There are thousands of lakes in Sweden and many towns have a lake alongside. Örebro is not usually thought of as a lakeside town, but it does, in fact, lie at the western end of a one of Sweden’s biggest lakes – called Hjälmaren. In days past one mode of travel to Stockholm from here was by steamer, from this end of the lake to the other, then through a canal to Lake Mälaren, at the other end of which lies Stockholm.
From town the lake is invisible, because the western end of Hjälmaren is all marshland, and though the river, Svartån, flows into the lake only a few kilometres from the town centre, it would be easy to visit Örebro and not even know that the lake was there.
Yesterday, after church, we cycled with friends down to the lake. In the last few years some of the marshland has been reclaimed and trails have been built through the trees and swampy areas to make it possible to get to the edge of the water easily. Being largely marshes, there is an abundance of bird-life, and we were amazed at the huge flocks of ducks, geese, and the occasional swan. It was a beautiful day, a bit windy, but the sky was clear. Autumn is certainly not coming with a rush, but it is very much in the air, and the leaves are at last falling.