Fresh start for Swiss dynamos in Norsjö this spring

Seba Soldo and Helena Kreissel were all set to open their Bäckerudden destination, near Norsjö, on August 9, 2023. However, their dreams were dashed when Storm Hans caused extensive damage to the facility just the day before. But through hard work and determination, they're prepraring for a fresh start this coming mid-April.

Helena Kreissel and Seba Soldo with their son Ando outside the mining hut.

Helena Kreissel and Seba Soldo with their son Ando outside the mining hut.

Foto: Lars Westerlund

Norsjö2024-03-19 09:00

– There's still some snow to melt before we can tackle the remaining branches and debris left by the storm, Seba explains. 

The storm's fury knocked down about a hundred trees at Bäckerudden in Mensträsk, near Norsjö, ripped off roofs, and destroyed the entire facility, including shelters and hot tubs.

Helena Kreissel also teaches yoga.

–The support from neighbors, relatives, and friends has been incredible, says Helena.

– We've come a long way in the restoration process, and it's solidified our belief in Bäckerudden's future. This place has enormous potential.

Seba Soldo is repairing the shelter at Bäckerudden.

Beyond renting out cozy cottages, Seba and Helena have even bigger plans. They envision a lively summer cafe open on weekends, attracting visitors for a relaxing escape.

– We also hope to draw companies and associations to host conferences and events here, Seba adds. 

And for those seeking a taste of his Swiss roots, Seba has a surprise up his sleeve.

– I have a top-notch sound system, and back in Switzerland, I organized massive techno parties with up to 1,000 guests. While techno will be an option, we'll also cater to other genres and feature live music here at Bäckerudden.

Helena Kreissel has her own sewing studio in the mining hut.

Revitalizing Bäckerudden as a tourist destination is their primary focus, but the couple has additional skills to offer. 

Helena, with her background in fashion and illustration, has established a sewing studio within the hut, creating custom garments for clients.

Seba Soldo's techno party attracted a large crowd in Switzerland.

Seba, a former car mechanic in Switzerland, plans to set up a small shop selling fishing equipment within the hut. 

He even envisions converting the old cable car station into a full-fledged car workshop in the future.

Seba Soldo in the kitchen at Bäckerudden.

Adding to their team in May is Christoph Birnstengel, a German moving from Lycksele. 

Through his company Nordic Wanderlust, Christoph has experience leading smaller-scale fishing expeditions. 

– I'm excited to contribute in various ways to Bäckerudden's revival, he says. 

Besides his tourism expertise, Christoph brings valuable skills as a bricklayer and car mechanic – assets that will undoubtedly prove beneficial.

Christoph Birnstengel with a pike freshly caught in Mensträsket.
Seba Soldo are Helena Kreissel working hard to repair everything.