Travel memories from south Sweden in July 2002

Two years earlier I had made a holiday trip by car in south Sweden, but there were interesting places I didn't visit. When I had thought about this years main holiday I also found some tempting events that would fit into a nice route. I booked rooms in advance, since it would be a trip in the middle of the summer, and made short notes about several places that I would pass.

Saturday 6 July I left, with the other side of Västerås as my first stop in less than an hour. Shortly after having passed Västerås, looking for the right exit from the E18, I found a queue. A long queue. A very slowly moving queue.

I guess it took about half an hour before I could see the exit. After another hour I felt an urge to take a closer look on some bushes by the road. No problem to leave the car for a while. When I came back the queue hadn't moved more than about a carlength. Looking at the surroundings and a map, I realized that the distance to the exit and its roundabout was about the same as I already had crawled, and more than the double length to where I and almost all of the others were going...

Time for the first change in my travel plan. When I finally came to the roundabout after the exit I turned right and went to Surahammar instead. After a short visit to the town centre I steered to 'the Golden Wheel', the motorcycle musuem Gyllene Hjulet. An interesting museum I enjoyed to visit.
   
There were some 120 motorcycles of all kinds, and two old cars.
Among others this Vabis from 1903.

I had planned to go to Surahammar after the visit to Västerås, so I already had booked a room at the youth hostel there. Another visit to the centre provided me with something to eat in the evening.

On Sunday I left early in the morning, driving to Västerås hopefully before so many others were out driving. I arrived to the field without any queues, parked and walked into the area. There I walked around for many hours, enjoying lots of cars.
 
Look on the roof of the red/white car.

 
A customized Volvo PV and one of the few Volvo P1900.

There were more than 12.000 cars from 19 countries visiting the Power Big Meet 2002. Follow the link to see some more photos. (At the bottom of that page is a link back here.)

In the early afternoon I drove to Västerås Flygmuseum.

Two Saabs, 35 Draken and 32 Lansen.

Now and then the planes here fly away, often to visit air shows.

A flying replica of Charles Lindberghs "Spirit of St Louis". It was built in Estonia in 1997, using the few remaining drawings and photos to make it as close to the original as possible. I felt a breeze of history seeing it. In 1927 Charles Lindbergh made the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris, non-stop for 33,5 hours over 5.869 km. The plane had an extra gas tank in the front, so to see forward he used a periscope.

I spent a couple of hours at the museum, and then I headed southwards to Linköping. After a short walk in the centre and some hamburgers and milkshake I spent the evening at the combined youth hostel and hotel.

Monday 8 July I left the room in the morning, and arrived to Åtvidaberg before the museums opened at nine. After a walk in the area I began with the car museum. The vehicles were some trucks with cabs built in Åtvidaberg, a few of the around 2.000 cabs built per year 1927-57, and an inspection trolley. And what I really wanted to see, one of the twelve cars built in Åtvidaberg around 1910-12.
 

A positive surprise was the metal factory where railway material were produced. All the original machines were still in working order, powered via belts from the roof as when installed in 1924. That was a sight. And a sound. (Sadly I didn't think of taking photos of it.)

Another positive surprise was the Åssa museum nearby, where I read about the several companies that had factories in Åtvidaberg. Among them Facit, once renowned for their mechanical office machines. The history of Åtvidabergs Hjulfabrik AB (wheel factory) is fascinating, considering the sales methods they used. Initially they met opposition for their factory massproduced wheels, but this was changed in 1903 when they were established in the British market. They made many marketing activities with ads, signs, built pavilions of wagon wheels for use in exhibitions, and had their own sales persons travelling to among others China, South Africa and Australia. With its advanced technical equipment, the factory was at the time the only one of its kind in Europe.

In the afternoon I drove via Västervik, Vimmerby and Hultsfred to Målilla Hembygdspark to see the vehicles they have, but the buildings were closed unfortunately. Just one person was there working, and she couldn't leave the office to open any of them for me.

Back north a bit, and west a bit. I spent the night in a youth hostel in Eksjö.

Tuesday morning I drove another road towards Målilla, but after some 30 kilometres I went off the road.


Very young fir trees.

No, I did not ditch my car off the road. I walked.

But others used their cars. Off the road.

I had planned to spend most of the day in Ökna, one of the places used during the Sweden Offroad Tour.
Volvo TL12, 1956.

This place became quite popular.
   

A couple of Volvos was useful to help others up, among them a Land Rover.
   

This Land Rover was not rebuilt to a low rider, it was just riding low. Too low.
It wasn't easy to get that one up.


In the early afternoon I left the around 60 cars in the terrain, and used normal roads to get to Värnamo.

I got to the youth hostel rather early, so I had plenty of time to do something. But I didn't feel like doing anything. Except to sit outside in the shadow, where it was 30 degrees Celsius in the shadow. Too warm for me.

