Originally built in 1943 to ferry ore buried deep in the mountains, the Norsjo Cable-Way seemed to have had its day by the end of the 20th century. It was then that the locals, some of whom could recall the great sacrifices that were made during its construction, rallied round to save it. At over 13 km (8 mi), it stands as the longest cable car journey in the world and now ferries tourists between Ortrask and Menstrask, gliding at a majestic 10 kph (6.25 mph) high above the Vasterbotten countryside.
Fourteen cabins ply their trade in each direction, offering the chance to enter a fragile woodland environment accessible by no other means. Reindeer and moose are common sights and, unlike other forms of transport, the relative quietness of the cable cars does not seem to disturb them too much. As you pass each concrete mast – there are 73 in all – you can’t help but marvel at the amazing feat of engineering that produced this modern wonder.
It is a strange experience to be held aloft for so long and the cable-way provides a wonderful bird’s eye view of this splendid environment. After the initial jolt into action, the cable-way provides a real Hansel and Gretel experience, soaring above lakes and forests through a dizzying expanse. All passengers have a window seat and the compact cabins have an intimate feel, each housing just four people. In summer, birdsong provides the perfect soundtrack to your voyage, whilst in winter snow and ice cling to the trees as if they were sculpted that way.
By cable car
WHEN TO GO:
The service operates year round and each season has its own unique feel
TIME IT TAKES:
One hour twenty minutes
The Cable-way Museum at Ortrask.
The charming little town of Ortrask.
YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Booking in advance is essential for this popular attraction. It should also be noted that currently only ten of the carriages are heated, so if you are travelling in winter check that you are in one of these, or wrap up warmly