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Tag Archives: Kalmar Castle Chapel

After a four day stay in Stockholm we took the train to Kalmar, Sweden. This was our first visit to the Stockholm Central and we were really impressed with the stations. They were so clean you could have probably eaten off of the floor.

More photos from our visit to Kalmar, Sweden can be found on my website.

When we arrived in Kalmar we had a car waiting for us at the train station. We expected that we would have a shift car but it turned out not only to be an automatic but a hot red Mercedes. First Mercedes that we have ever driven in.

We picked up the car and drove out to Skalby where my wife’s relatives had a dinner planned for us.

After dinner we walked over to the Skalby Church and cemetery where we found the only remaining grave stone for my wife’s relatives. Sweden has long standing practice to re-use burial plots. By law there is a person or family that is responsible for the care and upkeep of a grave. This right is preserved by contract for normally 25 years. This responsibility includes a fee to the parish or cemetery for the grounds keeping etc. When the contract expires, the cemetery authority will contact the responsible party to see if they are interested in renewal. If they decide not to renew the contract the cemetery will remove the grave marker and reuse the burial plot.

When we were in Skalby last year we were able to attend a service in the church. It was mostly in Swedish with a little English thrown in for our benefit.

On the way back we noticed the grain had been harvested but not many bales in the field. We were told that because of the drought, crops were way down this year.

After visiting the church we drove out to Kolboda where we were going to stay in my wife’s relatives summer cabin. It was in a nice little subdivision of summer cabins on the Baltic Sea. There were a lot of cabins in a small area yet it was very quiet and tranquil. If this had been in the states there would have been so much noise that one would not have been able to relax.

The next morning we drove back to Skalby where we were going to meet the relatives. We had a slight problem because we couldn’t remember the way back to Skalby from Kolboda. We had purchased a sim card for our phone in Norway and thanks to new EU rules it worked throughout Scandinavia.  The only problem was we didn’t have cell service so our phone navigation didn’t work. We headed back but at the first main intersection we turned left rather than right and ended up at the Baltic Sea. That was a clue that we made the wrong choice. We went back to the intersection and continued on. Some of the places looked familiar and soon we had cell service so we were able to connect with the relatives. The first event of the day was a boat tour of Kalmar. This was a first for everyone because the relatives had not been on this tour before.

This is a shot of the Kalmar County Museum which we would visit on our last day in Kalmar.

A shot of Kalmar Castle from the boat tour.

This landmark used to be a water tower but has been turned into apartments with some great views of Kalmar.

After the boat tour we walked over toward Kalmar Castle for lunch and then walked past some beautiful flowers.

 

When we reached Kalmar Castle there were activities setup in the courtyard for children. the second photo is a nail pounding board. I’m not sure that could pass muster in the states. It is a common children’s activity in Scandinavia but would probably result in lawsuits in the US.

The main attraction in the Castle was an exhibit of Leonardo da Vinci inventions.

We also walked through the church and a costumes exhibit. When we visited the Castle last year there was a wedding taking place in the chapel.

We walked back through South Cemetery on our way out to beach where a sand Sand Sculpture Festival was taking place.

The sand carving had ended by the time we had arrived and they were giving out the awards. There was a large crowd at the event.

After the sand castle festival our relatives headed home and my wife and I walked around town a bit. This a Polish sailing ship that had been anchored in the harbor and was leaving as we walked along the harbor. We then headed back to Kolboda for the night.

The next morning we met up with our relatives and then drove into Kalmar where we parked our car in the IKEA parking lot then continued on to the island of Oland. The new bridge to Oland is very impressive. Unfortunately it is a magnet for those wishing to attempt suicide. Once on the island we drove to the far end and our destination for the day which was Ottenby Naturum. Ottenby Naturum is one of the premier locations for observing birds in Sweden. There are birds in the area most of the time but they greatly increase during the spring and fall migration periods. There are nets setup to catch birds for banding. There is a large lighthouse which offers some great views of the surrounding countryside. While we were there we saw a large number of seals sunning themselves on the rocks.