Since the facilities at youth hostels are varying, I had brought enough food and drink for the evening and breakfast. But in that warmth I drank more than usual, and ordered breakfast for the next day. It sure was nice to take a shower that evening.

Leaving the nice area that Wednesday morning, I met some workmates. A pleasant surprise.

Back again...
I had thought of spending one more day watching offroad driving, on another place, but decided to do something else. So I drove into the Kingdom of Crystal.

In 2000 I had visited seven of the sixteen glassworks in the area between Växjö and Kalmar, and I had bought at least one thing at six of the glassworks. But now I wanted to visit more of them.

The only receipt I have saved is for lunch at Strömbergshyttan, including dessert, but it would surprise me a lot if I didn't buy at least one thing at each of the glassworks I visited: Orrefors in Hovmantorp, Strömbergshyttan, Åfors and SEA. And since I stayed at the same youth hostel in Nybro as during my previous visit to the Kingdom of Crystal, it would also surprise me if I didn't revisit the shops in the glassworks Nybro and Pukeberg...

Of course I can go to my pieces of glass now, when writing this, and get help to remember - but why should I?

By the way, the rather long way I mean: I noticed when coming close to the SEA glassworks that I had driven 1.000 km.

Anyway, the hostel in Nybro was as pleasant as on my first visit there. But I wonder how the man working there could remember me... I didn't do anything odd the first time... That I remembered him isn't so strange, but he must see a whole lotta guests every year.

That night I didn't pack any things, since I should stay there for a few nights. Again I spent the evening replanning the following days. I decided that the next day would be an island day, since it could be worse weather the day after that.

Island day
I left earlier than usual, and drove through Kalmar and out on the long bridge to Öland. That bridge is over six kilometres long, so it took some time to get across. On Öland I turned right and drove straight to the south end.


By some reason I had wanted to see the lighthouse Långe Jan ('tall Jan') since I was a kid, and there he stood. Good morning, Jan. At last we meet.

Looking south from Öland.

Facilities were prepared in the area for birdwatchers. I felt contented by watching the facilities.

But I took a closer look at Långe Jan.
 
Långe Jan was erected in 1778-85, and is with his 42 metres the tallest lighthouse in Sweden. He was closed at this time of the morning, so unfortunately i couldn't have a look inside.

Driving north, which was the only possible direction by car, I stopped at the Eketorp stronghold.

The circular wall has a diameter of 75 metres.

An illustration outside showed how it had grown. The first stronghold was built 300-400 AD, and was seemingly used only when danger was imminent. The strongholds second period of use, that has been partly reconstructed, was as a village around 400-700. Then it seems to have been abandoned until around 1000, when wooden houses were built inside it. Around 1300 it was once again abandoned. (One source called it 'a medieval garrison' 1170-1240).


One thing I appreciated there was, that there were no modern waste paper baskets or other modern objects that so often 'destroy' old places.

One of many windmills on Öland.

The landscape of a large part of southern Ölands inland is named Stora Alvaret. Due to its desolation and its flora it has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Another fascinating place to visit was Gettlinge grave field, with among others a shipformed stone circle.
 

Along the way northwards I saw scenery like this. Although Öland is a rather large island much of it is coast. Öland is 140 km long and at the most 16 km wide.

I once again passed Färjestaden ('the ferry city') where I left the bridge from the mainland, and continued northwards. Now it was much more traffic, since Öland is one of the favourite holiday places in Sweden. Now and then shorter queues were created as cars should turn left and had to wait for openings in the oncoming traffic. (Yes, there's righthand traffic in Sweden.)

Driving on, I at last was amazed with this view.

Even as a ruin, I thought it was quite impressing. So.let's have a close-up.

But, I didn't go there...

No, I didn't. Instead I chose the exit to a large parking lot where I left the car in the sun (many thanks, son, for the windscreen sunshield I got from you some years ago!) and walked downhill to Solliden. Since several years this early 20th century castle is used by the Royal Family of Sweden as their summer residence. There I took a good look on the long line of people waiting to get inside the park, and then walked uphill again.

After that I drove to the old Borgholm Castle.

I was told that there at a time in history had been 54 glass panes in each window, and a brass chandelier inside each window. Not bad. (I have seen much larger castles, as well as other kinds of large and/or fantastic places, but I refuse to let that hinder my amazement when visiting smaller ones.)

The first castle was built in the 12th century, within a ring-wall, and it was in medieval times one of the largest in the Nordic countries. Of that castle remain only the outline of a round central tower. The castle got its present layout 1572-92. During 'the Kalmar war' 1611-13 between Denmark and Sweden it suffered severe damage. In 1650 another reconstruction began, to make it a palace in baroque style, but the work was stopped in 1709 in the middle of King Karl XII:s Russian campaign. In the castle church regular services was held until 1772. Later the castle was used for various businesses, and then a large fire took its share in 1806.
 

