A few weeks ago, I had the chance to go to Sweden for the very first time. I spent 5 days in Småland, Sweden for late summer.
I started my journey from Kiel, Germany and went by ferry on the Stena Line to Gothenburg. I was not really aware of how long the journey would last and I was quite surprised to see that we arrived only the next morning in Gothenburg. I took a ferry one time to Copenhagen and I expected the travel journey to be similar. But this longer journey was for the best. I actually had the best time on board. We had the chance to visit the Ferry Officer, had a beer on the deck and had a (very good!!) buffet dinner before a good night sleep. So perfect as we arrived fresh and full of energy for the rest of our Journey in Sweden.
From Gothenburg we drove to Kalmar, the biggest city in the Småland region.
Day 1 – Kalmar City
After our arrival in Kalmar city, we checked into the Frimrarhotellet hotel and went for a picnic in a Park and visited the Kalmar castle that use to be very important in the past because if it’s geographic situation close to the border of Denmark. This castle even belonged once to Denmark.
Later on, we wandered through the alleys and the little old houses in the medieval part of the city aka the Old Town of Kalmar. So cute see some inpressions below.
Day 2 – Biking, Kayaking and Bouldering in Västervik
Day two got a little bit more adventurous. Together with Ilkay and Michael we took the car early in the morning and drove for around 2 hours to the city of Västervik that is the perfect stop for anyone that is sporty.
We started the day mountain biking in the forest and in the afternoon we went to Korpaholmarna very close to Västervik city, that is famous for it’s small islands connected with each other by pedestrian bridges. Truly lovely. We did some kayaking on the sea to enjoy that particular landscape and I could have stayed there for hours.
Later on I tried bouldering for the first time. Indeed, the not too high rocks that make the landscape are perfect for this activity.
Day 3 – Glasriket, Mörtfors and Cray party
Off to the Glasriket aka the Kingdom of Crystal where glass has been made since the 18th century. We went to visit Maleras, one of the many glasswork companies, where we had the opportunity to create our own crystal creations including glass painting, glass engraving and learning about the process of creating a crystal vase.
Even though you don’t aim to buy anything, I think a visit to Glasriket is quite interesting to understand the process of glassworks that make the pride of the region and is a major source of income since hundreds of years.
After Glasriket we went for a traditional Fika, aka a coffee break in the little village of Mörtfors. The little village of Mörtfors is just so idyllic and looks exactly how I imagined Sweden to look like with it’s river and typical little red houses. Mörtfors is very small, with only 85 inhabitants, a one and only Antiquarian Shop and the Mörtfors Pensionat where you can have a fika like in the 1920’s. This was seriously one of the highlight of this trip. The café was so perfectly decorated and the fika was the tastiest we had on this journey.
We ended our day at A way of life. A retreat owned by a couple, Lena and Peter who transformed a family house into a holiday retreat. This place again was idyllic and is the perfect place to spend some relaxing holidays, doing yoga, swimming at the close by lake and do a crayfish party. Unfortunately we didn’t had the chance to fully experience the retreat but Lena and Peter shared their passion about their retreat and positive and balanced lifestyle and we got to enjoy our very first crayfish party. Crayfish are little freshwater lobsters and in the Swedish tradition they are eaten with bread, mushroom pies, cheese, salads and other dishes. While eating, you also sing some song and drink snaps. You can guess how much fun it is!
Day 4 – Reindeer safari and back to Kiel
On our last day, before taking the Stena Line in Gothenburg we stopped at Glasrikets Älgpark on for a Reindeer Safari. The perfect occasion to see a reindeer in it’s traditional environment. The tour lasts around 50 minutes and if you are lucky enough you will have the possibility to feed some of the animals.
We ended our day watching the sunset over Gothenburg from the Stena Line ferry and danced a part of the night away on the ferry dancefloor before a good night’s sleep in our private cabin.
BTW : Did you know that the Stena Line is the first ferry in the world that run on methanol?! You can read more about Stena Line Sustainable journey HERE.