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Skating on thick ice: touring Sweden’s frozen lakes

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Gliding over frozen rivers and lakes was once a popular winter pastime across northern Europe. A new wild skating tour of Sweden hopes to revive it, and revel in the sublime scenery, too

A whitish-orange glow from the setting sun was reflected in the ice that, for once on our trip, was actually mirror-like. Exhausted but elated, we skated for a while in silence, save for the sound of our skates gliding, scratching (and sometimes stumbling) across Östjutenlake, in south-east Sweden. A sublime, lonesome scene. Even animal sightings were rare in this isolated landscape, though we passed tree trunks gnawed by beavers.

Related: In awe of Åre, the Swedish ski resort now reached by budget flights

Related: Nights on ice in Sweden's Arctic wonderland

Helping each other out on the first day “broke the ice” – but only in social terms

Related: 10 of the best-value family ski trips

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