   

 
I really would like to take a time journey to it, visiting at various times.
 


The holes were made for the scaffolding, the guide explained.

When I visited this fantastic castle ruin, there was an art exhibition with glass objects, Global Art Glass 2002. Glass sculptures from 14 countries were exhibited. This was one of them.

It was early in the afternoon when I left the castle and its overfull parking area. I went on northwards, passing fields like this.

Byrum was my next stop, where I took a walk on the shore. This is the only place on Öland where you find these, called "raukar". On the larger island Gotland you find them on more places.
 

 
The island visible in the horizon is Blå Jungfrun, 'the Blue Virgin'.

Now I had a hard decision to make. Should I go on to the north end of Öland, or go back southwards? It wouldn't take so long to drive up north...

Well, I drove southwards. Thinking of what I wanted to visit around six o'clock and the traffic situation...

I passed the medieval church in Källa, built in the 12th century. The following century it was fortified to function as a stronghold in times of danger.

When I saw this large windmill, with a plane parked beside it, I got curious and left the main road.

Sandviks Kvarn is one of the largest windmills of its kind on the planet. With its eight floors it is more than 25 metres high. It was originally built in 1856, in Vimmerby on the mainland. In the early 1880s a hurricane took its 24 metres long wings. It was sold to a man from Öland who wanted to place it near a harbour so that mainlanders could bring crop and fetch meal by ships. The mill was taken down in late 1884, and transported by railway to Oskarshamn where a ship made some rounds to bring it to Öland. During a storm the large cogwheel fell overboard, but luckily the wooden wheel float ashore north of Sandvik. The windmill was in regular use into the 1950s.

I tried to enjoy a buzzy dinner in the outdoor restaurant. Luckily all the wasps were more interested in my dinner than in me...

I came to Färjestaden with time to spare, and took a short walk around the harbour. I also took photos of Ölandsbron, from the other end compared to my photos from two years ago.

Then one came, and another, and some more...
 
... to the weekly gathering.

In the evening I rode with my horsepowers towards the sun.

I drove back to the hostel in Nybro, where I had another relaxing evening. And night.

A peaceful day in Kalmar
Friday 12 July I spent in Kalmar, taking a closer look on the city and some of its interesting 'oldies'. No, not cars...

Now I was in Kalmar later in the morning, and the castle was open. I took a stroll inside the walls, and a photo of a birds home.

But the bird can't be seen on this small photo. Anyway, it was busy fetching food for its young ones.

I also took a photo that I later discovered was almost identical to one I took during my visit there two years earlier.

Yes, it's two photos...

(Since I didn't take any photos of the castle from the outside during this visit, I reuse a photo from 2000.)

A nice row of houses, with not so many 'disturbing' modern objects.

I also visited Kalmar Läns museum, especially for their exhibition about the man-of-war Kronan. She was finished in 1672, and with her 126 guns she was the largest man-of-war at the time. The cost to build her can be compared to build an atomic-powered carrier today. At the time Sweden was a large kingdom.

In 1675 Sweden once again was in war, spread from the war between France and the Netherlands that began in 1672. In late May 1676 there were a series of battles between the Swedish fleet and the Danish-Dutch fleet over a couple of days. The Danish-Dutch fleet consisted of 25 men-of-war, 10 frigates and 11 other ships. The Swedish fleet had 25 men-of-war, 9 frigates and around 16 other ships. To make a long story short: at one time Kronan should veer towards the enemy. During the maneuver she capsized and exploded near southern Öland.

Half of the guns were salvaged from the 26 metres depth by divers with the equipment they had at the time, and then the position of the wreck was forgotten. In 1980 it was found by Anders Franzén (who earlier found and led the salvaging of the man-of-war Vasa that now is in a museum in Stockholm).

At the end of that history-filled day I once again returned to the hostel in Nybro, and this evening I packed.

More in Kalmar
In the morning I returned to Kalmar again, to spend some more time there with some 'oldies'. Yes, cars...

I visited the 5th Calmar Classic Motor Show, where I among others saw these long Volvos. I spent several hours looking at the cars and motorcycles, both in the show area and on the parking area outside. There I also met Esther for the first time, and her 'sister' Faster. Here you can see more photos from
Calmar Classic Motor Show 2002. (At the bottom of that page is a link back here.)

In the afternoon I made a kind of a rerun - I drove from Kalmar to Karlshamn, where it was easier to find the STF youth hostel this year. This time too I took a walk in the centre and in the harbour area, before having a good night in the bed.

The following morning, Sunday 14 July, I left early and went almost across Skåne.

Hey, whatta lotta hay!

I missed the sign at the right exit, but got aware of it when I met a car. After a quick turn I followed it to the parking area at Ring Knutstorp.

