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More than IKEA - Sweden

More than IKEA - Sweden

Written by am on 04.05.2018 at 21:25.

Our 10 days in Sweden were limited to the south of the country; the north had to wait until our next visit to Scandinavia.

Before we set off to our trip through Europe, we neither knew the duration of our travels, nor how long we will stay in each country. The plan was to have no plan. Accordingly, we had not set the route through the north of Europe in advance, but stayed where we liked it and made decisions where to head next spontaneously. Hence it happened that we stayed in Norway for a whole month and explored this country from its north to Oslo.

The Norwegian capital is less than 100 km away from the Swedish border. Therefore, it was obvious to continue from there our journey to Sweden. Given that we entered Sweden in its south, we had decided to limit our journey only to this region and not to drive from there back to the north.

In the largest city in Scandinavia

Stockholm cityscape is characterized by the special location on the water, which divides it into several islands. We walked through the famous old town "Gamla Stan" on the "Stadsholmen" (city island) with its medieval atmosphere caused by colorful, low houses, narrow streets and small squares. Most parts of the old town are car-free, luckily, we parked our G outside the Swedish capital in front of our AirBnB apartment.

The birds and us

After leaving Stockholm behind us, we headed south along Sweden’s east coast. Crossing the not unimpressive, six kilometer long Ölandbridge we arrived on the second largest island of Sweden. Ölands steppe-like landscape is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it provides habitat for a diverse flora and fauna.

Surrounded by birds.

In the bird sanctuary of "Ottenby" at the southern tip of the island, we were not only surrounded by large swarms of birds, but also spotted some seals, which lay on the small sandbanks off the coast and let the sun shine on their belly. 

We used the time in the reserve to go for a stroll, which we enjoyed in the warm, white light of the November sun. Also some hobby ornithologists had come to the island on this day - armed with binoculars, they squatted in bushes. As silently as possible, we tiptoed by, hoping that our presence would not spoil their view of the objects of desire.

A stone circle is just a circle of stones?

As Swedish Stonehenge the ship setting of "Ales Stenar" in the south of the country is often referred to. With 59 stones that emulate a ship of 67 meters length and 19 meters width, this stone circle is the largest in Sweden.

Stones are just stones.

The over 1,400-year-old monument stands on a plateau above the cliff near the picturesque fishing village of Kåseberga (in whose bakery, by the way, we found the best cinnamon buns with cardamom, "kanelbullar", of our entire journey). From the village you can reach the stone circle after a 20-minute walk uphill.

The weight of the stones is between 500 and 1,800 kg, as we learned from the information boards on the way to this popular tourist attraction. The purpose of setting up these stones is not undisputed. Due to the archeological findings next to the stones, however, it is likely that the stones marked fire and urn graves.

The fascination for the up to three meters high giant stones did not really want to rise in us. Somehow we had a Kaali Crater deja-vu. Rather, we enjoyed the view from the steep edge on the particularly stormy Baltic Sea that day.

Swap bridge for ferry

In only ten days we drove through the south of Sweden, seven nights of which we had searched for wild camp spots and also found them (though, one was an Ikea parking lot). Our last stop in Sweden was the city of Malmö, from where we intended to enter Denmark via the famous Öresund Bridge.

But, spontaneity struck again. Instead we decided to take the ferry to Germany. A decision that was made also due to cost-efficiency: the fee for the Öresund Bridge is above the price of a ferry ticket for two adults with a car. After nine hours of a comfortable ferry ride we stepped on German soil and continued our way well rested from Travemünde to our favorite city in Germany: Hamburg.

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