Modern life has its perks, but if you feel like taking a break from it all and going back in time for a few days, there’s a unique tourist facility in Sweden that offers you the opportunity to live in a wooden charcoal-burner hut located in the middle of a forest, cook your own food over an open fire, chop wood and clean your dishes in a nearby spring.
The Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge Hotel is not for everyone. If you can’t even fathom the idea of living without electricity, running water, or a modern toilet, then the rustic charm of this place will probably not appeal to you. But for anyone trying to escape the pressure and busy life of the big city or take a break from the internet and other modern gadgets, this place is paradise. Located 1 km south of Skärsjön Beach, in the middle of a pristine Swedish forest, Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge consists of 12 charcoal-burner huts with nothing but two sheepskin-covered wooden beds, and a wood stove that uses wood chopped by the guests themselves.
Self-catering breakfast, lunch and dinner can be booked on site, and consists of items like spaghetti, tomato-sauce, bread, fruits and eggs that tourists have to cook themselves over an outside fire. There are no showers, only a nearby spring and as for toilets, visitors are encouraged to go behind a tree, or visit one of two sheds, where the toilets flush with soil.
Adding to the charm of this place is the long coal-making tradition of Kolarbyn. Locals have been building these rustic huts from wood and mud for over 400 years, and a few of them came up with the idea of recreating a few of them in the woods as an eco-lodge to keep tradition alive in the area.
“People visit Kolarbyn lodges because they want to experience the nature and to test sleeping in the historical charcoal huts. They want to come away from the normal day life,” owner Andreas Ahlsen said. “The huts themselves are relatively small; as if they are too big it will destroy the nature experience.”
Photos: Kolarbyn Eco-Lodge