SCANDINAVIA 2010

In july 2010 we undertook a roadtrip through parts of Denmark, Sweden and Norway. It was my first visit to these countries and I hope you will find pleasure (and perhaps some use) in browsing the images and my account of this trip.

DENMARK

first crossing - Puttgarden
We took the ferry from Puttgarden (Germany) to Rødby (Denmark), which took less than an hour (€ 71)

Sakskoben

On trips like this we never make reservations for the night. In Sakskøbing, while the sun was setting, we looked for a place to stay. Someone walking his dog advised us to check out DanHostel, so we did.
A remarkable tower, don't you think?

DanHostel
DanHostel
We were not familiar with the hostel system in Denmark, but it seems like a good alternative to the expensive hotels: in general we found on this trip the prices for night accommodation to range from expensive to outrageous...
Someone from a campsite across the road let us in, told us to pay the next morning and gave us bed linen (if you bring your own that would save you some money).The white board you see over the bed are also beds. One pulls the bed down and makes the bed with the linen provided; the next morning you take the sheets and pillowcases and deposit them in a bin. Simple and effective.
The breakfast the next morning was really good.

We walked around for a bit in Sakskøbing, found a supermarket open for sodas and nibbles, and returned to the large,comfortable lounge at the hostel for some serious reading that evening.
Sakskoben
Sakskoben

COPENHAGEN
Copenhagen in chaos
We were disappointed to find this city in such a state of chaos... In order to expand the subway system there were many roadworks, making it hard to find your way by car but equally so as a pedestrian.

Changing of the guards at Amalienborg.
the Guards
The Guards
the Guards

Monument at Amalienborg

Amalienborg Palace is the winter home of the Danish royal family. It consists of four identical classicizing palace façades with rococo interiors around an octagonal courtyard (Amalienborg Slotsplads); in the center of the square is a monumental equestrian statue of Amalienborg's founder, King Frederick V.
Amalienborg was originally built for four noble families; however, when Christiansborg Palace burnt down on 26 February 1794, the royal family bought the palaces and moved in. Over the years various kings and their families have resided in the four different palaces. [Wikipedia, more...]

Museum

We walked along the waterfront (Amaliehaven to Churchillparken), munching on a delicious crepe.
We came on this museum, located in what must have been a warehouse in days gone long past.
Since we only had a few hours for our visit to Copenhagen, and my recovery of a sports injury still brought limits to the use of my 'undercarriage', we did not visit the museum.

 

The photo below shows one of the windows of this museum.

Window

Continuing our walk we came to a large, gushing fountain. And a church.
Fountain
Fountain
Gefionspringvandet is a large fountain in Copenhagen. The monument is in fact the largest of the city. It was presented as a gift in 1908 by the Carlsbergfoundation to celebrate the 50th birthday of the brewery.
Indeed, all that gushing water does make one thirsty on a hot day...
The monument shows some animals driven by the legendary god Gefion, from Norse mythology; it was designed by Anders Bundgård from Denmark.

Church

St Alban´s Church in Copenhagen, in the Churchillparken, is the only Anglican church in Denmark. It is also known and referred to locally as 'The English Church'.
The church is dedicated to Saint Alban, the English martyr who died in the year 303.
The first stone was laid on 19Sep1885 and the church was dedicated in 1887. The architect was Sir Arthur Blomfield.
When we walked past it towards the entrance I made a remark of how English it looked and I had't even learned of the name yet. The stonework resembled work I'd seen in England, but all materials used came from Denmark.