It was a most pleasant and worthwhile visit at Svensk Sportvagnsmeeting 2002, where there were several "Cars made in Sweden" - and many of them in action. Among them some Esthers. There were nearly 300 cars racing.

Swebe to the left.

In the afternoon I did not race from Ring Knutstorp. I drove in normal speed to Helsingborg, where I wanted to visit the museum "Teknik på farfars tid" ('technique when grandfather was young'). It was open only on Sunday afternoons.

Two years ago I was there another weekday when it was closed, but now I could visit this well-filled treasurechamber with all possible technical and other objects.
1911 Scania

GM ELC10 1942

This time in Helsingborg I stayed at an youth hostel. As usual I took a walk before settling in the room, and as usual I had something to eat and drink while replanning the following day.

Another lazy day
Monday morning I had breakfast on the shore in Råå. I had driven there too look at the closed fire brigade museum.

Well, I knew it was closed. I hadn't managed to get in contact in advance to book a visit, but partly I thought that maybe someone were there doing some work and partly I had read that Råå was a nice place to visit.

I also had learnt that the fire brigade museum in Heagård was closed temporarily, so I had some time to spend.

When the shops opened I visited the tourist information and learnt that the museum that had an old Swedish-made car still hadn't opened in a new building, and I got an address for a photo shop to which I drove. Since I were staying in the hostel two nights I left a number of films for development, so I didn't have to keep them in a warm car on sunny days.

It was a wonderful day for a stroll in the harbour area, and also for a return trip to Denmark across the sound. On the ferry I enjoyed a sandwich with schrimps.

 

In the late afternoon I went back to the photo shop and fetched my films, and that evening I took a look on them.

I know what that is. Do you?
I'll tell you later...

Another active day
Tuesday I spent most of the day on the short way south to Malmö.

I came to Landskrona early in the morning, and went for a long walk while waiting for Landskrona museum to open.

Peaceful sunbathers among old defence blocks.

In the background the island Ven. Isn't it an elder sailing ship there, too?

I think it is.


A harbour skyline, with a mix of masts and in the background large cranes.

The citadel in Landskrona.
Why is it called citadel, and not fort or castle or so? Anyway, in 1549 Danish King Kristian III began the construction of a renaissance castle with triple moats, advanced bastions and large round towers for guns. Landskrona and a large area of south Sweden was Danish at that time. King Kristian IV expanded the living areas. Some changes were made in the 1930s. Wasn't it something with the roofs over the towers?

Look, now the ships sails are set.

Let's take a closer look.

Nice to see.

A little more of the citadel.

I walked back to another old military area, the barracks where the museum is housed. I spent some time in its shop, but then I walked rather fast through it until I came to the room dedicated to Enoch Thulin - a Swedish pioneer aviator.
 
The Thulin company also produced cars. This one was built in 1921.

On the way southwards I drove to Löddeköping, trying to find the factory where they build the Gordon car. I saw no sign, and a guy working in the area didn't know about them. Thinking they had moved, I went on. Later I learnt that they still were there...

I also made a visit in Lund, where I asked at a museum if they had an old Swedish-made car that I read about some years ago. No, they hadn't. So I went on.

And on went the kilometres. On the way to Malmö I passed 2.000 km of holiday driving.

I arrived to Malmö in time for a short visit to Teknikens och Sjöfartens hus, 'house of technique and shipping', before they closed. Besides what I think is the more basic display of vehicles, they had a temporary motorcycle exhibition. An interesting museum that I'd like to visit again.
   
Another Thulin, the very small Putte, and a Rex.

After driving around in an area I found the STF youth hostel where I had planned to stay two nights. Nearby was a large shopping mall, so I walked there to find something for the evening. Then it was time for a little replanning again, and another nights sleep.

By the way, this photo - do you know what it is?

It is sunrays shining on a door handle of metal and reflected on the door.

Per no but Johanna yes
Wednesday morning I drove out of Malmö, the wrong way. No, not so wrong but I missed an exit... No problem at all, since I had plenty of time for the day. I had planned the visit to the museum in Malmö that morning, since I didn't think I would get there in time the day before.

My first visit was Per Larssons museum in Staffanstorp, a museum that according to the info I had found only was open in the summer. Well, it wasn't when I was there. It was closed for holiday.

I had planned to visit Johanna after Per, but since she couldn't receive me before one o'clock I drove down to Trelleborg to have a look in that town.

On the way there I saw this odd phenomen in the sky. It looked like it went from the ground upwards (or reverse).

It looks a bit like a long thin tornado, but it can't be - or can it? I'm rather sure it wasn't a 'fuel cloud' after a plane. And I don't think it has anything to do with UFO:s. What was it, then? No, this is not a trick photo of any kind.

