Tag: Swedish Travel

Discover Karlskrona – The Capital Of Blekinge, Sweden

We are lucky enough to live in southern Sweden.  Blekinge, our part of Sweden, has an archipelago made up of 1650 islands, skerries, and islets.  This summer we have taken you on our adventures around the Blekinge archipelago, and now we return to its capital, Karlskrona.  This post will complete the series I have done about the Blekinge archipelago by giving information on what to see and do, where to eat, and where stay in Karlskrona.

Karlskrona Background Information:

Karlskrona is the capital of our county that we live in here in Sweden, which is called Blekinge.  It is home to both Sweden’s only naval base, and the HQ of the Swedish Coast Guard.  It is built on many islands which are also part of the Blekinge archipelago.  The city was built in 1680 when the navy was relocated here from Stockholm, to have a better strategic location against Denmark, and less likely to be immobilised by ice this far south.  The city has kept its structure from its original design, and the streets are in a grid pattern.  This allows for the wind from the sea to blow right up into the centre of the city…..it is a very windy place most days!!!  But it is a beautiful place to visit and there is a lot to see and do here all year round.

How To Get To Karlskrona:

The city of Karlskrona can easily be reached via car, bus, train, ship, or even archipelago ferries from other parts of the archipelago.  It has very good transport links.

What To See And Do In Karlskrona:

  1. Blekinge Museum:  Here there are exhibitions about the county of Blekinge and its cultural heritage.  It also has activities for the children, an interesting playground area, and a cafe.  Entry is free, but check opening times before visiting.
  2. Wämöparken:  This a beautiful open outdoor area which is home to a small animal zoo (think farm animals), playground, old cultural replica buildings, a dog agility course, cafe, barbecue areas, large outdoor games (think oversized chess boards and pieces), and many trails to walk of varying distances through the woods.  Entry is free, but check opening times before you visit.
  3. Lyckå Castle Ruins:  The castle was built from 1545 – 1560 and is situated on the outskirts of Karlskrona.  What remains are the outer ground floor walls and the foundations of the 2 corner towers.  This is a lovely place to let children explore and use their imaginations as to what the castle used to be like in its heyday.
  4. Karlskrona Marinmuseum:  This is a museum about the naval history of Sweden.  However, the biggest draw might be the submarine exhibit, which you can explore inside and out at your leisure.  They have lots of activities they put on for children, as well as an indoor play area.  Opening times vary throughout the year (so check first, but it has lots of good opening hours), and admission is free.
  5. Saltö:  To reach this small island part of Karlskrona, drive through the main island of Trossö and out the other side, where you will find a lovely beach.  It is great for families, with a kiosk and a walking trail as well.
  6. Brändaholm:  This lovely little corner of the island of Dragsö is accessible by the archipelago boats in the summer or you can park nearby if wanting to take a stroll around it, and it is full of lovely little red wooden homes.  It is a beautiful area with the feel of the 1920’s.
  7. Take a stroll around Björkholmen.  This is where the first dock workers built their homes.  Explore and discover the old cottages and enjoy some calm in this old part of town with its narrow streets and colourful wooden buildings.

Karlskrona has lots of other islands to explore too, each outstanding areas of natural beauty with lots of trails to walk along and admire the Swedish scenery.  I have just listed a few of the main things to get you started on a visit here 🙂

Where To Eat In Karlskrona:

There are many places to take a good Swedish fika, both cafes and restaurants, to suit every style and taste (but expect to pay Swedish prices ).  I do want to share my three favourite ones with you though:

  1. Pinchos:  This is such a fun place to eat.  It offers tapas style food (think mini portions of burgers, fish and chips, risottos, garlic breads etc) that you order from a fun style app.  Brilliant for people like us who may not understand the menu 🙂 The drinks are fun too, there are alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails that involve being decorated with sweets!!  Right up my street.  You even get popcorn to nibble at while you are choosing and waiting for your meal.  Booking is needed (but you can do that online too).
  2. Sumo Sushi:  Now this place got me eating sushi for the very first time in my life and now I’m addicted!!  It is a very small lovely little light restaurant in the centre of Karlskrona, so you may have to wait for seating, but I really enjoy eating out here.
  3. Sjörök Spis Och Bar:  This a lovely family restaurant with a gorgeous view (especially in summer) of the marina and some stunning yachts that come in and out.  Sit on the decking and enjoy your meal while listening to the tinkling of sail boat masts, and really feel yourself relax.