Sankt Hans

Celebrating Midsummer...
Midsummer may simply refer to the period of time centered upon the summer solstice, but more often refers to specific European celebrations that accompany the actual solstice, or that take place around June 24 and the preceding evening. The exact dates vary between different cultures.
In Denmark, the solstitial celebration is called Sankt Hans aften ("St. John's Eve"). It was an official holiday until 1770, and in accordance with the Danish tradition of celebrating a holiday on the evening before the actual day, it takes place on the evening of 23 June. It is the day where the medieval wise men and women (the doctors of that time) would gather special herbs that they needed for the rest of the year to cure people.
It has been celebrated since the times of the Vikings, to ward away evil spirits.
Bonfires on the beach, speeches, picnics and songs are traditional, although bonfires are built in many other places where beaches may not be close by .
In the 1920s a tradition of putting a witch made of straw and cloth (probably made by the elder women of the family[citation needed]) on the bonfire emerged as a remembrance of the church's witch burnings from 1540 to 1693. This burning sends the "witch" away to Bloksbjerg, the mountain 'Brocken' in the Harz region of Germany where the great witch gathering was thought to be held on this day. Some Danes still regard the symbolic witch burning as inappropriate.

[Wikipedia, more..]

Fort
We came to the Fort: Kastellet

Mill
The most striking building in the fort I found this mill. What is this mill doing in the fort?

taverne
Toldbod Bodega on Esplanaden. A nice place, next door to the bookstore we were going to visit.
Bookshop
Nyboder Boghandel on Kongenskade, they store an excellent collection on aviation but did not have the English translated novels of Scandinavian writers I was looking for.

church
Frederick's Church (Danish: Frederiks Kirke), popularly known as The Marble Church (Danish: Marmorkirken)..
The church was designed by the architect Nicolai Eigtved in 1740 and was along with the rest of Frederiksstaden, a district of Copenhagen, intended to commemorate the 300 years jubilee of the first coronation of a member of the House of Oldenburg.

The foundation stone was set by king Frederick V on October 31, 1749, but the construction was slowed by budget cuts and the death of Eigtved in 1754 and in 1770 the original plans for the church were discarded by Johann Friedrich Struensee. The church was left incomplete and, in spite of several initiatives to complete it, stood as a ruin for nearly 150 years.
The present version of the church was designed by Ferdinand Meldahl and financed by Carl Frederik Tietgen. It was opened August 19, 1894.
Church
Frederick's Church has the largest church dome in Scandinavia with a span of 31m, though there are three larger domes elsewhere in Europe. The dome rests on 12 columns. The inspiration was probably St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
[Wikipedia]

gallery
Walking passed this gallery I noticed the Old Bard was among the celebrated too, much to my pleasure.

Copenhagen In spite of the nice things we saw in Copenhagen, this is how I remember this city: broken up. I hope the work on the subway will be over on a next visit and will be able to enjoy a walk without the obstructions.
 

 

 

 

SWEDEN

Fuel prices in Sweden
Entering Sweden by the Malmö bridge, our first stop was for gas. We found the prices for a litre of gas cheaper than at home (1,34 euro versus 1,57)
Fuel prices

church

Skårby Church. We were on our way to Ystad, when we noticed this church and decided to have a look.
A little gem found en route.

This church was built in the 12th century and consisted at that time of a nave and a straight-ended chancel in the east.
The west tower and the porch adjoining the original south doorway of the nave were added in the 15th century.
The extension to the north of the nave was built in the 18th century.

The timber roof of the church was replaced by stuck vaults in the 15th century. Most of the mural paintings were uncovered when the church was restored in 1934. Conservation work in 1969 revealed the inscriptions in the east vault of the nave completely. They tell that the paintings were made in 1480!
The railings of the gallery are from the 17th century. Otherwise the wooden furnishings belong to the 18th century.

Information provided by the church. Thanks for having it open allowing our visit: in my country they are mostly closed for fear of theft.

church
church

church

We also found this church in an opening scene in the Wallander series!
Skårby

 
YSTAD

Ystad

The idea of visiting Scandinavia came from watching, and highly appreciating, tv series like Wallander. The tv series lead to reading books by Henning Mankell. Then there were other series such as Beck, Varg Veum, Ørnen, etc. And so we decided to have a look and a taste of what is Scandinavia.
Ystad is where Police Inspector Wallander is situated. The above photo is the Visitor center and they provide maps of where filming has taken place. The image of the hotel with a car parked in front, is the Continental Hotel, frequented by Kurt Wallander.
Ystad
Ystad - Continental Hotel
Ystad
Ystad

Ystad We didn't follow much of the 'Wallander'-trail because Ystad is a very nice place in itself too. Also I've read somewhere that author Henning Mankell describes buildings sometimes deliberately in an incorrect location to throw people off the trail...
The location in exact detail is of course not important, it is a mere background to the story at hand.

