard about those places, we’ll stick with Norsjö – much easier to find on the map.

What’s the longest ropeway in the world doing in the woods, you might ask? Hmmm… It’s a long story.

It started with a mine (gold, silver, copper, zinc, and lead) in Kristineberg. Back in the olden days, the ore had been transported to Boliden by road – about 100 kilometers (or 10 Swedish miles). But then WW2 happened and with it came severe shortages of fuel and rubber. In other words, road transport became pretty much impossible. But the world still needed that ore. And even more so than before. The problem of how to transport it to the coast was solved in a rather ingenious way.

“Hey, let’s build a ropeway,” someone said. And the rest is history.

And boy, did they build a ropeway, or what? 96 kilometers of it. Through the woods and over the lakes. It took 1500 men two years to finish it.

So how did they transport that ore using a ropeway? They simply loaded it into buckets and moved those buckets on a cable. Kind of like that:

These days 13 kilometers of this ropeway are used for moving tourists. Not in buckets, of course (but hey, now THAT would be an attraction, don’t you think?), but in comfortable cabins. The trip takes about an hour and a half and you can even order lunch. Or bring your own picnic along. And a camera – don’t forget about the camera!

And the best part? If you go towards the end of the season, you can see all the best hjortron patches from the air!

Yeah, yeah, nice bucket of hjortron. (Seen from the air).

And here’s the official website of Världens Längsta Linbana with all the relevant info. Enjoy!

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