Where To Stay In Karlskrona:

Around Blekinge there is lots of choice from stugby (little huts), youth hostels, B&B’s, various camping options, and hotels.  Here are a few options for Karlskrona itself;

  1. Camping:  Dragsö Camping and Skönstavik Camping both offer an array of camping options (including a few huts), with a whole heap of facilities and activities available.  Both are positioned beside the sea, so have lovely locations.
  2. Hotels:  There are number of hotels in central Karlskrona for differing prices. They are the Hotel Aston, Clarion Hotel, Scandic Hotel, First Hotel JA, Hotel Conrad, and First Hotel Statt.
  3. RV Parking:  On the main quayside in Karlskrona, you can also just pull up in your RV and plug into special spaces made available.  The parking isn’t so scenic as it is a car park. But get at the front, and you’ll have a stunning view of the marina, sea, and other islets out there.  You are also ideally placed to explore Karlskrona on foot or bike then as well.  Contact the harbour office for more details.

I hope you have enjoyed our whistle stop tour of Karlskrona and if you plan to visit, I hope to have given you a few ideas and starting points to get you going.Discover Karlskrona, Karlskrona, Blekinge, Sweden, Visit Karlskrona, visit Blekinge, Visit Sweden, Travel in Sweden, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

 

Hasslö – The Perfect Swedish Island To Relax On

We are lucky enough to live in southern Sweden.  Blekinge, our part of Sweden, has an archipelago made up of 1650 islands, skerries, and islets.  With the great transport system of archipelago boats, and county buses (we moved from the UK where buses were a little hit and miss!!), exploring the archipelago is very easy.  We started exploring our archipelago a little last spring and summer, but this year, with a little more research, we are going to go on a journey of discovery.  We will explore the archipelago looking at the background, how to get there, what to see and do, where to eat, and where to stay for each place we visit.  We would like to take you with us on this adventure via the blog, and you never know you may well find yourself booking a trip to discover this small part of the world 🙂  Enjoy the adventure with us….second up is the island of Hasslö.

Background Information About Hasslö:

This beautiful island epitomises Swedish summer living, with its harbours full of boats, its beautiful sandy beach to relax on, and the shallow waters at the beach to splash and play in.  You definitely need to take life in the slow lane on this lovely island.  It is nicknamed “little Hawaii” due to seemingly having a lot of warm sunshine in the summer months, and it is connected to the mainland by a road bridge.  There is a small supermarket for supplies, and Sweden’s politician, journalist, and poet, Fabian Månsson originated from this island.

Our Adventures On Hasslö:

We have enjoyed seeing the island from the footpaths and hiking around it.  Good footpaths run right around most of this island, and you can either stay on ones where you are likely to bump into others, or use the more secluded ones through the woods.  We have also enjoyed a sunrise picnic in a quiet cove, in the wintertime, as I am not so keen on the very early Swedish summer sunrise times!  During the summer months we have enjoyed visiting and spending many hours on its sandy beach at Sandvik playing, swimming, cooking outdoors on the fire, and generally enjoying life.  This island is so beautiful, and despite having more residents than compared to some of the islands in the archipelago, nature is never far away to be able to lose yourself in.  It’s really handy to access too, due to it having a bridge, which the children have enjoyed watching open for boats to sail through.

How To Get To Hasslö:

If you do not have a car, you can come on a direct bus from Karlskrona.  In the summer months the archipelago boats visit the island, docking on the east side of the island at Horn.