What I did hope to find here in Ystad were some missing titles in the Wallander books I have, to get them complete in my bookcase. In that we were successful.
This bookshop sold English translations, also from other Scandinavian authors (e.g. Stieg Larsson, Håkan Nesser), so I bought a selection.
After we had finished our walk I bought some more Mankell books at the Visitor Center, as they were cheaper there.

Ystad was mentioned for the first time in 1244.A Franciscan monastery, Gråbrödraklostret, was founded in 1267.
Ystad joined the Hanseatic League in the 14th century.
The charter of 1599 gave the town the right to export oxen. Ystad, together with all of Scania, was transferred from Denmark to Sweden following the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658. At that time it had a population of about 1,600.
By 1850 it had reached 5,000.
By 1866 Ystad had gained a railway connection, and it was established as a garrison town in the 1890s and the population exceeded 10,000.
After World War II, ferry services to Poland and to the Danish island of Bornholm were opened.

Some of the main industries of the town are trade, handicraft and tourism. It is considered one of the best preserved cities in the Scania province, and few cities in Sweden can match its picturesque old houses and streets.

Map of Skane and Ystad
>Click on this map for a map of Skane and Ystad; you'll see the Continantal Hotel marked as well<
The map was scanned from the No.4 book of Wallander crime stories, "The Man Who Smiled".

Ystad church
The church of Ystad, Sankta Maria kyrka, is very beautiful and stems from Medieval period

We bought some groceries for a picnic at a nearby beach.
Beach
Ystad beach
 

Camping in  Sweden

The first camping we tried to find near Ahus, one from the guidebook we'd brought with us, probably didn't exist anymore as a roadmark had a black cross over it. We did strike lucky near Sölvesborg, the Norje Boking Camping.

Fun in the water
 
KALMAR CASTLE
Kalmar Castle
Kalmar Castle
kalmar castle
Kalmar is a city in Småland, in the south-east of Sweden, by the Baltic Sea.
From the 13th to the 17th century, Kalmar was one of Sweden's most important cities.
It became a fortified city, with the still mighty Kalmar Castle as the center. After the Treaty of Roskilde 1658 Kalmar's importance diminished, until the industry sector was initiated in the 19th century.
The area around Kalmar has been inhabited since ancient times. Diggings have found traces of stone age gravefields. The oldest sources of there being a town are however from the 11th century. According to a medieval folk tale, the Norwegian patron Saint Olav had his ships moved to Kalmar.
The oldest city seal of Kalmar is from somewhere between 1255–1267, making it the oldest known city seal in Scandinavia.
kalmar castle
In the 12th century the first foundations of a castle were established, with the construction of a round tower for guard and lookout. The tower was continuously expanded on in 13th century, and as such, Queen Margaret called an assembly there between head of states of Sweden and Norway, and on July 13, 1397, the Kalmar Union treaty was signed, which would last until 1523.
Kalmar's strategic location, near the Danish border (at the time the Scanian lands, i.e. the provinces of Blekinge, Halland and Scania, were part of Denmark), and its harbour and merchancy, also involved it into several feuds. There are two events independently labelled Kalmar bloodbath: The first in 1505, when King John of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden let execute the mayor and city council of Kalmar; the second in 1599 by command of Duke Charles, later to became King Charles IX of Sweden.
[Wikipedia, more...]
kalmar castle
The Kalmar War took place in 1611-1613, it began with a Danish siege of Kalmar Castle.
1611 is mentioned as the darkest year of Kalmar's history, but by no means the only dark year; much blood has been shed in the vicinity of the castle. The last was during the Scanian War in the 1670s, leading its sieges to a total of 22 — yet, the castle was never taken!
kalmar castle
The Dungeon; how long would you last in this damp forsaken place, without any daylight...

