Beautiful Värmland

During our first week of vacation we travelled to a province called Värmland. It’s a three hour car drive from Stockholm. We went there in order to 1) visit old friends from Colorado (they are visiting the area for the summer) and 2) stay at one of the best spa hotels in Sweden. We had a fantastic trip and here are some highlights from the roadtrip!

On a boat cruise along the canal in the town of Karlstad together with our friends.
On a boat cruise along the canal in the town of Karlstad together with our friends.
The beautiful summer house were our friends are staying each summer.
The beautiful summer house were our friends are staying each summer.
We slept in this cute little house during our stay with our friends.
We slept in this cute little house during our stay with our friends.
We visited the home of the author Gustaf Fröding...
We visited the home of the author Gustaf Fröding…
...and the home of another famous author, Selma Lagerlöf.
…and the home of another famous author, Selma Lagerlöf.
Statue of Selma Lagerlöf
Statue of Selma Lagerlöf
In the middle of nowhere an 1950's styled American diner is located
In the middle of nowhere an 1950’s styled American diner is located, called Diner 45. It’s amazing but it is actually required to reserve a table in advance because the restaurant is so popular!
They offered lactose free milkshake and the best tasting burger I've eaten in a long time!
They offered lactose free milkshake and the best tasting burger I’ve eaten in a long time!

More cache

It was a beautiful sunny morning here in Tällberg today. Hubby and I took a morning walk around the hotel before breakfast. It was so calm and peaceful with no sounds at all.

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After breakfast we started our geocaching journey. Our first stop of the day was Nusnäs and the famous dala horse production. Here we also found the days first cache.

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We also visited a store selling pottery. I found a cute Santa which very much resembled Gandalf the Grey. It’s safely packed by the sales person so sorry no picture until I get home.

The rest of the day we’ve been in caching paradise. In total we’ve found 14 caches today. Most I’ve found in one day so far. 😊 Today’s caches included climbing…

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…crawling…

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…beautiful old buildings…

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…and a fantastic sunset by the lake. Here the cache was by a shelter with a fireplace. Too bad we didn’t have charcoal with us. Could have had a very cozy evening here!

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On the road again

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We are on the road again! This time around on a short 2-night stay in Tällberg in the province of Dalarna. Last time we were here it was in the middle of winter and -20 degrees outside. Now, it’s summer and green.

We started mid morning yesterday with picking up my brother and then started the approximate 4 hours drive northwest of Stockholm. On our way we stopped and grabbed 10 geocaches (before bedtime we had found two more)!

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Hubby has now reached his 100th cache as well. This is how happy he was… although he didn’t realize that this was his 100 cache until after we found it.

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During this trip to Tällberg we decided to try another hotel, Green Hotel, than the one we usually stays at, Dalecarlia.

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It is a beautiful place with the best view of Lake Siljan but I think I prefer Dalecarlia more. The breakfast at Dalecarlia is better plus that they have an a la carte menu compared to this hotel which has a fixed 3 course menu. The dinner last night was fantastic but I like having more choices.

Of course we had to stop at the famous phone booth which also had a geocache hidden inside. Here my brother and I are looking for the hidden cache.

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Road trip: Day 12

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Jönköping (A) experienced a bad thunder storm overnight/this morning. Not only was part of the city flooded, my joints did not like it either… I woke up with pain and it just got worse and worse. Not even a hot shower helped! I wanted to stay in bed but obviously couldn’t do that… had to eat breakfast and check out.

We started driving along the western side of Lake Vättern. In Hjo (B) my father-in-law wanted to take a walk in the city park and my hubby joined him. I sat in the car… while waiting I read the newspaper online and saw that the highway in Jönköping had been flooded and was closed! Perfect that we decided on the other route around the lake as we had no issues at all!

My hurting joint didn’t give in (even with the two painkillers I took in the morning). It hurt so bad that I was nauseous and really wished I was somewhere else than in a car. Eventually hubby convinced me to take a 1/2 cortisone pill in addition to what I already took in the morning. I really don’t like that I needed to raise the dosage but I just have to get used to it I suppose. My joints, the weather and the cortisone dose don’t cooperate all the time. 😢 I need to stop being so stubborn in regards to my cortisone pills.

Thankfully the grey and colder weather have disappeared when we drove from Jönköping and the more north we got the warmer it got. When we arrived in Linköping (C) it wasn’t as many joints hurting anymore and I could enjoy a nice lunch at my favorite sushi place!

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From Linköping we drove directly to Stockholm (D), left my father-in-law at the train station before heading home. Now we have unpacked a little, gone grocery shopping, and eaten grilled chicken and potato salad on the balcony. While sitting on the balcony a familiar sound appeared which made my look up trying to find a hot air balloon. It showed up right above our next door condo building.

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I’m not completely without pain still but it’s much better now. I really dislike thunder storms! It make my joints hurt so bad! 😡 Only positive thing is that a thunder storm passes quickly so that means only a few hours feeling bad compared to days with a regular rain storm.