One problem when travelling around like I do, is that it can be hard to remember some things after some years. I didn't make notes thinking of writing about the trip like I do now, and I guess I should have taken even more photos. Since one of my main ideas with the trip was to get photos of cars made in Sweden that I normally don't see, I didn't take so many photos of other things.

Like Trelleborg. I know that I visited the centre and the harbour area, but sadly I can't find a memory picture of how the city looks... An odd feeling.

What I do remember, not only thanks to the photos, is my visit to Trelleborgen, where a very kind and patient girl working in the shop answered my questions as good as she could even though she were waiting to close for lunch (which I got aware of later...). And she could answer most of them. There I also bought two miniature vikings...


This is a reconstructed part of a stronghold, based on archaeologic findings. Six such strongholds have been found, four in Denmark and two in Skåne in Sweden, that was a part of Denmark when it was built around year 980.

It was large, with a diameter of 143 metres. There were four gates, and inside were two streets between the gates. Really impressing.
 
Since nothing of the original wooden structure reamins it's not known exactly how it looked, but the size of the area and of some buildings inside is known.

On the way northeast to Skurup I passed another of the many windmills.

Johannamuseet too has a fine collection of old cars and motorcycles. There I among others saw the Cederholm car from 1894, and a Husqvarna from the 1920s.
 

I drove southwards on small country roads, and saw more and more views with the sea in the background.

Sjörup church, if I read the right sign.

In Smygehamn I took a longer break, walking along the coast and watching the art exhibition in the Warehouse from the early 19th century.

In the harbour I saw the most hidden lighthouse I've ever seen.

It was in use until 1975. I wonder why I didn't walk up in that 17 metres high iron lighthouse from 1883.

Probably you've noticed that I have a certain knowledge of birds, and here I saw several.

A flock of Oneoneachstone birds.

Some were drying their wings.


Here are a group of black seabirds and a larger group of white seabirds.

A group of birds of a different species were standing on Smygehuk, the southernmost point of Sweden.

Signs showed the distances to some places.

Treriksröset is at Swedens northernmost point, and there the borders of Finland, Norway and Sweden meet. Yes, Sweden is a long country. (Why was Moscow spelled with capitals? Made me think about the rumours about Soviet submarines sneaking along the Swedish coast during the 'Cold War' - maybe this was to help them find the way home?)

At the horizon I saw a string of ships on their way to or from the Baltic Sea. At one time I could see seven outgoing ships.

Then it was time for a weekly car and motorcycle meet. Around 50 vehicles showed up.
 

An elder Porsche with a large backseat passenger.

After a pleasant evening I drove back to the hostel in Malmö.

Adieu Malmö
Thursday morning, the 18 July, I was in no hurry. I drove across Skåne again, to visit Kristianstads Järnvägsmuseum. The museum didn't open until one o'clock, and by then I was waitning outside.

 
To the right is a railway wagon wagon. A railway wagon made to carry railway wagons. In the early days of railways there weren't a standard width of tracks, and later when the railways were made longer and met each other this caused problems. Still there are places on the planet that have this problem, and various solutions are used to handle it. This wagon was used on a wider gauge railroad, and made so wagons from a narrower gauge railway could be carried on top of it.

Leaving this fine museum with some heavy vehicles I went to Hässleholm and another museum with some heavy vehicles, some also running on tracks but of another kind.

One of the museums I had tried to visit two years earlier, but had found closed, now had moved inte a new building. Hässleholms museum.
 
To the left a tank 74, an elder tank that was modified by Landsverk and Hägglund. The original m/42 was built during World War II by two Swedish companies -some by Landsverk and some by Volvo. To the right an 103 'S', a tank without a turret, built by Bofors.

I spent the evening in Hässleholm, reading and planning as usual, and then the night.

More in the south
Friday 19 July I drove back to Karlshamn, but on the way I made a detour via Olofström. I had read that the Koenigsegg supercar was built there, but I found no signs. I asked at a petrol station, where someone thought they had moved the factory further south in Sweden.

In Karlshamn the harbour area was closed for car traffic during the Östersjöfestivalen, 'the Baltic Sea Festival', but I found a place for my car near the other end of the harbour. It was a bit cloudy so I brought my umbrella. Luckily.

That was the heaviest rainfall I've experienced. After a while my umbrella was wet on the inside.

It sure wasn't jolly for the organizers or the people working there. I guess the downpour lasted for some ten to fifteen minutes, and by then I was soaked.

Still a rather large group of veterans showed up for the exhibition.
A collection of Volvos.

At midday I went back southwards, with a stop at the "Nostalgi Café the 50´s". Another museum with lots of objects, a place where you can spend lots of time. Especially if you are old enough to remember more or less usual things from the 50s. Also here there are some vehicles, among others a Saab 93F from 1960.
 
I also spent a good time in their 50s style cafeteria...

