Nötbacken means Hazelnut hill in Swedish. This is a walk in a nature reserve called Igelbäcken. The reserve is surrounded by major highways on all sides and Kista (the Silicon Valley of Stockholm) right next door. The reserve is accessible for a lot of people and running and biking trails cut through the area.
It takes 35 minutes from central Stockholm with metro and bus to get to the start or 20 minutes from the City of Sundbyberg.
This is a short lunch walk on a sunny September day.
Add sound to the experience. If you have decent speakers on your computer/pad or headphones, you can turn on the sounds of nature. Click below, to hear the sounds from this walk. On this day the wind in the trees was the major sound of nature.
The path is flat and easy to walk on.
Walk a little bit slower than your normal pace.
As in all the Guide to Silence walks we skip information and knowledge about the name of the trees, flowers and the history of the area.
This is a walk focused on being in nature.
Keeping the pace slow sets the focus on the present moment.
To really see what's around us we need to slow down.
We live in a world where keeping busy and doing is the norm, this makes moments of just being even more needed.
We walk into the area called Nötbacken. It's like walking into a big room, the trees embrace and surrounds us.
Sit down for a few minutes, take a deep breath, look up and listen to the wind in the trees.
It is deeply relaxing to look up into a roof of leaves with patches of blue sky.
We continue along the trail.
Listen to sound of your slow steps.
Change of scenery, from the forest out into the open.
The sound changes as well as the scenery. Can you hear the water in the creek?
We are halfway into our walk. Have you found the flow in your walking pace, have you slowed down?
Have your mind-chatter (worries, planning, have-to-dos etc) subsided?
If we can be present in this moment.
We can see the beauty and magic of nature that surrounds us.
We reach our second stop and sit down for a few minutes.
Just take a few deep breaths and enjoy the view.
Look the other way.
There is a tall pineforest behind you.
We head back on our easy trail, this is a part of the main running route.
On roads where we can see far ahead it's easy to speed up, but try to keep your pace slow.
Listen to the dry grass by the Igelbäcken creek. The sound created by the wind in the grass is loud and noisy.
Stop for a minute and listen closely, nature's own noise sounds different.
Listen to your own steps on the trail again.
A focus on your footsteps might keep your mind from rushing off to everything you have to do this afternoon.
Back where we started. This slow lunch walk with two stops took us about 45 minutes.
The slow walk was less than 1,5 kilometers, so you didn't burn many calories or increase your physical performance. But, it might have provided you with a short break from thinking, lowered stress levels and some new energy (of the kind that doesn't have anything to do with calories).
I hope you have enjoyed this low-tech virtual forest bath and if you happen to be in Stockholm contact me and I will give you a guided tour in the real fantastic nature of Stockholm (but remember it’s going to be a guided tour in silence and you will not learn anything about trees, geology and history, but maybe something about silence, stillness and....).
Sound facts: On this September day we had background sound levels between 45 - 50 dBA. That's on the edge for what can be called a quite area. But the strong wind in the leafs and the grass was the dominating nature sound and mostly covered up the trafficnoise. On this sound track we also added the sounds of steps on the trail.