Båstnässkroten – a car cemetery
There is a hidden gem in the wild west of Sweden, namely the region of Värmland near the Norwegian border. If you go to the little village Töcksfors close to Årjäng, and follow the little road towards Västra Fågelvik until it ends, you’ll arrive to one of the most fascinating places I’ve ever seen – Båstnässkroten. It’s very well known to both car enthusiasts and photographers, and people from all over Europe go there. It’s a car cemetery, hidden in the forest.
I have a fascination for abandoned places. They have a creepy, post-apocalyptic feel, but are also very intriguing. What happened there? What’s the story behind them? There’s always a reason why they were abandoned, and learning about it adds to the excitement and fascination. Some of these places have an unpleasant history and may even be unsafe to visit, such as Pripyat, Ukraine, or Wittenoom in Australia. Hashima island, Japan, may not be unsafe but has a very dark past.
Båstnässkroten started in the 1950s by the Ivansson brothers, who dismantled cars and sold the parts to mainly Norway, where there was a shortage of car parts after World War II. The business seems to have continued at least until the late 70s. Both brothers have now passed away, and I don’t know how much the rest of the family have engaged in the place since. The area is home to around 1000 old cars, seemingly scattered around in the forest but some of them are neatly lined up in a large field. The area, including cars, is private property and it’s strictly forbidden to remove car parts from there, but it’s allowed to walk around, admire the cars and the nature, and to take photos.
The sight of these abandoned cars is very odd, but beautiful in its own way. Nature has taken over and you’ll see cars with trees growing inside them or where small animals have built nests. We visited a couple of years ago, on our way back from Dalarna where we had celebrated Midsummer and visited my parents. My husband had read somewhere online about this place, and it seemed like something we should see.
Båstnäs isn’t exactly along the way but we definitely did not regret taking that detour. It’s truly spectacular there. It was very quiet and peaceful, but also sort of sad and desolate, with remnants from a bygone time. Walking around there among all those overgrown cars gave the feeling of finding yourself in another world.
I found this house rather creepy, with that… figure sitting there. But it’s just a piece of information. This sign basically says that the area is private property and that you can walk around and take photos, but if you want to buy something or have questions, you can contact Tomas, one of the family members (if the sign is still there today, I don’t know).
How to get there
If you come from Karlstad, take road E18 towards Oslo. In Töcksfors you need to turn left towards Västra Fågelvik, there is a church on the right hand side of the road. Continue on this road about 25 km. When you get to the signpost that says “Här slutar allmän väg” (very literally translated, “Public road ends here”), you’ve arrived. Enjoy your stay!