Friday, September 14, 2007

Le Tour de Sweden, the Final Stage: Säffle!

On August 17th, Max and I hopped on yet another train and headed north to Säffle, the town where my mom lived (when she was 17) with her host family. Our destination? Talludden, her host family's summer house.

It was like taking a peek into the past – the kind of Sweden my mom lived in for an entire year. The house at Talludden was one of the places my mom encouraged me to try to visit, and now I know why. It's beautiful! Talludden sits on Sweden's biggest lake, Lake Vänern. The main house was built by my "morfar," my mom's host father, and is a pleasant mix of old and new. The wallpaper, the furniture, and the kitchen give it an old feel. So does the black and white photo of morfar and mormor. But it hangs right beside a newer photo: Lina's kids with their grandma. There's a new indoor shower, but there's a rustic outhouse next to the toolshed. The rest of the place -- the swingset, the flagpole, the two other cabins, the bench facing the lake – made me feel very much at home.

On Friday, we took a tour of Säffle – through the small downtown area where morfar used to own a shoe store, and past one of the landmarks that I remember best in Säffle (from my visit in 2nd grade): the happy face stoplight!

We also took a walk to the old family house in Säffle, where my mom spent her year with her host sister Christina (siblings Christer, and Göran were already out of the house with young families of their own). (Christer is pictured here on the left!). I also remember the house from my visit 13 years ago – but the property was sold a few years ago (after mormor's death), so we didn't get to go inside.

Then, while Max rode his bike, I hiked through the woods and picked blueberries, chanterelle mushrooms, and lingonberries with Lina and Magnus.

We ate delicious food (fresh shrimp, barbeque, potatoes, homemade lingonberry jam) and took a quick dip in the chilly lake.

On Sunday, I didn't really want to go back to Lund! Säffle and Talludden were so peaceful and relaxing…

But now I'm back. Updates on what's been happening lately very soon (really!!) Stay tuned for a blog entry that I hope to post this weekend: we're going on a joint field trip tomorrow with the UC students from Copenhagen! We'll travel first to Älmhult to see the original IKEA store and visit the IKEA museum (I'm so excited!), and then we'll travel to Wanås Castle in Knislinge. I've seen Wanås before, but it was REALLY cool, so I'm excited to return.

And that's my Tour de Sweden.

Til later,

P.S. Happy 24th Birthday, Carl!!


Sally said...

Maybe we can make a visit to the IKEA museum while I'm there?! Look forward to hearing about that.

Sounds like time stands still at Talludden on Lake Vänern. Ahhhh. I think I said it about the archipelago post as well, but I think that picking berries and mushrooms in the woods is as close to heaven as I've ever come.

All in all, a trip down memory lane for me. Thanks for the update!

yellowbug said...

Hi Linnea! Your pictures are great - I really like how you stick them all together into one picture square. Can you tell how computer savvy I am? Anyway, Sweden sounds and looks awesome and you look great in all your pictures. Hope you continue to have a great time!

Carlotosway said...

Thanks sis