The Out-of-Towner

Friska Viljor Örnsköldsvik

I’ve spent the last weeks commuting between Umeĺ and Örnsköldsvik, teaching a course in environmental policies. Unlike Umeĺ, which has always been an administrative and educational centre, Örnsköldsvik – or Övik, as everybody calls the place – is an industrial town, mainly known for two things: The MoDo factories (now part of Holmen) and the MoDo Hockey team.

Övik has two other sights: Paradisbadet – people drive from Umeĺ to Övik in order to go bathing – and Friska Viljor’s ski jumping hill in the middle of the town.

The hill posed a problem for the Botnia Railway project because the old hill had to be removed to make way for the new railway line. The company building the railway had to build a new hill which bizarrely has a landing pad going under the railway.