Pleased with that visit, I went on to Ystad. After settling in the youth hostel in the railway station in the harbour, and seeing that the railway museum was closed when I was in Ystad, I took a walk in the town centre. On the town square an elder Volvo fire engine stopped. In summertime it is used for sightseeing tours. It belongs to a museum, but they don't have any cars in the museum.

When I were to leave the square, I thought it looked a bit odd. I stayed a little while and saw that there were many people standing around, not standing like usual tourists looking around but more like waiting for something. Then I saw a small truck with a lifting device and two persons up there. I'd better wait a while, I thought.

After a while there was a motion in the crowd, and I understood that now something was coming. I had no idea what it was. Could be anything that attracts people so they go to the town square a sunny summer evening.

Then a truck came.
 
Aha, it's a truck competing in the Europa 2002 Truck Trial, this weekend in Ystad - which was the main reason for my visit to Ystad. But I didn't think there would be an event like this.

Then more trucks came.
 

 
Later I heard that it was planned that some trucks should come to the square - but 'some more' came too... In this case I was glad the 'rules' weren't followed.

On the way back to the hostel I took a short walk in the nearby harbour.

Later in the evening I heard some powerful sounds outside, and saw the trucks leaving.

There were also some other vehicles that were to leave.

That night I slept further south in Sweden than I had ever slept before.

Saturday Ales
That Saturday I went up early to take a drive to a nearby field before passing other fields on the way to the hollows.

From the asphalt road I drove on to gravelled roads that became narrower before I came to the alley between the sleepy houses where there were no life to be seen or heard.

I had learnt from those who knew how to find the way to where I was to go and there with ease I recognized the signs that would help me satisfy my desire.

Leaving the car locked I followed a path over dry grass and through some trees before I passed between a few houses and up a grassy hill.

There were no single sound to hear besides the grass moving in the light breeze and away from my shoes under the pants whose legs now and then touched each other and tried to be heard above the stillness.

Then I came to this.

I was astonished when I saw the results of powers that had bent and pressed the fences and the gate on the way I trod to a place where I was sure to see more impressing results of great powers from oh so long ago.

In my mind flew elusive images of what had taken place here in times now ancient at the same time as my mental pictures of what I expected soon to see were as large heavy stones from the creation of the land itself.

When almost reaching the top of a rising I stopped and let the blue and green and grey that filled my view also fill all my senses with the fascination and wonder that also earlier have impressed me when beholding such longlasting monuments created by the hands of humans and built with the help of their belief in higher powers.

There it was.

 

Ales stenar, Ales stones, is the largest shipformed stone circle in Sweden. 58 standing stones forms a ship 67 metres long and 19 metres wide.

As usual with monuments like these there are various theories about the age and the purpose, and where the large stones were taken and how they were brought up on the 30 metres high ridge. One source tells that findings on the place points to around 500 AD. That was around the change from the Great Migration to the "Vendel period" as it is called in Sweden, a couple of hundred years before the Viking Age.

I guess you understand that I spent some time there.

On the way down I passed the destroyed fence again, and again wondered why people destroy things. Reaching the small village, still rather early on a Saturday, I saw some people outside houses. I went to my car and took a last look at the sign pointing out the direction to Ales stenar.

These gravemounds I saw near Köpingebro.

A little later I saw another elder object that I stopped and took a photo of.

Half a tractor? Maybe it's a rebuilt tandem tractor Bolinder-Munktell built?

Then I came to the gravel pit where I spent the rest of the day, watching the skilled drivers slalomdriving their trucks in very rough terrain.

Follow this link to see more photos from Europa 2002 Truck Trial. (At the bottom of that page is a link back here.)

When I came back to the hostel I discovered a great piece of art. It is covered with small pieces of mirror glass, reflecting the sunshine onto the ground, and photos from the career of Swedish actor Ernst-Hugo Järegård.
 

In the evening Villum Clausen went to Bornholm and I went to bed.

Out of focus
Sunday 21 July and another early morning. The days main event took place in Varberg. On the way there I passed 3.000 km on the trip.

The Wheels and Wings meet, with more than 1.000 cars and a number of old planes, was a pleasant way to spend a summer Sunday. What was less pleasant, I discovered when I came home, was that my small camera didn't feel so well. It had focusing problems now and then, but it didn't tell me at the time. One result of that illness is this photo.

There was no sign on the car, but it had the meet organizers name Wheels on it so maybe it is a project car that magazine has built or sponsored.


Thulin Type A. 90% original, I was told.

Follow this link to see more photos from Wheels and Wings 2002. (At the bottom of that page is a link back here.)

In the afternoon I drove into Varberg where I took a walk in the harbour area. I visited a shop and enjoyed lunch with a nice view.

In the background is the old public bath house from 1886.

I drove out into the countryside in the early evening, looking for the youth hostel where I should spend a night. It was a very nice place, but I left it after a short while. I felt like buying something for the evening...