Road trip: Day 11

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Our last hotel night in Skåne at Spångens Gästgivaregård was so disappointing! 😞 Our experience with the dinner last night I mentioned in my last post. At breakfast this morning it turned out that they had forgotten the lactose free food I emailed with the before arrival. That is not acceptable!! Lucky for them I’m not lactose intolerant so I could eat a little butter on the sandwiches but something like that can’t be forgotten in case you have a person really allergic.

I’m a little annoyed at myself that I didn’t make more research about the hotel in advance. I suppose I thought that all hotels I could use with the gift certificate would be fairly equal. Clearly we would have had a much better experience if we had used the gift certificate at one of the hotels in Tällberg (one of our favorite towns to visit for mini weekends and we’ll go there again in 3 weeks!). That would have been a much better use… Oh well, can’t do much about that now…

After breakfast we started driving to Söderåsens National park (B), a 5-minute journey from the hotel which is why you can’t see point A on the map! Unfortunately the fantastic weather we’ve had the past week didn’t show up today so my joints did not feel as good today plus that it was raining when we went to the national park. Instead of walking we drove on one of the few roads you can access with a car. At least we saw a little from the park. Lots of beautiful Beech trees.

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Our next stop was at Hovdala Castle (C) where we had decided to meet our old friends, Ulla and Lasse. Ulla used to work as a librarian at the library I visited as a teenager. She’s my favorite librarian ever! 😊

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Oh almost forgot, before arriving at the castle we passed by a town which had this sign at the entrance. We passed the sign and I told Mathias he had to go back so I could take a second look… yes, the sign has two UFO!

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Next we left Skåne and drove to Älmhult (D) to pick up Mathias’ father before heading to Jönköping where we’ll stay the night. Tomorrow we will go HOME! After almost two weeks away I’m so looking forward to sleep in my own bed again!

Road trip: Day 10

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I managed to get a map today! It’s not the correct route after point D but better than no map at all.

Today we left Skanör and our first stop on our journey was the city of Lund (B) where we walked around the town square and in particular visited the cathedral. It’s not as impressive as the cathedral in Linköping but fun to have been there anyway. As the cathedral is located it was impossible to get a whole picture of the building. Hubby couldn’t even do it with his fancy camera so my iPhone don’t need to be too sad! 😊

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After our little cathedral adventure we drove to the next place C where we visited two castles and a church. First off was Trollenäs castle with the old (11th century) church in the gardens. Here we also enjoyed coffee and cookies. They had two types of “cookie packages”, we chose the small version which was three cookies, a cinnamon bun and coffee. The larger version has 7 cookies…

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Trollenäs castle is probably the most beautiful–both in regards to the actual castle and the surrounding gardens–here in Skåne.

Next castle was Trolleholm castle where we weren’t allowed to get closer than the front gate.

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In Landskrona (D) we just happened to pass by and followed the sign for the citadel. Here we (mostly I?!) enjoyed a little shopping in their domestic arts/crafts store.

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At 5 pm we arrived at today’s final destination, Ljungbyhed (E). Earlier this year we got a gift certificate of a free hotel night (we only pay for dinner and breakfast) from my mother-in-law. I just booked the only place it was valid for in Skåne which turned out to be Spångens Gästgivaregård or as most Swedes will know as Kalle på Spången, a movie from 1939. I’ve never seen the movie so obviously I have to rent it when we get home!

The three course dinner tonight was so-so… the appetizer was fantastic… salmon pâté.

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The main course was barely OK… sauce was good but the rest not so much. Hubby makes much better grilled pork tenderloin himself!

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And the dessert… well it was ice cream and fruits/berries which looked so bad on the plate that no matter how I tried I couldn’t get a good picture! So sorry, no dessert picture today!

Road trip: Day 9

Sorry no map today… I’m having issues with the map app. 😞

First off I just want to report that my hip and foot survived yesterday’s long walk. I was hurting a little this morning but after my painkillers I’ve been totally fine all day long! And I lowered my cortisone dose again yesterday after two days on a higher dosage. So far so good!

We started the day with a little geocaching by this old mill.

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Next we started the car trip of the day with driving to Falsterbo, the neighboring town, ~5 min drive, where we checked out their church.

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Next on the schedule was checking out the building “Turning Torso” by the harbor in Malmö.

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We also had a little “catch up” with a future co-worker of my hubby (he’s changing work in September). We got recommended a castle close by called Torups castle. Beautiful place where we took nice long walk in the garden.

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After checking out the castle we took an long road home to Skanör. Instead of driving on the big main road which would take us ~30 minutes we drove on smaller country roads.

Back in Skanör we walked a little along the beach before enjoying our last dinner here before our journey north starts tomorrow. We ate at the same place as yesterday but tried new dishes. They had a Toast Skagen which I just had to try… for dessert I ate a fantastic Valrhona chocolate cake.

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I’m gonna miss Skanör! It’s so relaxing and stressful here. It’s a very charming little town!