13 Bjärabygget - Koarp
Degree of difficulty
Feast your eyes on the magnificent view from the top of Hallandsåsen Ridge. Walk the historical border between Sweden and Denmark, where many a battle was fought. There are no pro-Danish guerrillas to worry about today. But keep your eyes open. Caves, giants and trolls can take you by surprise!
The Hallandsåsen Ridge was forced up when the tectonic plates of Europe and Africa collided some 80 million years ago. At that time Skåne was covered in a shallow sea, and earthquakes frequently rattled the seabed. The island that you see from the outlook over the bay is a part of the same ridge.
At the southeast end of Hallandsåsen Ridge, hidden in the beautiful deep forests, is a cave known as Snibe Stuga. The mouth has collapsed, but inside there is a three-metre-high cavity. A text from the 1700s, claims it was large enough to house 20-30 people. The cave is probably a creation of the last ice age. Melt waters seeped down into the cold bedrock repeatedly freezing and cracking the rock.
Once past the cave and the steep slopes, beautiful heathlands with huge quantities of lingonberries, also known, cowberries, fox berries, mountain cranberries, mountain bilberries, and partridgeberries, are yours for the picking in September. At nearby Stavershult, you can find more evidence of retreating glacial ice sheets: eskers, hills and terraces.
At the highest part of the Hallandsåsen Ridge at Koarp, the Skåneleden Trail merges with the Hallandsleden Trail.
At the Store Ömosse Bog, you can see the remains of peat-harvesting activities in the long narrow channels (turbaries) and the banks where it was sliced out of the landscape. The peat was used for fuel and as bedding for animals.
From a couple of vantage points at Björsåsa-Bälinge Nature Reserve, you can see how a large part of the ridge looked once upon a time. Typical of the eastern parts of Hallandsåsen is a hilly forest landscape with plenty of beech and oak alternating with open moorland created in earlier times when shifting cultivation and grazing were a part of everyday life. In these moorlands, there were only a few scattered trees and vast areas were taken over by heather. The heather was burned off at regular intervals to keep it fresh and tasty for the animals that grazed here.
There are many tales about the cave Snibe Stuga. According to legend, a giant named Snibe lived in the cave with his giant wife Kitta. Now giants did not like the sound of church bells and Snibe and Kitta often threw boulders at the church to quiet the bells. But when the church bells also rang on a weekday, Snibe and Kitta were so frustrated that they packed up and left. A family of trolls took over this prime real estate as soon as the giants vacated. But they were friendly trolls and had a very good relationship with the locals, occasionally even exchanging food with them. In more recent times, the 1600s, pro-Danish partisans, unhappy that Denmark had lost Skåne to the Swedes, had several hideouts in the area, including the Snibe Stuga cave.
Next to the trail, on the border between Skåne and Halland, there is a huge boulder called Bockasten. It was once an important boundary marker between Denmark and Sweden. Some say it was left there by retreating glaciers. Others say that it is one of the boulders that Snibe and Kitta, who both had very bad aim, threw to quiet the church bells.
Along the section
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