The Classy Klara, Sweden

The Klarälven had Karen and I naked and waist deep in water cold enough to freeze pubes. We fought against the current, trying to push a multi-tone timber raft back up stream and out of the sand bank. Meanwhile, our male companion basked on deck stirring the pasta sauce. The campers perched on the bank to our right granted us a whistle and a wave. It’s not everyday you see two naked woman escorting a man on a timber raft upstream, god bless their eyes.

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We floated in this demeanor for three glorious days and at night, we banked the raft and camped ashore in sweet Swedish meadows.

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The pee-on-board policy was a new experience, even for me. Holding on to the timber posts, one would squat backwards over the water and empty their bodily contents (liquids only) into the Klarälven. We called this manouvre the classy Klara. This image of Karin executing the CK in a drunken fashion is ingrained in my memory for the rest of my days and for this, I am eternally grateful.

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All tricks aside, this trip was undoubtedly one the best things I’ve ever done. If you don’t believe me, National Geographic rated Vildmark amongst the best European trips of 2013.

It’s so far off the beaten track – the scenery seems so surreal it ignites a sense of ‘holy fuck’ inside me that only nature can derive. Cruising down the Klarälven is easily the closest I’ve ever come to pausing time.

Yours truly,

Ems x

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