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First visit to Kinderdijk

Exploring close to home

large_1297706_14982176427132.jpgIt's in the detail
This will probably become a Blog that goes on for years and years, Kinderdijk [Kinderdijk-travel-guide-1127549] is 1,5h drive from where I live but I love the place, it's really photogenic and since I also love taking picktures I will be back to make more in differens seasons and different light ...

This is the first time I visited Kinderdijk, why, I really don't know. The subject came up on a family gathering somehow and both me and my mom said 'I want to visit' so we immediately set a date.

We mananged to pick the nearly hottest day of juni and forgot the suncream so we'll remember this trip by pain as well. My dad and I brought our cameras and my mom just enjoyed the walk and the visits.large_1297706_14982176449920.jpg You can visit two of the windmills, Museummill no.2 and Museummill Blokweer, we visited them, both since they are different style windmills. My mom used to live near a windmill used as a saw mill and the village where they live right now has a grain mill. Where I live myself there is also a grain mill, but they are all very different from the one at Kinderdijk.

The mills at Kinderdijk are used for water management; to drain the polder to be exact, the mills pump water to keep the land from flooding. At most other polders modern technologie has replaced the mills but the ones at Kinderdijk were saved from demolition by late queen Wilhelmina

We had a nice dinner really close to the mills at Grand Cafe Buena Vista, and the actual plan was to go back after dinner for the sunset at the mills. But after dinner there was not a cloud in the sky left and the weatherforecast was only more dry and warm so no red skies tonight, I'll have to come back another time, and I will!

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Posted by Stefmuts 23:01 Archived in Netherlands Tagged landscapes windmill the_netherlands Comments (1)

Disas Ting and other stuff

Denmark-Sweden 2016


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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.

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

Bosjökloster private tour, sort of

Denmark-Sweden 2016


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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

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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


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large_1297706_1477126945468.jpgHovfjället
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!

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

Värmland Forrests

Denmark-Sweden 2016


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large_1297706_1477124927843.jpgFrom Göteborg to Torsby [Torsby-travel-guide-675179] is another 4 hours drive but this evening I don´t have to put up my tent. My cousin and his girlfriend own a house and several outbuildings including a log cabin at the lake which is my guest house for the time being. I totally get why they moved to this place, it´s beautiful and lots of space for themselves the dog, two cats and three horses. My cousin works freelance through Europe and his girlfriend got a job as a nurse in the local hospital so work wasn´t an issue.

First day me and my cousin went for a walk in the forrest, a part he hadn´t completely explored himself. He showed me some of the hunters cabins on the way, if not vandalized they are (almost) fully equipt for an overnight stay (bring your own sleepingbag).large_1297706_14771249291097.jpg The first we passed was vandalized but the other was intact. We followed the path created by the forestry equipment, no real walking trails in this part of Sweden, that's why it's easy to get lost here no following signs with numbers, arrows or colors, just paths made by machinery or local wildlife. My cousin had already walked part of todays route but wanted to go a bit further so we entered unknown territory. After a while we came to the river, no way to cross here on foot. The machine trail ran right across the river bed but for us it was no option. Meanwhile we were plagued by a kind of fly that kept crawling in our hair and neck and my cousin even got a few down his shirt. They didn´t bite but the crawling was pretty annoying. I later found out we were lucky not to be bitten, it was deer fly and they have a nasty bite.large_1297706_14771249429156.jpg they did manage to drive us away from the river. We tried another route but again no connection to the known path so we turned and went back the way we came. It's september, back home everything is still green but here the trees are already turning to autumn colours and lots of mushrooms in all colours. But the best thing are all the wild berries (mjam!) We didn't see any deer or elk, I really want to see an elk on this visit, since I didn't see one in Norway. I did see deer in Denmark and I see them at home very often, but elk is on my list to spot, worst case I have to plan a visit to an elk farm.

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Posted by Stefmuts 03:25 Archived in Sweden Tagged landscapes lakes trees sightseeing forest Comments (0)

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