The dream villa where pilgrims can rest

By the railway in Pilgrimstad lays the three-storage house where Meja, William and their daughter Madicken lives, together with their dog Frank. The family lives on the ground floor, while they welcome pilgrims to the other two floors of the house, where the guests can enjoy breakfast in their own sun room, with a view over lake Revsund. Welcome to “Pilgrimens vila” (a Pilgrims rest).

Meja Martinek and William Hellspong had only lived in the apartment at Frösön for two years when they found the house of their dreams in the quiet village Pilgrimstad 2022.
– I was scrolling through houses for sale on my phone when this one showed up. I immediately saw all the possibilities! The buy was quite spontaneous. And at the time we didn’t even know we were expecting a baby, Meja laughs.

It came naturally for the couple to offer accommodation, since St. Olavsleden pass through right outside, and they soon open up the bed and breakfast; a Pilgrims rest. And the size of the house allows for two walking companies at the time.
– The house is a bit big for only two persons. There’s a lot of space we simply don’t use ourselves. This summer we had about one and a half company a week staying with us, says Meja while William serves some tea.
– It’s fun to offer something that is so appreciated; an opportunity to take a shower and lay down in a nice bed after a long day walk. The stretch between Gällö and Pilgrimstad is quite demanding, so most pilgrims want to start with some rest when they arrive, says William and smiles.

What they both like best with running a bed and breakfast for pilgrims are all the new persons they get to meet.
– We get to meet all sorts of people and hear their lives stories, from people our own age to pilgrims who are 75 years old, says Meja.

But a Pilgrims rest isn’t their main occupation. Meja runs a café in the central parts of Östersund and William works with transportation.  
– There’s about an hour of work with each couple of guests; cleaning and making breakfast, says William.

However, Meja is hoping to grow the business by next summer, with a summer café in the 30 square meter big log house in their yard. Partly for the pilgrims, but also for the villagers. And also for the fun of it, because if there’s something Meja knows it’s how to run a café.
– Pilgrimstad is a sweet village with nice people living here. But it doesn’t have any grocery store or other given meeting point, so I think a summer café really can contribute there, says Meja.