Vasaloppet och Annas Hus

Posted on March 12th, 2013 by

Greetings everyone, I am writing to you as I recover from what I did yesterday. In the town of Mora, there is a GIANT ski race that finishes here. This past week was filled with many different ski races from 45km up to the long Vasalopp which is 90kl long. Now to give some background on this race, it is based off of a journey taken by a group of farmer from Mora to catch the king of Sweden (or rather soon to be king). Gustav Eriksson Vasa went to Mora looking for support because the Danish king had killed many of the Nobels in Stockholm, including Vasa’s father. So he headed north to find people to support him in the ousting of the Danish king, who had power in Sweden during the Kalmar Union of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. The Farmers of Mora at first did not accept the King’s offer, so he headed to Norway and after having some time to think about it (go figure haha). Now they traveled from Mora to find the King on Snowshoe, eventually found him, gave him support in the ousting of the King, thus giving Sweden independence in 1523 on June 6th. Now someone thought to re-enact this trek back in 1922, thus creating the Vasalopp ski race. In this race, at the end of the week, had about 17,000 people participating, by racing over the 90km trail that spans the entire of Dalarna. I was invited to hand out warm drinks to the skiers, as they passed our check-point at Oxberg, by the choir directer from the Folkschool, Ingrid Eriksson. Now I was not expecting to be handing out the drinks, but instead have some kind of choir performance, so needless to say I was a little overwhelmed by having to do this. BUT it ended up being really fun. Ingrid told the people of the choir that who ever gave out the first drink to a skier would get a solo in their spring performance……and I was the first in our group to give one out, so I was told I need to come back (this was very tempting ;) . And as you can imagine, it got SUPER busy because all 17,000 people came through this check point. I worked from about 11-4:30 handing out Blåbarysoppa, Sport Dryck, Vatten (water), bullon (which was vegetable stock for salt), and Bullar (a bun). I ended up getting confused at the beginning because the last two sounded very similar, so when someone asked for the bun I would give them the drink and vise versa XD.

We also did a lot of singing during the time we were handing out drinks, even got to sing for a guy they were interviewing along the course over video! I even ended up singing over the speakers to a woman who was celebrating her 50th birthday, and to the skiers who were quite tired, and a very well known Swedish musician heard me sing a “not quite right” version of The Prayer, and I got on the SVTV channel in the background waving at the camera (so I had my 15 minutes of fame over National Swedish Tv XD ) After everything was done around 5, I went with Ingrid to the finish line in Mora to see her daughter finish the race and enjoyed a dinner with her son and the family of his friend who also did the race that day. I feel very fortunate to have been able to experience this event that has such interesting roots in the history of Sweden.

After the factory tour of the Dala horse Factory, we made it to Anna’s rustic village home where we got a tour her village. This was sooo cool to have been able to experience this because some aspects of this village dated back to the 12th century and it even had a structure that was in the top 10 of the oldest buildings in either Scandinavia or Europe. I couldn’t help but imagine what it would have been like to walk these streets, to have farmed here, what life would have been like so many centuries ago. We don’t have places that old in the US and we only hear about places like this in school, so being here made these past memories come alive. We came back to Anna’s house and enjoyed a DELICIOUS lunch of Tomato Lentil Soup, Broccoli cheese pie, hard bread with Västerbotten cheese and butter, horse sausage with horse radish, raw salmon, some really good bread (I can’t remember the name of it haha), a green salad with home made Lingon berry drink; and for dessert we had a type of cake with Cloudberries on top. Oh boy was it fantastic! it was a bit odd to eat horse sausage because we don’t normally eat horses…..we ride them (food for thought).

Now what happened next was truly breath taking, Anna and her friend played us Folk music on an assortment of different traditional Swedish instruments.  As Devin pointed out, we were listening to Swedish Folk music in an old Swedish house, which was in an old Swedish Village. I was taken back by this fact because we were participating in something that probably happened in this home centuries ago. So I just closed my eyes and just imagined what it must have been like to have had a concert like this so many years ago, letting that thought resonate within me.Mora2 128 Mora2 117 Mora2 018



  1. Roland (2009 leader) says:

    Thanks for your good entry, Eric. A sunny day for Vasaloppet? From what I read there had been a storm the night before. I’m glad Ingrid brought you out on the trail so you could both experience the race and perform. And it’s good to see that Anna is still….Anna. I’m sure she has hosted all of you well.

  2. Krister Stoor says:

    Next time, Eric, you’ll have skis under your feet and travel the 89 k’s from Sälen to Mora.