A Travellerspoint blog

July 2018

Preparing is half the fun

Rome 2016

View Rome with Mom & Travelling the movies on Stefmuts's travel map.

large_1297706_14830214115699.jpgMy mom wanted to visit Rome [Rome-travel-guide-278393] for a while now. First try was with 2 of her sisters, everything booked and planned and then she fell ill and had to cancel the trip. Her sisters did go along with the trip and had a great time. We are some years later now and one day my mom said: I still haven't been to Rome, dad doesn't want to go there. So I said: I will go to Rome with you. So we picked a time of year and started collecting information on everything to do with Rome.

I went to my local travel agent and got some books with city trip offers, asked my fellow TB-ers what must sees Rome has besides the obvious (Vatican city, Colosseum, Trevi fountain etc.) I got some nice tips, enough for even more trips to Rome.large_1297706_14830214223793.jpg I found on the internet info on the Rome and Omnia card with skip the line options. Separate tickets might be cheaper but this has all we want, entrance tickets to the Vatican and ancient Rome, hop-on hop-off bus and public transportation. My mom found an offer for flight and hotel so we booked this all together.

Next thing is to plan the trip itself, most things we both want to see so no need for concessions there. We plan a full day for the Vatican, a full day for ancient Rome and on the last day. Piazza del Popolo, Spanish steps, Trevi and some more if there is time

Our flight arrives in Rome around noon, then we have to take the train to the city center. Still way too early to check in to the hotel so we decided to walk to the Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano where we can pick up our Rome and Omnia card and stop on the way to get some lunch. I have my backpack so I can go on for days, my mom has a small suitcase on wheels which turns out to be not as convenient as it sounds. We had a pizza and a soda on a small terrace near piazza Vittorio, picked up our Rome and Omnia card and took the metro back to Termini station. Checked in our hotel and stayed there till dinner time.

We found a nice restaurant really close to our hotel we didn't feel like doing the city tour at night so we would just make sure to be rested enough for tomorrow: the Vatican


Posted by Stefmuts 03:44 Archived in Italy Tagged churches buildings city sightseeing city_trip Comments (1)

Megalithic Sweden

Denmark-Sweden 2016

View Travelling the movies on Stefmuts's travel map.

large_1297706_14790345124033.jpgSo I planned to visit Lund but finding the flyer with all kinds of interesting sites near Ystad made me decide to skip Lund and go to the Ystad area again. First a stop at the Sandhammaren. I passed the sign yesturday on my way to Ales stenar but didn't stop to have a look. Today I make it a special trip. It's an area with beautiful white sand dunes, didn't expect that here! I took some time for a walk on the beach.

Near Gislöv I went looking for the Bragestenarna (rock carvings), went up the road, down the road, O, wait there is something. I pull over, park my car on the roadside and when I get out I see I almost parked on top of the rock with the carvings. No parking area, no obvious sign, just the plaque with some info. You do have to have some imagination to make out the carvings.large_1297706_1479034530164.jpg

The sites Hällristningar vid Järrestad (rock carvings) and Stenstuan I did not manage to locate (no road signs or I missed the road signs) so I head back to Kivik [Kivik-travel-guide-665464] for a second try at Kungagraven/Kiviksgraven. This time the entrance I used yesterday is fenced off, and today's entrance to the site is through the restaurant. After paying the entrance fee I walk towards the grave. The big door is open but I´m a bit disappointed to see concrete walls and ceiling. The tomb isn´t in it´s original state, pity! But inside are some of the original carved stones as they would have been in the original setting. It looks like painted rock but the paint is only to be able to make out the figures.large_1297706_14790345497005.jpgKunga-/Kiviksgraven

A bit north of Kivik, near the small town Vitemölla is another megalitic site: Havängsdösen, a 'stone chamber tomb' what made me suspect it to be something like Kungagraven. I try to get to Havängsdösen by walking up the coastline but after half an hour walking I decide to turn back and drive a bit further up, if there are opening hours to the site I don't want to be late. It was a nice walk on the beach though! A bit further up there is a parking lot with a sign pointing to Havängsdösen. So it's a dolmen inside a stone circle, freely accessible so no openinghours. I could have continued my walk along the beach since I was already half way there, but hey, I didn't know what to expect. The dolmen is located on a hill and it has sea view.large_1297706_14790345836796.jpgHavängsdösenI think it's almost as beautiful as Ales stenar! The neighbours are Ravlunda firing range, heavily protected by barbed wire and surveillance cameras which makes it look even more dramatic. I walked along the beach up to the point where I turned back earlier, so now I had done the full path from Vitemölla to Havängsdösen.

On my way back I stopped again to look at some stone circles in the forest (no sign on the road side, but I spotted the stones while driving by) also another pair of grave hills on the other side of the road. No parking area, probably the sites are not interesting enough since they are found all over the south of Sweden


Posted by Stefmuts 22:32 Archived in Sweden Tagged ruins sightseeing petroglyphs dolmen megalithic Comments (0)

Disas Ting and other stuff

Denmark-Sweden 2016

View Travelling the movies on Stefmuts's travel map.

large_1297706_14790337439587.jpgGoogling stone circles I found another one near Ales stenar (which was already on my must see list) Disas Ting stone circle in Svarte, well, more like a stone rectangle. It's located right at the road side so not to be missed. The name comes from a legend, where a maiden named Disa conducted legal hearings (ting) on this site. I couldn't find the whole story and this, from the plaque on the site, is a bit vague but maybe my fellow travel buddy's can tell me more (?)