Until 1572, this dungeon in the bottom of the Prisoners' Tower was used as the prison of the castle.
From the beginning, the dungeon was about two metres deeper; one can still see the holes in the walls where the original ceiling joists of the dungeon were placed. The window, the fireplace and the floor were installed here around 1600.
The prisoners were lowered down with a manual elevator through the hatch door in the floor. This hatch door was the prisoners' only connection with the outside world, except for their latrine; a narrow, slightly curved sewage channel in the eastern wall. The sewage channel was also the only passage for 'fresh air' to reach the prisoners.
Broken stones and stones which have been removed from the walls of the dungeon tell us about prisoners' unsuccessful attempts to escape...

kalmar castle
1658- During the 17th century sweden was considered a great power and the country was involved in many wars. in 1657 the king Charles X Gustav initiated an attack against Denmark from the south. In Feb. 1658 the swedish army marched on the ice that covered the sounds of the Little and Great Belt between Jutland and Zealand towards Copenhagen.
This daring manoevre made a Swedish vistory possible. The peace was concluded in Roskilde and as a result the southern provinces Scania, Blekinge, Halland and Bohuslän became a part of Sweden. Previously these provinces belonged to Denmark and the southern border of Småland was then also the Swedish border with Denmark.
The general governor Gustav Otto Stenbock led the struggle to make the new provinces Swedish, very often in a brutal manner, and was often met with strong resistance.
For Kalmar Castle Sweden's new border with Denmark meant that it lost its former significance as a frontier defence.

Queen Margaret Eriksdotter Leijonhufvud's dress.
Margaret was the wife of Gustav Vansa and Queen of Sweden 1536-1551.
Reconstruction of a rope in Spanish style, sewn after a portrait of the Queen, painted by John von Babtiste Uther in 1551.
Sewn by Susan Shom, Deedee Gierow and Kristina Markström.
The royal childrens' play room, exquisitely restored with audio effects of a child's voice singing to himself...
kalmar castle
A sign provided the following information to above photo 'The Nursery':
6-year-old Carl Gustav Wrangel practises tactical formations with his cavalry, musketeers and pike soldiers.
He does not know
-that he will fight the battle of Lützen
-that he will be one of the greatest landowners on Pomerania
-that he will be named Lord Admiral
-that he will serve 4 monarchs
He wonders what his father the Governor will bring him tonight...
-what if it is one of those wonderful, strange fruits, the orange.

Kalmar Castle after 1600...
The Royal era of glory for the castle ended with the Kalmar War in 1611, when the Danes occupied and plundered it.
During the 17th century the royal visits became more and more sporadic. In the 1660s the former frontier castle had fallen into serious disrepair. The last royal visit during Sweden's period as a great power was in 1692 and the same year the last soldiers were moved from the castle. Afer that a much less glamorous period began... The once so beautiful royal halls were turned into storage areas for grain, prison facilities and a royal distillery.
In the beginning of the 19th century, the castle was considered not only useless for the defence of Sweden, but also outdated as a prison.
But the historic importance of the building was brought to notice, thankful to the romantic ideals of that time, and the struggle to document and restore it began.

I have more photos of Kalmar Slott on my Flickr.com account HERE...

kalmar castle

Edehlman In one of the large halls was a fantastic display of paintings, by the Finnish artist Yrjö Edelmann. I really enjoyed spending some time here!

Throughout the ages artists have sought to deceive the eye of the beholder, to create a “trompe l’oeil”. So also Yrjö Edelmann, famous for the folded wrapping paper of his mysterious depicted packages.

"Yrjö Edelmann was born in 1941 in Helsinki. In 1950 the Edelmann family left a war-ridden Finland and moved to the outskirts of Stockholm. As illustrator for the publishing house “Åhlen & Åkerlund” he developed his craft,
receiving notoriety for his work.
During a trip to the United States in 1970 he became more seriously interested in art and upon returning home he began painting in his free time. His artistic debut came in 1973.
His pictures convey immediacy and a feeling of playfulness and meaning which confuses the senses and stimulates the imagination. They challenge our conceptions and we find ourselves in an ‘in-between world’ between that
which actually exists and that which is a shadow of a dream.

