A Wheel and Away

Selånger Pilgrimcentre, Selånger

Selånger, Sweden

The Pilgrim centre is the starting point of the world’s most Northerly pilgrim trail.  Reaching 580km from Sundsvall to Trondheim in Norway, the pilgrimage honours St Olaf, born in 995 and King of Norway from 1015-1030.

Raised as a Viking after his father died and his mother remarried, Olaf sailed to London aged 12, where he spent his youth raiding and looting until he eventually converted to Christianity and was baptised.  Whilst, there he started to have dreams in which he was told to go back to Norway and make it a Christian country.  He eventually returned and spent many years working to reunify Norway and free it from the Danes and the Swedes.  He succeeded in making the country Christian and was largely responsible for reunifying his country.  However, a rebellion in 2030 saw his death at the Battle of Svolder.

Nowadays, the route is walked by many pilgrims, some in remembrance of St Olaf, others for their own reasons.

Whatever those reasons may be, the staff at the Pilgrim  Centre are adamant that being part of a community can help.  The barn which now houses the centre was originally built in 1907 before being converted in 2016 into a purpose built centre.  It regularly hosts events which all members of the community can get involved with, whether they are intending to walk or not.  And for those who want to try but do not have the time or fitness levels to undertake the pilgrimage in one go, there are optons to do parts of the trail at a time, alongside other like minded people.

There is a small museum upstairs which gives more information about Olaf’s life and gives an insight into how people lived at the time.

There is also an excellent restaurant downstairs should you wish to nourish yourself before starting a hike or just take in the beautiful surroundings.

The entire centre is fully accessible with ramps to access the building and a lift to reach the first floor museum.