I lost a day in Sweden to to an error by my travel agent (who is, unfortunately, myself) in reserving a car. I took the ferry over from Denmark (my first time on a ferry big enough to carry cars.) Rural Sweden reminds me quite a bit of the rural upper midwest U.S. - the Wisconsin and Minnesota area. That may be why there are many people of Swedish ancestry there.

My first stop in Sweden was the wildlife and nature sanctuary Eriksberg. This area was once small tenant farms. Some of the walls and parts of buildings can still be seen. There is a driving route which can be accompanied by a cd or tape describing the sights. The cd or tape is loaned free by the entry office. There are also hiking trails and guided tours. The only wildlife I was able to see was a herd of fallow deer. The lake here, Farsksjon, is filled with water lilies, including the protected red water lily. There were still a few blooms when I was there, but they aren't evident in this photo.

Kalmar is a nice town with a great Cathedral and castle - both definitely worth seeing. The castle has an exhibit of punishments given to women, some were for real crimes, some for mundane things. The town center is very walkable and easy to get around. This is a fountain not too far from the cathedral.

Stockholm is made up of a bunch of islands connected by bridges. The hotel I stayed at was a yacht moored by the old part of town. Hotels might seem expensive, but check and see if they offer the Stockholm Pass - mine did and it got me into every sight I went to for free and also paid for public transportation (subway and buses.) I spent two days in Stockholm and wished I had time to stay at least for a third day.

The changing of the guard at the palace in Stockholm is a must-see! A military parade (band and soldiers) march from the Army Museum to the Palace. The day I was there, a military band from Norway was playing. I found a good viewing spot to listen to the band and watch for the Swedish band to come around the corner to the palace. I was glad I brought my camcorder along to tape it all.

The scenery on the way to Oslo from Stockholm was beautiful. This was the part that reminded me of the U.S. I took this picture just past Saffle. Make sure you leave plenty of time for driving - if you are like me, you tend to keep stopping to enjoy the countryside!


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