Thursday, March 10, 2016

Sweden: Walking History

Exploring Skara.  But first, a proper Swedish bakery breakfast! We ate here two mornings. I would be in so much trouble if this was in my town.

Om nom nom.

I had the little cornered pastries on the top row of the photo below one morning.  Sooo good.  But I really don't think you could go wrong with any of it!

Now I know why my mom likes bakeries so much and I don't care for them... these are truly a world apart!


The cathedral by morning light.  It truly was spectacular and amazing to be in such a relatively small town.

Look, we were here! (and my phone takes really distorted pictures with it's rear facing camera)

Actually the photo of us was taken from the ruins of this other church that's even older than the cathedral.

Then we walked over to the Vastergotlands Museum.


Clara found a helmet in the gift shop!

This is in the basement of the building above, a little history of the area during medieval times.

You can see the cathedral in the middle obviously, the ruins of the church we were standing in are in front of it, the red building across the water to the left is the museum building this is in.  And off to the right is a hill with a moat around it, Clara's mom's house is now just to the right of that!  The amazing part is that Skara really isn't that much bigger than this map.  Fill in the green areas and maybe make it slightly bigger than the whole board and that's it.

The hotel I was staying at was roughly on that main road in the center and towards the bottom of the picture.  This view is looking east at the town.

After wandering through the few rooms we went out back to the area called Fornbyn which was like a recreation of the area.  Or possibly some of the buildings were original.  I don't know, most of the signs here were only in Swedish and Clara had a cold so I didn't need her to translate everything!

They had some short people back then! Or else they just had small doorways to keep things out!

Just a pretty picture of the windmill.  Not sure what the building actually was.

We wandered back through town and stopped at a cafe for lunch.  Clara got the smorgastorte so I could try some, but she said it wasn't very good.  And soooo much mayonaise.  Gross.  I think if I'd had a better one I might have liked it okay.  It's interesting, but very common.
The cake above is traditional for birthdays.  It looked yummy!

Then we walked to Clara's mom's house (so you can see the town really isn't that big when we walked across the whole thing just casually!) and borrowed her car to drive out into the country looking for this church...

Where my great grandparents got married!  It wasn't open, but we peeked in one window we could reach.  VERY thick walls and once again, very short doorways!  This place is still in use on Sundays and some of the tombstones in the churchyard have recent dates on them.

Really cool to think about my great grandparents (who I never met) having walked in the same place.


This was the name of the area, Lindarva, just a very small area with a few houses, mostly farming area.  Back across from this sign was Hilltorp where my great grandfather was born, but we couldn't figure out which house it might have been.


We were dodging rain clouds all day, but mostly stayed dry and saw this lovely rainbow.  You can't tell very well, but this was the countryside there.  Mostly just flat and ALL the houses have red roofs!

Next we skirted back around Skara and went east to visit this old church called Varnhem which has the ruins of the abbey that used to be connected to it.

Unfortunately the church was closed as well so we couldn't go inside, but we did wander around in the ruins and there were little signs telling what each room was used for and they had English translations!

This church really was huge, I had a hard time backing up far enough to get it all in one frame!  There is a cow pasture behind it and I didn't really want to see if the cows were friendly or not!

While we were there it turned 6 o'clock and the doors at the top of the steeple opened and beautiful bells chimed for about 2 minutes.

Still fighting the rain, but at least you can see the grounds better when it's not completely sunny for pictures!

Walking the pathways where monks once walked (in what was also once a fully covered building) is almost surreal.  It's like you can feel the history!

Then back to Skara and a takeout pizza place for dinner.  I know I didn't have pizza, but it's been too long, can't remember what!  Anyway, nothing is very far from the cathedral so I had to get one more picture by twilight.

And then across from my hotel was the grocery store.  Their big chain is called IKA (pronounced ick-a) and this one is IKA Munken and has these monks on the outside that are practically life size!  As a reference to the monks from the abbey we had just visited.  Such cool history!

And that was all in one day... tired yet?

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