If you are into an experience of apocalyptic dimensions, an experience that is so enigmatic and incomprehensible that your brain just has a hard time understanding what is going on, then Båstnä's car cemetery, also called Ivan's Junk Yard, far out in the Swedish forest - and I mean far far out in the Swedish forest, where all public roads end, just for you.
How to get to Båstnäs
Båstnäs is not a place you just visit without having anything to drive on or in. You can get there of small -creeped trails, from the Norwegian side, but most people probably come from Töcksfors, of E16, and from here is There 19 km into the forest - deep into the forest. We did it on a February day, when the last 10 km was partly covered with a thick layer of ice, which slowed us down. It is not a place one is just able to step off the road, and should call for help.
On the other hand, the experience is worth the whole trip. Not long after you pass the blue booth's city sign, at the roadside, the first rusty car wrecks emerge. They stand right in the woods like brown sculptures that have been placed out of context. First one, then two, and suddenly you are surrounded by hundreds of car wrecks, all of which have exceeded the spare parts date, and all of which have more or less gone in one with the nature they are placed in.
What is the story behind Båstnäs Bilkirkegård?
The story of the origin of the car cemetery is that the two brothers Tore and Rune Ivansson had a small workshop from which they sold spare parts to old cars. In particular, sales were going on to the Norwegians, who after World War II was severely affected by the economy, which is why the Norwegian car park was somewhat worn out, and therefore many spare parts and brothers Ivansson were needed.
The economy of the Norwegians eventually came to fruition, and in the end of the 1970s there were not many customers left to waive the brothers Ivansson's booming spare parts taxpayer. However, they continued unabated to buy old cars until they lost their scrap license, in 1988, and thus turned the key for their spare partial adventure.
Where the brothers got off, no one knows with certainty. The house they lived in, still standing on the ground and if you didn't know better, it might seem like it's still inhabited. All of them lying a spooky veil all over the story.
Back has thus left hundreds of car wrecks, which are more or less being swallowed up by nature. The more you walk around, and the deeper you enter the forest the more a completely grotesque scene, with a rust of rusty cars, like skipping, is occasionally stacked in up to 3 layers. So, in between the trees, hovering just below the wooden crowns, you can suddenly recognize the body of an old Volvo PV544.
Art or environmental wasting
Everything is so weird, so "out of place" that, if you didn't know the story, the scenery might as well be a game of provocative statement-installing art, with man's poor treatment of nature, as the theme. But the truth is that nature is in fact breaking down and swallowing up the old cars that are ruthlessly thrown into it.
It is like you cannott get enough at all. One's eyes and brain can't get enough at all. As if being drawn by the completely unreal amount of car wreck, which stands as both grotesque distorted metal sculptures that look like the backdrop of an apocalyptic film and at the same time give substance to a whole lot of questions.
Many questions - but few ansers
For how can the car wrecks still stand here, 35 years after the scrap company closed? What have the many old cars provided by pollution to the underground? My guess is that one did not go so much into the proper emptying of the cars' many polluting liquids before they were recommended to what was certainly bare mark but now overgrown forest.
What the heck happened to Tore and Rune Ivansson? Why does the house stand as if it has been abandoned over a night? And how long will the cars stay standing?
The last is impossible at find an answer to, so maybe you shouldn't wait indefinitely if you would like to experience the absurd view of more than a hundred car wrecks, neatly recommended in Swedish nature.
When you decide to leave, set aside plenty of time. Once you get started on exploring, time flies off and you have quickly spent a few hours there, far out in the Swedish forest. You do not find signs of what you must and what you must not do, but for everything we know and what we have heard from others, it is perfectly ok to walk around the area, and also to photograph loose - and there is enough motives to take hold of.
But wait - it gets even more creepy
Best as you think the whole miser can't be much more creepy, so wait until you've read what was on a sign, former visitors have been met with:
“This car cemetery is private property. You May Still Look, Take Pictures But Don't Take Away Parts. Don't Destroy or In Any Other Way Disrupt this Place. If you open a car Door, please shut it again so the next visitor can get the same experience as you did !! For Info: AFTER ABOUT 30 BURGlaries This year is cool up with it! Made Traps in the Buildings So If You Get Hurt or Die, I don't care! Remember in This Place No One Can Hear You Scream… ”
We couldn't find the sign when we visited the cemetery in 2023, but now you are warned -you are there at your own risk !!