We drove back through the Great Alvar and through the kings farm. There were quite a few windmills along the road. I was only familiar with Oland from reading a crime novel that partially took place on Oland. It was not what I expected.

On the way back we stopped for a bite to eat. I’m not sure what this was called but it was good. I think it was potatoes with meat in the center.

The next morning was our last in Kolboda. We drove over to Hagby Church and toured the old church. The church was built in a round shape to serve both a religious purpose and a defensive one. Seventeen arrowslits have been identified in the upper part of the wall. The present layout of the church largely dates from a renovation carried out in 1968. Inside the church, there are fragments of frescos from the 14th century on the walls.

We then drove over to Värnanäs farm to look around. This is one of the largest farms in the area with some impressive buildings.

We then drove out to Ekenäs, Sweden which is small boat building community. We also stopped at a small pastry shop and picked up some things for a snack. There were also some nice swimming places in the area.

One of the relatives is a fire chief in the area and we were able to get a tour of the fire house. Apparently things have been busy this summer with the very dry weather.

We then drove back to the home farm. It was very impressive. When we visited last year they were working on a break room for the workers. I can’t ever recall seeing anything like this done for workers in the US. The philosophy was that if I don’t treat my workers right they will go someplace else to work. There was not only a break room but a nice locker room and laundry available to workers. The cousin is probably what we would call a serial entrepreneur. He has a 900 hog operation, farms himself, contracts for road work (snowplowing and mowing), Does custom work for other farmers and is a fire chief.

We then gathered at the house to go over family history.

After our visit we drove into Kalmar and turned our car in and checked into the hotel. As we walked past the plaza outside the hotel we noticed a lot of folks watching the World Cup. We then walked over to Kalmar Cathedral. The daughter of one of the relatives was having a recital in the church so we deiced to attend..

On our final morning in Kalmar we decided to walk around town. This is the Kalmar Cathedral.

We walked along the harbor and through a residential district with some quaint old homes.

Our final stop of the morning was the Kalmar County Museum. The big draw is the large number of artifacts from the Battleship Kronan. The ship foundered in rough weather at the Battle of Oland on June 1, 1676. It capsized and the gunpowder magazine blew off most of the bow. It sank quickly with 800 men and 100 guns. Many of the guns were salvaged in the 1690’s but the wreck was eventually lost. It was found again in 1980 by the same amateur researcher that found the Vasa. Many artifacts have since be salvaged.

It was a great visit and we enjoyed seeing the relatives again. At noon we caught the train back to Oslo, Norway.

We were up early to catch the train to Kalmar, Sweden. Unfortunately we were forced to miss the great breakfast at the hotel and had to settle for something at the Central Train Station.
On our way to Kalmar we traveled over some of the territory covered in the late great Swedish crime author Henning Mankell. It was fun to see the land described in his books.
We arrived in Kalmar mid afternoon and soon headed out to explore the town. We walked over to the Södra Kyrkogården and then on to Kalmar Castle.

It was a beautiful spring afternoon and young people were taking in the sun around the castle fortifications.

We were able to get a quick look at the Kalmar Castle Chapel just before a wedding was to take place.

There was a display of the Medici Family in the castle and we spent most of our time walking through this display.

The castle was closing so we went outside and walked around the fortifications.

I was able to capture a little wildlife as we walked around the castle grounds.

Black-headed Gull

Hooded Crow

Rabbit

We then walked around looking for Old Town and finally found it after a couple of false starts.

We had a bit to eat before heading out again for a walk along the waterfront.

As we neared the end of the waterfront we found The Cavalier Town Gate.

We then walked over to Stortoget where the Kalmar Cathedral is located.

As we wandered past the old fortifications we encountered this water tower. We concluded that it had been turned into apartments. I Imagine the residents have a great view of the city and harbor.

We ended up back at Larmtorget where the New freemasonry hotel was located. Note the Ben & Jerry’s.

We finally decided to call it a day.