During the summer of 2010 Kalmar castle will be showing a retrospective exhibition which encompasses 50 years of work within the realm of illusion.

June the 12th - September the 12th
Place: THE BURNT HALL"

de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yrj%C3%B6_Edelmann (German)
Galleri Ferm - www.njonasenglund.com/ferm/edelmann/index.php

Edehlman

See a few more images HERE...
 

CELEBRATING MIDSUMMER, IN SWEDEN

Midsommer Fest
Midsommer Fest
Midsommer Fest
We stumbled on this enchanted happening by accident. We were looking for a nice place to have a picnic lunch and left the road somewhere to look for a spot on the waterfront. We found ourselves among people parking their cars and wandering off. After we had eaten our sandwiches I decided to give in to my curiosity and trailed the trickle of people and was pleasantly surprised to find people meeting here in celebration of the traditional Midsummer Day.
Midsommer Fest
 

 

Back on the road...
Unpaved roads
It is quite common to find yourself on unpaved roads if you go by the scenic byways.
In the widespread, expansive forests I was glad at times to have my TomTom with me for a way out...

Extremes
The many hours of driving can play tricks on your senses...

 

Camping

Second and last night in the tent. The tent was in a bad shape we found, with holes in it. But the main reason was I didn't like camping much. I don't like standing in line for the bathroom in the morning, I don't like large gatherings of people such as on these campgrounds and I don't like sleeping in a sleepingbag...
But for budget reasons, it is a good way to travel, esspecially here in Scandinavia with their high hotel prices.
On this camping, Grännastrandens on Lake Vättern, we had a fierce wind blowing and my tent did not offer a place to sit and read sheltered from the wind, so I sat in my car. Not a terribly bad thing, but not comfortable either.
At a nearby restaurant I had the worst pizza ever, so that did not help.
The camping was crowded with people celebrating Midsummer and many showed signs of inebriation, stumbling around half drunk or sleeping where they had fallen down. Not a pretty sight.

Lake Vättern
Lake Vättern
Prosit!
The beer & wine was good, and not as expensive as feared
 

 

Linköpings Flyvapen air museum
I need a regular dose of vintage planes! I found these at the Flyvapenmuseum Malmen near Linköping.

 

In hotelroom watching football Very comfortable room, with a nice balcony outside; but first I had to watch a match of the World Football (Soccer) Tournament in South Africa. Now this is much better than camping!
Picnic with caviar
Picnic with caviar...
We drove to the other side of Lake Vättern and ended up in the nice town of Karlsborg. I had hoped to find a preserved DC-3 here, but it eluded me. The tourist office couldn't help me either. They did recommend me to a very nice hotel, right across the street and on the banks of the Gota Canal: Kanalhotellet.
Besides being a very nice hotel, the stay at the Gota Canal was also a link to a book written by Swedish crime writers Sjöwall en Wahlöö. I've read most of the 10 novels written by them and presently enjoying the tv-series Beck, the main character of the books.

Roseanna (1965) by Sjöwall and Wahlöö was the first novel in their detective series revolving around Martin Beck and his team. A young woman is found dead in the Göta canal, molested and murdered. The case is almost instantly cold. Nobody can identify her and it is not clear where and by whom she was killed. Then a stroke of luck; through Interpol her identity is ascertained. The victim's name is Roseanna McGraw. She was a tourist who was taking a boat trip on the canals through the region when she was murdered. A painstakingly meticulous investigation follows to determine who were with her on the boat...
Kanalhotellet

n the road
Back on unpaved roads again
Farm
The cut grass has been neatly wrapped

On the border: The border

But the road goes on...
Plymouth classic car
Follow my report into Norway!!!

Helpful links:
Visit Sweden  www.sweden.se
Inspector Wallander Fan Site  www.inspector-wallander.org
Kalmar  www.kalmar.com/en/
Camping in Sweden  www.camping.se

PAGE 1 - DENMARK & SWEDEN

PAGE 2 - NORWAY

PAGE 3 - GOING HOME, VIA SWEDEN AND DENMARK (KRONBORG CASTLE, HELSINGØR)