Nunca fui de ficar muito quieta.
I’ve never been one to stay still for long.
To spend 7 months in a country that “hibernates” during winter is frustrating for those who – like me – enjoy exploring new places and discovering treasures in small towns.
With my persistence, I managed some adventures and now that the sun shines more often, there aren’t so many excuses not to go.
Make no mistake: it’s still cold as hell! But it’s more enjoyable to explore the cities and the landscape is getting more beautiful.
Well, last weekend we borrowed the car and had planned a trip to Malmö … but the accommodation in Sweden is one of the most expensive things. And as it was too last minute to try couchsurfing, we ended up doing for a shorter roadtrip, divided into two parts.
Hunneberg & Halleberg
On Saturday, we left around 10:40 am bound for Hunneberg & Halleberg. Located in the southern area of Värnen lake, these two flat mountains do not reach 200 meters in height and are separated by a valley that is only 500 meters wide.
Curiosity: some people believe it is in Halleberg that is located Valhalla.
This is a region that became famous because monarchs hunted here. From elks to deers the royal hunt tradition was maintained for many years. We were lucky to pick a day with activities in the nature reserve, so the museum was open to the public for a free visit. It was not very big, but it provided enough information about the animals that populate the area.
After the mountains, we went to one of the main attractions: Läckö Slott. This castle, which looks more like a palace, is located on the island of Kållandsö, also in southern Vänern lake. Its construction is due to the Bishop Brynolf Algotsson (from the town of Skara), which in 1298, created a fort for the region. Kings, earls and officers succeeded in improving the building over the years to make it what it is today. Unfortunately we could not visit the inside , which seems to be very interesting. But like everything in this country, the castle promises operas and other activities … in the summer.
AfterLäckö, we went to Skara, a small village with a huge cathedral. We visited the church and drank tea at a cafe on the other side of the street.
This Cathedral has a cross shape and has exactly the same height and length: 65.5 meters. Inside the cathedral, there is a medieval crypt. This crypt was discovered in 1949 and there is information that it still contained human remains.
The Hornborga lake is located 15 km away from the town of Skara, and it is a major tourist attraction because of the thousands of cranes that pass through here on their migratory route. I’m not a bird-freak, but I do like animals and – let me tell you – to see 11200 birds dancing together (to find a partner) is impressive. Apparently, cranes also choose a partner for life, like some other animals, so it is very interesting to see them doing close by flights, always in pairs.
We returned home with a beautiful sunset of the sun and started planning Sunday’s adventure.
Varberg was the chosen destination. Since we wanted to invest less day time in this trip, we choose a single destination and planned to return home midafternoon. Basically, we went to lunch on the beach.
This city by the sea has two main attractions: the fort and the bath house. It is located in the strait between Denmark and Sweden – called Kattegat (those of you who watch the Vikings series have heard this word before, for sure).
The fort tells us stories about the battles between Sweden and Denmark, a struggle of conquests and re-conquests of land. In 1658, a state of peace was agreed upon between the two countries and Varberg was granted to Sweden. Inside the museum, the fort presents a corpse that was naturally mummified in a lake. It is believed that the Bocksten Man is one of the most valuable discoveries of this type in Europe.
This building catches your eye as soon as you get closer to the sea. It isbased on wooden beams and the bathing happens in sea water. It is a seaside bath house of cold water.
The present building is the third construction, made in 1903, as the previous ones were destroyed by storms. In this bath house, one can swim up naked in two “pools” separate: women on one side, men on the other. And we would not be in Sweden, if it did not include a sauna.
Following the coast in Varberg, we ended up having lunch at Apelviken – a famous beach for the Swedes.We took a picnic on a rock overlooking the sea. This beach it’s often chosen for windsurfing – what surprises me – as I am yet to see some proper waves along the Swedish coast. If I am ever to have a house by the sea it might as well be here: where you don’t have the stressful noise of the waves.
These were our choices, having a car available, but certainly we will have new adventures with public transport as well. Stay tuned!