Saturday morning, 9 a.m. The bright sun is shining through the window and we are off on a road trip that will take us through the small villages, fields and lakes in central Sweden. Our point of departure is well-calculated, from Vagnhärad many towns are within easy reach. Because of the location, it’s the perfect place for starting a road trip. The plan is also somewhat clear; we want to visit three towns and cities. The places are Malmköping, Arboga and Örebro. It does not take long for us to deviate from our plan and suddenly the first stop we make is a tiny township called Sparreholm.
One of the first things we notice during our road trip is that there is a museum for everything and anything.
In Sparreholm a museum dedicated to nostalgia meets us. We never enter but cannot help feeling a bit curios. And I think, if I were ever to open a museum of nostalgia, what would I put there? Probably a big, big pile of books.
Here we also visit a former factory turned into a type of shop that sells all kinds of stuff cheaply. We make some bargains and congratulate ourselves on the fact that we brought the car.
Sweden has a lot of castles and mansions. Usually they can be found somewhere near water and Sparreholm Castle does not surprise. We take a walk in the park. Afterwards we learn that even here there are some rarities in the museums. The castle houses three museums and one of them is a jukebox museum. I kid you not. In case you are interested in these devices, you will find the largest collection of jukeboxes in Europe here. Did we already mention nostalgia?
On the way back from the castle and its beautiful garden I read an (interesting article) about the Spanish Civil War and Hemingway. It felt somewhat absurd to read about those horrors in a leafy and peaceful avenue in the middle of the Swedish countryside. I was also positively surprised about the fact that an evening newspaper had published such a well-written article. Not to mention that I think that this is a war that must be remembered. And that the current political situation in Spain is very interesting.
The road trip continues to Malmköping.
The locality of Malmköping is only a few kilometers away. The township is famous for three things; its annual market (that will take place next weekend), its museum tramway and for being the home of Allan Karlsson, the main character in the book The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. We recommend you to read the book, it’s both hilarious and informative. And it will take you on a journey around the world.
There is also a museum for ironing. Ask no more, we did not visit this one either. Instead we had pizza.
And the plan changes. The road trip takes us to Örebro instead of Arboga.
I have been wanting to go to Örebro for a long time and that is why we embarked on this road trip. You know how it is, sometimes your mind is set on a certain place and you just have to go there. Even though you know virtually nothing about it.
Now I know that it has a beautiful medieval castle. It seems like a cozy city with a lot of bars and restaurants. Walking there is good too, the city is flat and the area around the river (Svartån) is very agreeable. We do not visit the largest water park in the Nordic countries or a floorball game, but we enjoy a couple of hours in this city. Maybe it is because of Pokemon but there is actually quite a lot of people on the streets with us.
One of the most interesting parts of Örebro is the outdoor area Wadköping. The are consists of houses and farms from the 1500s onward that have been moved here. In these days there are cafés, bakeries, and small shops in this idyllic area. Right next to Wadköping you can enjoy a stroll or work on your tan in the City Park.
The one we did not want to miss – Arboga.
We had decided to visit Arboga when Jesper’s parents said that it was not worth it. So, after Sparreholm we gave up on the idea, thinking that there would not be enough time. In Örebro, however, we realize that life without eating is not such a good idea. We think about the problem for a while and opt for dinner in Arboga. Even though there is a risk (a very probable one) that everything will be closed. Small towns in Sweden are not very reliable.
Arboga is the highlight of our road trip. It is one of the oldest towns in Sweden and historically it was very important. We do not need a lot of time to see the city center, but it is a real treat. It is too late to visit any cafés or museums (there is actually a robot museum!), but we find a Greek restaurant that is open. Athena it is called. And the food is so fresh and delicious, the service is good too. Jesper asks for Greek meatballs, I’m delighted to find my favorite (goat cheese salad) on the menu. Our tip, though, is to visit small Swedish towns earlier in the day.
The road trip is not over yet.
The time is around eight p.m. and we talk about returning home. We still have quite a bit of a distance to drive. We head home. After a while Jesper states that he wants to stop in Strängnäs by Lake Mälaren and take a walk. We have been in Strängnäs before but we did not see so much of the town that time. This is another historically important town. Its cathedral was inaugurated in 1291. Our walk takes us through old alleyways, up and down hills, we walk by the lake. The atmosphere in the town is merry and people seem to be enjoying their drinks. Before returning home we sadly note that ice cream kiosk is already closed.
Our road trip in numbers.
In total we drove (Jesper drove, I acted as moral support) approximately 380 kilometers. We spent an entire 13 hours om our adventure and we saw 5 amazing towns and cities. We will write more about these places in upcoming blog posts.