Helsinki day 1 | Helsinki day 2 | Helsinki day 3 | Stockholm | Stockholm to Kosta | Kosta to Kalmar
Kalmar to Copenhagen | Copenhagen | Copenhagen to the Ship | Aalborg, Denmark | Flam, Norway
Alesund, Norway | Molde, Norway | Geiranger, Norway | Olden, Norway | Bergen, Norway
Eidfjord, Norway | Stavanger, Norway
July 19, 2016
Stockholm to Kosta
Today was a long drive. The plan was to drive along the coast from Stockholm halfway to Copenhagen. The problem was that there really isn't any equivalent of right-on-the-water California Highway 1. The Baltic coast is actually shaped like the fingers of a hand, repeated over and over again. As a result, the road runs along the fingertips, so to speak. But we drove through magnificent forests, which made it easier to stop every hour or two to exercise out my arthritis.
Our guide is married to the driver - a first in our experience. - making them an ideal team for a multi- day and night transport. They are fun and interesting and have been great company. We are in an amazing car. It's made by Daimler and its design focus is back-seat passenger comfort.
The first stop was at a converted farm-cum-horse riding/training farm. Pretty, with a strange odor - fresh air. Did you know that farmhouses and outbuilding are traditionally painted red. Why red? There was a lot of copper mining in Sweden years ago and a byproduct of the mining operation was a mineral considered a waste product until someone figured out that it could be used to make red paint. Not only is the red color striking against the evergreens that are everywhere, the red paint turned out to be a great wood preservative and it was very cheap.
The next stop today was a canal crossover and lock in a small town that's wildly popular with tourists. One of the draws was an ice cream store said to have the best ice cream in Sweden. There was a line out the door several hundred people long. There's a branch in Stockholm and people there wait in droves as well. Our guide told us that next to the US, the Swedes are the second largest consumer of ice cream in the world.
We drove then to a little seaside town where we had lunch. Nothing else particularly special. Just a small town, square, town hall, and shops.
The photo below was taken in the town where the author of Pippi Longstockings was born and lived her entire 95-year life. This bronze sculpture depicts the author at her typewriter and is located in the center of the city. It's a real draw, with children posing for their parents on the little chair where Carol is sitting. And no, we didn't have to shove some angelic little bookworm out of the way for this photo.
Our final stop was Kosta - a glass art center. This glass art hotel is a hoot. It is a living ad for the art and artists who work in the local Kosta-Boda glass (crystal) factory. The factory was located here originally because this part of Sweden has a special sand that makes exceptionally clear crystal. There's art on every wall and table in the hotel. Our room is large and funky, and it also has art everywhere.
We will tour the factory tomorrow and see if there is anything we can add to our collection.
Legendary Cultures 2011 | Greece & Turkey 2012 | Circle The Arctic | France-Denmark 2016 | Helsinki-Norway 2016