Hi, my name is Eva, welcome to my travel blog.
I travel since I was a kid but seriously started to discover other continents and more countries in 2006, first in Europe, then in Central America and Africa.
Currently I live in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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Hidden Gems Of Sweden (End Of Summer)

26 August 2019

I never had a chance to visit Sweden before - I was usually going to sunny places plus had no occasion to do so. This time I happened to have a friend working there for a few months and as I returned to Europe in July I didn't think twice and bought tickets to visit him during the August long weekend.

I flew in to Göteborg (Gothenburg) and took a bus to Jönköping. My friend was working is Husqvarna - the famous sewing machine & tool factory - and even though it wasn’t particularly touristy place I hoped there will be enough to do for two days.

Göta Canal in Sjötorp

We rented a car and on Saturday headed to Göta Canal. It is a long waterway that connects Göteborg in western Sweden with Stockholm on the east coast through lakes and long purpose build canals. We drove to Sjotorp on the eastern shores of Lake Vanern.

Sjotorp happened to be a small village with a few cafes and restarants. We weren’t decided yet how to explore the canal so we sat in Restaurang Baltzar and ordered a tasty Swedish traditional lunch consisting of herrings, jacket potato and salad for 95 kr. including coffee, water or juice to choose.

Göta Canal

The weather was so nice - perfectly sunny and warm end of summer - that we decided to leave the car in the village, rented two bikes (they were good quality bikes for a ripping price of 200 kr each (~20 pounds per 3 hours) and took on a cycling trip along the canal. The countryside was extremely picturesque with deep-red and white painted houses contrasting with green surroundings. It was interesting to see a boat going through a water lock on one occasion, we also passed a few coffees and many other cyclists benefiting from the excellent weather.

After around 1h of riding we arrived to a village of Norrqvarn where the Göta Canal in Miniature park is located. We stopped for a cake and relax in the local hotel and even had a chance to witness a wedding.

On returning to Huskvarna we went to visit a „castle” - quite excetric house where the Husqvarna factory’s directors used to live. Currently it’s been turned in to a hotel and restaurant - worth a visit - and the entry is free. The factory is located by a river of the same name and the surrounding forest hides a beautiful waterfall - best admired from the grounds of the adjoining company’s Sewing Machine Museum.

Smedbyn - Huskvarna Skansen

The curiosity here is that the town name is spelled "Huskvarna" while the factory name is "Husqvarna". The factory name was the first and the settlement grew around it but the municipality changed the spelling to make it distinct from the factory.

The town has also its own skansen - open air museum - with traditional wooden red-painted houses that currently host art & craft shops, workshops and cafes - worth a visit even from outside.

On the next day we took on a trip to Vikings island - the biggest landstrip in the middle south part of the Vattern Lake.

To get to the island you need to go to Granna town and take a ferry from there. It costs 50 kr return per person (bikes free) but I tell you a secret - nobody checks the tickets so probably you could get away without them ;)

The island is quiet and idyllic rural place. It’s best explored - again - by cycling. The rental is cheaper than in Sjotorp - it costed us 120 kr for up to 3h per bike. If you prefer to spend there the whole day - and I recommend it - it’ll be 140 kr.

Näs Castle, Vikings Island, Vättern Lake

Within just 2 hours we were able to explore only the southern part of the island though it was quite interesting as we "discovered" the ruins of a Näs Castle - apparently it was the first royal castle in Sweden built by one of the dynasties pretending to unite the country. It is located right at the southernmost shore and worth stopping by for a picnic.

We had limited time on the island because I was returning to Göteborg in the afternoon. So we returned from Granna just in time for me to catch a bus from Jonkoping to Göteborg. The ride took around 2.5 hours. My flight was the following day in the morning and even though I had again very limited time I didn’t intend to give up on visiting.

Skansen Kronan, Göteborg

Upon arriving I checked in to my accommodation and still had time to wander around the city center. I went to see Skansen Kronan - a XVII century’s redoubt overlooking the oldest city’s district - Haga. I walked through the streets of the neighbourhood and on returning passed along the waterfront where I "discovered" the Tyslka Kyrkan, the German Church.

I must say that I didn't expect too much and I got a lot - sunny, relaxing weekend with lots of new sights away from the mainstream crowded places and all in a fun company. Even though it wasn't the cheapest long weekend I said good bye to Sweden without a guilt and happy.

Sunset in Göteborg