Östersund (Ostersund), Jämtland, Sweden, is a welcoming town on the shores of Lake Storsjon. It’s most famous for the Loch Ness-style monster, the Storsjoodjur, that's said to inhabit the lake. More prosaically, the town is also a major inland rail junction. As well as the Inlandsbanan, which travels more than a thousand kilometers north/south between Kristinehamn and Gallivare, routes head five hundred fifty kilometers southeast to Stockholm and two hundred sixty-five kilometers west to Trondheim in Norway. Ostersund is a major gateway to exploring the northern reaches of Sweden.
Apart from monster-spotting -- there are eight official “observation points” along the lakeshore -- the main thing to do is visit Jamtli, a family-friendly, partly open-air museum that's fifteen minutes’ walk north from the center along Radhusgatan. The main attractions, shown by guides in period costume, are the ninth-century Overhogdal tapestries, whose hand-woven patterns of horses, dogs, and other beasts date from the Viking Age. Visitors are also encouraged to participate in the baking, milking, and other activities in the reconstructed eighteenth-century wooden village buildings.
From near Ostersund’s harbor, you can take the bridge over the lake to Froson Island, site of the original Viking settlement here; it's the site of Sweden's northernmost rune stone commemorating the arrival of "East Man," the first Christian missionary in the eleventh century. Also on the island is the distinctive bell tower of Froson Church, built in the late twelfth century. Oh, and don't forget the zoo. In the colder months, when the lake freezes and is turned into an enormous winter park, it’s possible to skate or walk from one side to the other.
There are a couple of centrally located hostels in Östersund (Ostersund), Jämtland, Sweden, offering dorm beds for the budget backpacker and neat private rooms. Any Östersund (Ostersund), Jämtland, Sweden hostel is within a couple of minutes' walk from the tourist information center near Kyrkparken. Onward travel advice can be found at your hostel in Östersund (Ostersund), Jämtland, Sweden, or at the tourist information office. They can be very helpful in helping visitors get to Moose Garden, sixteen kilometers southwest of the city.
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