Then on to Ales stenar, the most famous stone circle/stone ship of Sweden. Here a big parking lot with information billboards and flyers in several languages but no sign of a stone circle yet. I took a flyer and discovered there are lots more sights to discover. I started walking following the signs and after a bit I was alone with just meadows and sheep.large_1297706_14790337775595.jpg In the distance Ales stenar came in sight and getting closer it became more and more impressive.

The stone circle/ship is built overseeing the coastline and the site is not polluted with touristy stuff like icecream carts, info stand or a restaurant. I sort of expected the whole tourist souvenir shebang so I was pleasantly surprized. I wasn't the only visitor but I managed to get some pictures without people in it, makes it look just a bit more magical.

Next I went to Kivik [Kivik-travel-guide-665464] to find the bronze age grave mentioned in the flyer. It has a double name to make things easier; Kungagraven/Kiviksgraven But I managed to find it quite easily. It's an royal tomb (Kungagraven = Kings grave) a passage grave.large_1297706_14790338024844.jpg I can enter the site but the tomb itself is closed on mondays

Also a tip from the flyer: Halsberg stenar, nothing megalithic this time but the work of a miller. He carved the mill´s history and parts of the bible in several rocks which are displayed in the garden at the mill. The museum near the mill is also closed on mondays but at the garden a sign asks visitors friendly to leave the entrance fee in the mailbox at the gate and so I do. I'm the only visitor at this time.

To not have a full day of stones and graves I also visit Ystad today. This medieval town is like an open air museum with it's pastel-coloured half-timbered houses and the cobblestone streets. I have a (very) late lunch in a backery shop near the main square and have a chat with one of the other visitors, an old man who after living in Berlin for a while came back to Sweden. After a walk through the town I install myself on a bench in the park near the abbey and just enjoy the sun and the view for a bit.


Posted by Stefmuts 03:34 Archived in Sweden Tagged landscapes city tomb coastline megalithic Comments (0)

Bosjökloster private tour, sort of

Denmark-Sweden 2016

View Travelling the movies & Road Trip Denmark - Sweden 2016 on Stefmuts's travel map.

large_1297706_14786336029104.jpgHallsjö Church ruin
After leaving Torsby I went to Nässjö, just a layover on my way south. Only exciting thing: I saw my second elk, and again no photo option (damn!) Coffee break at Kungslena kyrka, it had the touristic attraction logo so I had to check it out. Apparently it's part of a pilgrim route, thats the attraction. I stayed at camping Lövhults, nothing special. There's a nature reserve where I did a short hike after dinner and next morning on to Höör.

I had my coffee break at the parking near a church ruin and a iron age grave field, nice place for a coffee break, not special enough for a detour though. After arriving at the camp site and putting up my tent I had enough time left to go and visit Bosjökloster.

At the entrance a sign says to put the entrance fee (SEK60) in the mail box.large_1297706_14786336317146.jpgBosjökloster
As I'm collecting the money from my wallet an employee comes up and says 20 is enough since it's almost closing time, but don't worry, the gardens stay open. He walks me to the museum and exhibition space and tells me about the history of the monastery, first a Benedictine monastery for women after that privately owned by Mrs. Thale Ulfstand and today by the Bonde family whose ancestors painted portraits are in the hallway but those people never actually lived there. There are relics on display from the time of the nuns and an art exhibition in the other wing.

I also check out the church and the churchyard where the nuns lie buried under simple stones with barely notable numbers and dates, no names. Inside the church are some sculptures from an older building (sadly I don't know the story about those) The church is still in use by the local community

The rose gardens are still beautiful although most flowers are gone already (It is nearly autumn).large_1297706_1478633661826.jpgBosjökloster mill
At the far end of the gardens stands Sweden's oldest oak tree, there is a small petting farm with some goats, chickens and alpacas and near the old oak tree there are some bee hives producing the honey they sell at the ticket office (which was closed so no honey for me)

On my way back to the camping I passed a windmill also belonging to Bosjökloster. My Dutch roots forse me to go and check it out so I do exactly that


Posted by Stefmuts 22:28 Archived in Sweden Tagged landscapes churches culture camping monastery Comments (0)

Not skiing but hiking at Hovfjället

Denmark-Sweden 2016

View Travelling the movies & Road Trip Denmark - Sweden 2016 on Stefmuts's travel map.

Near Torsby is the ski resort Hovfjället. We left my cousin to do some work around the house and me and his girlfriend went for a hike in Hovfjället. Here there are actually some marked hiking trails and still we managed to get sort of lost. We parked the car at the central building and walked up to the information map and decided on the route we were planning to take and started walking.

After a bit we saw a signpost and turned towards it. Our route was on one of the arrows so we followed it. We walked a while above the treeline and then the path went down into the forrest. Some parts were muddy so they built a boardwalkto make it easier for hikers. The dog had a great time walking the route three, four times up and down, bathing where he shouldn't, going to be a fun ride back with wet dog in the car.large_1297706_14771269621806.jpgHovfjälletWe followed the route to a cabin, all seemed fine. If we turn left we should be going uphill again towards the starting point. But after a bit the trail went downhill again, this doesn't seem right. We went on for a bit but as the path kept going down we decided to go back the way we came. Turned out we started all wrong by walking towards the signpost, we should have stayed on the main path, but instead we started the trail backwards. Who puts a signpost on the end of a walkingtrail? Only in Sweden I guess.

In the evening we went on a picknick near the river. We wanted to build a fire on the beach but there wasn't much beach to go on so we used the fire pit near the cabin instead. Again the dog had great fun swimming (yeah the wet dog smell again!) We roasted sausages in the fire and had salad and some beers and soda for the driver.

On our way back to the house an elk crossed the street, too dark to take a picture so you just have to take my word on it; I had my elk!


Posted by Stefmuts 05:24 Archived in Sweden Tagged landscapes mountains nature hiking forest Comments (0)

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