Saturday, October 22, 2016

Visby and Almedalen

This summer, for a serie of circumstances, I ended up having the possibility to travel to Visby for going to Almedalen.
Almedalen is a political event that lasts about a week. All the politician and a lot of organizations meet up and there are a lot of events and seminars. During the years, this event has grown up in size and, as for every event in Visby, half of Stockholm is there.
Said this one has to know that I am completely disinterest in politics. I have no clue what goes on in my own country most of the times, and in Sweden, it is even less. I am quite detach, I do not know the people that run this place and surely, I wasn't burning to be in Almedalen for some special reason (or for meeting some local VIP).
However, I thought it could have been an interesting experience, and it was.
In the architects antrum...
One of the seminars
In the town center

Almedalen per se' didn't impress me. On the other hand, I was very puzzled of the importance given to an event where there is a large amount of noise produced by everyone. Who is there is mostly to talk and show off, not to listen. If you have a message, you can be there and splat it in everyone's face, but it is not said that somebody will actually understand it.
So, it is a bit of a waste of time. Except if your voice is big enough to actually be heard.

Visby on the other hand was very pitoresque. The historical centre is small, compact and it is lovely to just stroll around, although there was a lot of people (but I suspect that is almost inevitable the whole summer there).
Streets of Visby
Typical house in Visby. House painted with tar.
Details of the painting on the house
Streets of Visby

Nice corners
Interesting buildings
The wall is beautiful from every angle, but especially at sunset. The church ruins are fascinating.

Inside the ruins
A buildings meltpot
Beautiful church ruins

Basically, everything that is breathing medieval is very refreshing in a country where wherever you go the most ancient building is from the 1800 century and everything else has been burnt down, reutilized for building something else, or haven't existed at all.
Of course it is not Rome, but considering where one is, it is quite impressive that the core of the town is almost intact with old buildings.

View from the wall

Houses and wall

One of the towers

The wall at sunset

I had also the opportunity to peek a look outside the wall. Visby per se' loses then its touch as soon as one get far away from the center. It becomes a very conventional 70s shaped town.

Nothing extraordinary (except that there are two cranes here). But this picture became really good in my opinion!
Outside Visby the island have plenty of potential. The landscape can be very beautiful and dramatic, with high cliffs standing on water (pity that the weather was awful when I went to observe the panorama...), there are again ruins of quite big monasteries and finally, there are also small fishermans villages, small, intact in the atmosphere, typical with low buildings.

Talking of Roma. This is the ruins of the monastery in Roma

Roma monastery

Building annexes to Roma monastery
 If food though is a very important element for my trips, it was not the case for the rest of the people I was surrounded, so sadly, the food experience was quite boring. Not that I would think that during such week there is the possibility to eat in some nice place, with typical food, at a reasonable price, but we ended up eating a pizza, and of course, that I would have never chosen if I'd be on my own visiting there.
Hopefully, if there will ever be another trip, there will be then some chance to eat something typical! 

post signature

Saturday, October 15, 2016


During our vacation time in Åkarp, we decided to do a small excursion.
The kids had the opportunity (slightly guided by their parents) to choose where to go and the destination was Brosarp.
The place is located in the east part of Skåne and the reason for going there is that it is possible to take a train ride from Brosarp to St Olof and back. On a steam train.
The train is ready to go
 The whole experience is very nice because everything is handled like in the old days. It is possible, for example, to buy tickets in the station. From a person. Through a window. And the person is dressed with a bit old fashioned clothes.
Brosarp's station

The whole station is still breathing 1930's atmosphere. The building per se is decently well preserved and there are details, from the benches, to a fireplace, from even a scale, that gives also an idea of how a station was run in the past.

A stove in the waiting room

Waiting for the train

The old timetable
 The train is composed by the steam locomotive, plus different wagons. The wagons are mostly different from each other and, if I remember right, all of them are from the 30s - 40s.

Interior of a wagon
 The experience is very different from being on a train today. First of all is incredibly noisy. But then it is quite slow and shaky. Oscar was very afraid and didn't dare to go on the platform to feel the wind and experience the landscape from outside.
Going through the hills is very nice. The ride is about 40 minutes and the train stops at few stations on the way. While going of course there is a lot of whistling coming from the locomotive.
The only thing to do on the train is to admire the scenery or talk to each other. I'd say taking out a mobile phone and surfing during this ride should be forbidden!

Vitaby station
 The final destination is St Olof. There there is again a station, a ice cream kiosk (sadly, prepackage ice cream) and apart for a toilet visit (since there is none on the train) one can stay and study the locomotive, first doing maneuvers to reach the other end of the train, second while it is steaming off and preparing to go back.

The locomotive in all its beauty

Tjo-tjoooo (chuu chuuu)
On the way back, with Isabella, we took turns to stay on the platform just in front of the locomotive. That was the best idea we got (apart that we got ashes stains on the clothes, legs and shoes). It was very impressive to be in front of the locomotive and one could observe the environment with new eyes.
It was definitely the best part of the experience. Oscar, sadly, was still terrorized by the sounds, so he didn't dare to be on the platform, but when finally back at Brosarp he couldn't just get enough to observe the locomotive in action, from distance.
At Brosarp we decided to get some food and the option, apart to buy ice cream, is to get some food on the restaurant/cafe wagon situated on one of the tracks. The food is very basic but with a railway team in the naming convention. At least, good enough to give something the kids to chew on at a reasonable price.
There is also a little shop selling interesting railway related books, railway related toys and such.
A nice "souvenir" ending for the extreme train nerds that might pass by ;-)
post signature
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...