What To See And Do On Hasslö:

  1. Fabian Månsson has both a statue and his grave on the island if you fancy visiting either of those.
  2. The beach at Sandvik provides lots of sand for play, as well as a volleyball court in the summer months.  The shallow water is excellent for children to play in as well as being able to swim in.
  3. Cycling around this island is one of the better ways to see it.
  4. There are lots of hiking trails around the island or through woods, and you can even geocache for a few treasure finds here as well.
  5. In July, Hasslö has its very own music festival which you can read about here.

Where To Eat On Hasslö:

  1. Hamn Café:  This is a beautiful café down at the main harbour on the southeast side.  You can get hot food, cold food, ice creams, coffees, beers, wines, delicious cakes and all sorts.  In good weather you can sit on the decking overlooking the sea. Check the website for more details and opening times.

    Photo: Eva Afferdal

  2. Hasslö Doppet:  This is a bakery/pizzeria/restaurant.  It serves the most delicious pizza buffet as well as other food choices.  Both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages can be bought to quench your thirst, as well as pick and mix sweets.  They also freshly bake their cakes and breads there.
  3. Lilla Hawaii:  This is another pizza restaurant on the island where you can be tempted to buy some more pizzas.

Where To Stay On Hasslö:

  1. Hasslö Stugby rent out some cabins, as well as having space to park your motorhome or caravan.  See the website for more details
  2. Vandrarhemmet Skärgårdsvilan:  The island also has a youth hostel on it which you can book into.

We have discovered for ourselves that this is a most beautiful island, full of such lovely and friendly people, where you can truly kick back and relax in a very Swedish way.  I can thoroughly recommend spending some time exploring what this island has to offer and generally enjoying life here for a few days 🙂

Discover Hasslö, Hasslö, Visit Karlskrona, Visit Blekinge. Visit Sweden, Sweden, Travel in Sweden, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Skåne’s Outdoor Viking Museum – Fotevikens Museum

Over the summer holidays, I took the trio over into Skåne county for a camping adventure.  While we were there we visited a fantastic outdoor viking museum, called Fotevikens Museum.  The viking museum is an open air museum, which is depicting how life could have been in a viking village.  It is so good for the children and their imagination because apart from usual exhibits, they have reconstructed a whole viking town, showing various different buildings.  As is common here in Sweden, a great importance is placed on being able to interact with the museum and exhibits, therefore climbing up stairs, exploring inside the buildings, and picking up exhibits to examine, is encouraged.  A perfect way for children to learn and remember their experience.

 

We arrived for when it opened, although as we have found over the past year of living here, nothing really seems to get too busy!  However, I wanted the children to be able to bimble around at their own pace, and not feel rushed.  I paid 110 sek for me (just over £10), and 40 sek (around £3.60) for the little lady, and my 5 year old twins were free.  I get quite excited about reasonable entrance fees to places, as to take a family of 5 anywhere usually costs a small fortune!  The children excitedly headed into the viking museum village under the town wall and through the gates, the village’s protection.

We saw and explored a lot of differing types of buildings.  There was a blacksmith’s, a poultry house, tanner’s home, the guard tower (which we climbed to the top of several times to enjoy a stunning view), fishery cottage, a smokehouse, lawman’s home, town hall, weaver’s house, and a baker’s home and bakery.  Not only could we explore these buildings in the viking museum, but there were people dressed authentically, working away in their respective trades.  So, for example, at the bakery they were baking various goods and you could taste them too.  If people didn’t have a trade, they were going about their village life…chopping fire wood, making clothes, or maintaining homes.  There was even a “punishment area” complete with stocks, and a post with neck weight and chain.
The trio had such an amazing time, full of questions, and letting their imaginations run riot!  I would really recommend this viking museum as a place to visit if you are ever over this way in the world 🙂 Even after living here for nearly a year, I am still amazed by the Swedish attitude that children should be allowed to touch, feel, and climb over everything.  Of course this is by far the best way for them to get the most out of an experience and create memories, but it is such a refreshing change of attitude to be able to live with on a daily basis!

Fotevikens Museum, viking museum, outdoor museum, vikings, skane, sweden, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

 

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