**Apologies for the delay in getting the posts out. There’s number of excuses that I won’t bore you with so just read on**
Pic. Saoirse and Muddie in Copenhagen
For those that don’t know, Muddie is the grandmother name that my mother Frances would like Saoirse to call her. We’ve put some alternatives out there (Batnan for example) but they’ve not …ah… caught on lets say.
So back to Sweden we go but with a stop for a few days in Copenhagen first.
Top tip for Copenhagen is the Copenhagen card. One off payment for the card and there’s a lot of sights and activities included as well as free public transport. Kalmar has the Kalmar pass and Stockholm has something similar so if you’re going to a European city its worth checking out.
We had a nice Airbnb in Copenhagen booked. It was a young family’s home so it was well setup for us.
Pic. Copenhagen boat tour.
The first day we got out early and went on a boat tour of the city. It was a really great way to see the city and get an overview of where everything is. At the start of the tour the guide gave several warnings about the height of the bridges and you had to stay seated when the boat went under. Someone at the back of the boat almost failed the test at the first bridge much to the alarm of the guide and driver. There were plenty of fantastic buildings visible from the water and, of course, we saw the mermaid. The area that was most interesting was Christiania. The former military area became an area for a commune in 1971 as a protest against unaffordable housing. Its had a very colourful history since then as it has not always been fully accepted by the Danish government as it considers itself a free town. There is more history on Wikipedia if you’re keen to read more.
Pic. The round tower.
Following this we visited the round tower. It is the oldest functioning observatory in Europe. There is a flat slope from the bottom almost up to the top so it was easier than covering the distance in steps. A highlight for Saoirse was the art gallery where they were exhibiting art from a local group of people with learning disabilities. There was a lot of bright colour and scenes with groups of people.
For lunch we went to the main market and had open fish sandwiches and a beer. Very tasty. The cafe was very busy and there was permanently a long queue from the time we arrived until we left.
Pic. Castle highlights
Pic. Saoirse enjoying the botanic gardens.
We decided that it’d be good to stretch our legs out so we visited the botanic gardens and had a stretch out on the grass so Saoirse could have some time to get moving. We also popped into one of the castles that was close by before heading back to apartment.
Pic. Copenhagen Zoo.
The following day we visited Copenhagen Zoo. Just looking at Saoirse’s reaction was worth the entry. It is very well laid out with plenty of room in the enclosures. We were lucky enough to see the hippos and lions being fed as well as the polar bear swimming underwater.
Pic. The cisterns
Next we went to the cisterns. This water storage is now used for art exhibitions and events. They try to make the most of the eerie setting for the exhibitions. There was a flame that was linked to sensors so the closer you got the bigger the flame. Also multiple lights and mirrors were setup which made you feel like the area was haunted when every now and again you caught a glimpse of a figure in the rotating mirrors. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Pic. Random Copenhagen pics
On our last day we took the train to Kalmar and our new rental for 4weeks in Knarrebo. Knarrebo is very rural but 12km from Kate’s work so geographically it was well positioned for her to bike commute when she had a day shift. Saoirse, Frances and I could have the van on those days to go a little further afield.
As Kate was back into work our first few days were just settling into the new place and visiting Kalmar.
On one day we visited the Kalmar museum. Its main attraction is the artefacts taken from the Kronan. A huge Man O’ War ship that sunk not far off the coast. It was the most important ship of its time with over a hundred cannons on board. The exhibition took you from it being planned and built all the way to divers salvaging the artefacts. An amazing snapshot of life back then. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kronan_(ship)
Pic. Artefacts from the Kronan.
Kate had managed to rearrange some shifts so that we’d have more time for a trip with Frances so we set off to Southeast Sweden, Skåne, for a few days. The area is steeped in ancient history and has beautiful countryside and beaches. The highlights of the trip were:
The elk park – a small , family run park on our way south. Very impressive animals! They can swim underwater for several minutes to eat and run 55kmph… they look a bit ungainly but that’s what you I get for judging a book by its cover.
The Ales Stenar – a group of stones that were arranged in the shape of a ship on a hillside that could serve as a calendar. These dated back to the end of the nordic iron age.
Glimmingehus – a fortified house from the 15th century. This would have been owned by a landlord in the area. It was allowed to be built strong enough to withstand a peasant revolt but not the kings cannons. Can’t have the landlords getting too cocky you see. Now when I say fortified, I mean very fortified. If there was a peasant revolt I doubt they made it past the front door to be honest. There were murder holes to drop things down or shoot things through, multiple heavy doors/gates, and a shooting room on the top floor so that you wouldn’t even get near the house in the first place. Another clever design was that as you went up, the stairs got gradually steeper and bigger so even if someone managed to defy all the odds and reach the top, they’d be too knackered to fight anyway!
A walk in Stensuvud national park with its beautiful coastline and some great views from the top of its highest hill. Also some beach time!
The kungagraven – a bronze age burial mound with several paintings (the largest in Sweden).
Hey group 1. A belated entry for the trip that my mother, Frances AKA Muddie had over to Sweden. We had a few days in Copenhagen and a few days in the South east of Sweden. The pics probably tell the rest.