While planning for the next day and reading some local tourist info I was wondering about a sign I had passed on a road somewhere. "Hangar 11/29". I never found out about it.

One thing I did find, to my great nostalgic joy, was an old book for teenagers. I have kept the one book I have about that character, written by Rolf and Alexandra Becker, a gangster in Chicago called Dickie Dick Dickens. I especially remember it as a radio theatre in Sweden with the wonderful actor/comedian Martin Ljung as Dickie. And there I found another book. So, I finished reading it before I left the next day. (Sadly I wasn't allowed to buy it.)

Lock sightseeing
Monday 22 July. I knew that Volvos museum in Göteborg was closed on Mondays, otherwise I would have gone there again to see if there were some changes in the exhibition.

I had booked a room in the camping in Borås for the next day, but I had no particular place to go during the day. Why not just drive around in the area, and look for this and that?

I took a detour to see something that I now have forgotten what it was, but I passed Swedens only remaining long wave radio station. I took a photo, but again the camera didn't lock the focus correctly.

(In July 2004 I read that the long wave transmitter in Grimeton, with its electromechanical equipment from 1924, may become designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.)

I made a short stop in Ullared. Not to buy things like som many others do in the large shops, but there was something I saw that looked worth to stop for. On the backside under a closed car shop I saw a car museum I didn't know about. There were half a dozen cars and some 30-40 motorcycles. Unfortunately it was locked, and there were no signs with opening hours or the name of it... (I still haven't got any info about it.)

For some days I had tried to get in touch with Gällareds car museum, but noone had answered. Now I went there anyway. There was a sign on a rather large warehouse, but it was locked and there were noone to see.

In the early afternoon I came to Borås. I went to the camping, and then to a large shopping centre near it where I spent some time just looking around.

The rest of the day I spent in a lazy way.

Again
I woke up in Borås, and there was something I wanted to see in Borås in the evening. So, I decided to spend most of the day in Borås.

First I was lucky. There were no fires in Borås that morning, and not a single false alarm either. That gave me the luck to get a sightseeing in the fire brigade museum. It was very informative, and much work was done to make a good exhibition. Nice to see. I also got a look on two old fire engines.
Scania-Vabis delivered 1919.

Then I drove out of Borås, to a nearby old church I had read a little about that made me interested. I laughed when I saw it...
 
No, the church was nothing to laugh about - but I had forgotten that I visited it two years earlier...

Well, having come here I thought I could as well have another close look. I parked the car and walked over to it - and found in open. Besides there was a guide inside.

This is the only remaining stave church in Sweden. It is a Nordic style, with walls of raised logs, that was built foremost in Norway and Sweden when Christianity was introduced. The style was the same as in elder temples.

Compared to remaining stave churches in Norway, the one in Hedared lacks the rich ornamentation. One reason may be that it seemingly was built as late as around year 1500. However a part of it comes from an elder building from the 12th century.

From the beginning the church only had walls and a roof, earth floor and no windows. It has been modified and added to a couple of times, among others it got the present windows in 1781. In 1901 its exterior was restored to be as original as possible, but the windows were kept. In 1934-35 the interior was restored, and when removing the inner walls an altar painting was discovered. It was painted directly on the wall.

A more advanced restoration took place in the 1990s, she told me. The church was lifted some 70 centimetres, and the old wooden ground was replaced.

After my first surprise when re-seeing the church, I was glad that I had stopped to take a look again and met the glad and knowing guide.

When leaving the church I stopped after less than a hundred metres.

What was that, I thought and backed a bit.

I went out of the car, and could take a photo of the only Allme I've seen.

Back in Borås I took a walk in the city. I had several hours to wait, so I among others visited the library looking for books with info about cars made in Sweden.

After dinner I went to the centre of the city to have a short look on the weekly car meet. Unfortunately it had to be a short look. It were to start at half past six, and I had to be in the youth hostel in Ulricehamn before it closed at eight o'clock...

I got to the hostel in time, and then spent the rest of the evening with the usual activities. I also wondered a little about the car testtrack where I had left the main road to take a look, and after a while saw a traffic sign 'motorvehicle traffic prohibited'...

The holiday trip was coming to its end, but I still had some days left and several places to visit. With that in mind I fell asleep.

What did I do?
Wednesday 24 July I left Ulricehamn in the morning, and I fell asleep in the STF youth hostel in Nässjö that night. What did I do in the meantime?

From my notes I know that I skipped to visit some places along the route that I had made notes about, among others because of rainy weather, and I have almost no photos from the day except from one museum.

Besides the museum visit in Nässjö I know that I bought a west with many pockets at Storcks discount store at 13.35 and I had lunch in a pizzeria where they had small paintings that must have been done by the same artist I bought two paintings of earlier - at the large square Hötorget in Stockholm where he was painting with the use of spray cans, crumpled up newspapers and some other useful painting tools. I think I bought the west and the pizza in Nässjö.

