Friday, 3 June 2016

Swedish Adventure 2016 - Part 2

23 May 2016
We travel onwards south west, cross country, away from the traffic, away from everywhere!  More trees!  Getting used to them now.  Driving on roads where the only traffic we come across are trucks loaded with logs, and it was then that we decide the world will never be short of matches, or IKEA short of pine for furniture!!  We stop to stretch our legs at a small town on the mouth of a river, we glimpse lakes between the trees, camping grounds on the lake shores, and people in the camping grounds.  Lake swimming is B I G here.  It's been sunny all morning, but it gets overcast as we get to Nor Amsberg, a small traditional village near the city of Berlange where we are staying bed and breakfast at quite the most eccentric house I think I have ever been inside.  Nothing matches anything at all!  There is a two person sauna inside the bathroom!  The wall in our bedroom is dark red, the same as the outside of the house itself. The bed is wide and comfortable.  In the garden are two caravans, a little wooden house that will sleep three, and apple and lilac trees.  Lilac was everywhere in gardens in this area, like the apples.  I think they are both loved because they bring Spring in with a shout after Winter.  Lilac used to be everywhere in my own town when I was small - sadly it seems to have gone out of fashion these days, but I think I will invest in one or two - I have the room in my own garden.  Back to the house.  We have a bedroom with one double bed and two singles, but of course, only us in it.  The one next door has one double and four singles.  Swedes seem to like collective living on holidays, and this house is often full of winter cross country skiers.  It's not for us reserved Brits, but obviously they love it because looking at houses for holidays on the internet there is a lot of it about.  And often with only one or two bathrooms between a lot of bedrooms!  The house is warm, clean and cosy, and we meet a friend of the host, a Finn who lives in one of the caravans when he is visiting.  He was there for a few days with his lady friend, prior to a week's holiday in Finland.

And here is the house.

 All the houses bar one in this village ( and that looked really out of place, the colour of vanilla ice cream), plus the church and bell tower were painted this red.  It's actually red oxide and has to be applied quickly or it dries into the wood before you even remove the paintbrush.  There's the ubiquitous apple tree behind the hedge.... there was actually more than one in the garden.  On the right is the separate bell tower and below is the church.

The owner of the little house has an apartment in Stockholm.  We are staying at her summer house, which has been loved since her child was small. In the room she uses for herself (a large sitting room), I glimpse one of those beautiful floor to ceiling stoves - all white tiles.  I'll bet that is lovely when the logs are in and alight in the winter.   She comes up in the winter when she has bookings, and then sometime in Spring comes and stays for most of the good months, bringing her two cats and settling in for a quiet time with long evenings.  Even at this level - about a third of the way up the country, you might wake at 1 or 2 am and find a gray light in the sky, never dark with stars whilst we were there, so at high Summer it must be odd.

And here, in the same village, I spot this delicious little summer house, right bang in the middle of the front lawn. Cute, eh?  Love this style of fencing which we saw all over this area -made of silver birch - the width of the pole the entire trunk of the tree as they grow so tall and spindly in amongst the pines.

The next morning, after a hearty breakfast .... well I had a boiled egg and toast and John had ham and toast - but that was such a small taste of what we were offered and could actually have eaten;  we set off for Carl Larsson's House.