I passed Jönköping on the way, and I saw a Volvo harvester that I took two photos of - both out of focus. I made notes during a visit in the library in Nässjö. And I visited one museum. What more did I do?

The pleasant museum I visited was Nässjö Järnvägsmuseum, where I mostly enjoyed having a closer look at one of my 'favourite' engines when it comes to design. The Rapid, on the right photo below.
 
Two Rapids were built in 1955 and another eight in 1960-61 by NOHAB and ASEA. At the time they were the most powerful engines on the planet counting the relation between power and weight, with 3.600hp and 62 metric tons. They were built for a speed of 150 km/h. After they were taken out of normal railway traffic service in 1987 I think about half of them were retired in museums. Similar models were also built, among others used in Norway.

The steam locomotive was also built by NOHAB in Trollhättan, in 1931.

My question about that day remains. I can't remember having done anything else. Could it be that I was just doing nothing for half of the day?

In the evening there were not so much more to plan, so I solved a crossword. I know that, because I wrote the words on the youth hostel leaflet since I didn't want to write in the borrowed magazine.

A day with focus on high speed
I jumped out of the bed, packed the rest of my things and cleaned the room faster than in a tv commercial. It was around seven when I left Nässjö.

When I came to Mjölby I got the idea to drive through an industrial area and look for BT Industries, a company that still produces trucks in Sweden. Nowadays it's smaller trucks. I saw two fork lift trucks outside the factory, both of the make Clark. Is there maybe a company connection between them, one owning the other or so?

I was driving as fast as permitted on the E4. I passed Mantorp and when getting closer to the next museum I wanted to visit I drove to Ledberg instead. There I made a quick visit back in time, almost 1.000 years.

At Ledbergs church stands a runestone with a text from the 11th century. The text tells about who the stone were in memory of, and who raised it. At the end is a spell.
 
The illustrations on the stone were inspired from the myth of Ragnarök, in Norse mythology the destruction of the world.

I think that age is fascinating. That age, too...

After a while I drove to Flygvapenmuseum, the aviation museum of the Swedish Air Force.

I took some photos of the row of Saab jets outside, with a row of various planes behind it.

When they opened I first spent some time looking at the outdoor exhibition, among others some of my 'favourite' Saab 35 Draken. 'The Dragon'. Yes, as with the engine at the railway museum it's the design I'm thinking of.

With its double-delta wing planform I think it's 'beautiful' to see in the air.

When I was finished with those planes I entered the museum, and paid the entrance fee at 10.17. Around 60 of the museums more than 200 planes and helicopters are exhibited, among them this Saab 17.

There were many planes to see, and also a museum shop where I was patiently waiting for the worst of the rainshower to end... At 11.50 I paid for one book and a booklet. Yes, I have kept those receipts among my travel broschures and notes.

Taking another glance at the rows of planes outside while I went to the car and took off, I left for Linköping. The second museum I visited that day were four of many. In the open-air museum Gamla (Old) Linköping and Valla fritidsområde (recreation area) are several museums. Of these I visited Odalmannens museum (farming), Westmanska vagnmuseet (wagons), Järnvägsmuseet (railway) och Tekniska Verkens museet (technical).
 

Oops. There I ran out of film...

I bought more rolls of film at 14.28 and then drove to the combined youth hostel and hotel where I had stayed earlier. Yes, I'm pleased with their services. There I paid at 16.13, and left some luggage in the room.

Then I moved with the speed of light.

I drove the 15-20 kilometres to the Mantorp glassworks where I looked at the objects in their shop, and I paid for two things already at 16.22. Just 9 minutes after I paid at the hostel in Linköping. I have it on the receipts, black on white. Well, one is blue on white... and neither is so very white...

Anyway, one of the things I bought was a glass block with a Saab 35 plane as motif...

In my last evening of that holiday trip there was not so much to plan. I had some alternatives I was thinking about, though.

A day on the strip
The last event I visited during that holiday by car in south Sweden, on Friday 26 July, was Sko-Uno Dragrace Festival at Mantorp. It was the second of four days. Around 300 cars and motorcycles from Europe were racing, several classes in the European championship.
 

Some cars at Sko-Uno Dragrace Festival, Mantorp 2002. (At the bottom of that page is a link back here.)

In the early afternoon I left, and turned right and left up on the E4. The drive home went just fine, except for a long wait standing still in a queue caused by a traffic accident.

When carrying all the old and new things from the car to the flat, I felt as usual that it was nice to be back home. The 21 days and 3.933 kilometres long trip sure had been a holiday I enjoyed, but always I get that feeling when coming home. At the same time I long for the next trip...

2009-05-10. www.konditori100.se. Text/pictures: Arne Granfoss ©. Prod: AG Informice