Friday, 4 December, 2020

Read this in: German

Sweden, that’s my childhood. Midsummer night, Swedish cheesecake, walks through the rocky terrain and my dad, who wants to see moose and photographically capture them. And these endless lakes, where you can jump in anytime and anywhere – for free. During a blogger trip in early April, I had the opportunity to get to know Sweden from a completely new side. Our starting point was Växjö, which is something like the unofficial capital of South Småland. We spent our entire journey in Småland, a state in the south of Sweden. In this area I have already spent a handful of vacations in my childhood, as it is not far to the Kingdom of Crystal in Southern Sweden. My parents have always been fans of Swedish glass art and it is not far from the Danish border.

Sweden quickly by plane

The first time it is a bit strange, to go on a plane im Berlin and within 1 1/2 hours first across the vastness of Brandenburg, then fly over the Baltic Sea and Denmark and finally land in the middle of the tranquil Smaland airport. Direct flights are rarely the case – thankfully Flyingbra now offers a direct connection from Berlin-Tegel to Småland Airport in Växjö. For Germany it is so much easier to fly to Sweden – I would recommend you this if you don’t live near Sweden or in Sweden. If you can’t get a fly direct to Växjö, maybe you can fl to Copenhagen and take a train to Växjö or rent a car in Sweden. Without a car, you’re lost in the depths of the beautiful Swedish nature.

Sweden, I have always associated this with getting up really early to avoid rush hour in Hamburg and then you take the ferry from Puttgarden to Rödby and cross Denmark to arrive in Sweden sometime in the afternoon. I think you can already hear my childlike “Are we finally there?” With children, I would definitely recommend a flight, as the little ones can be quite bored already at 1 1/2 hours travel time. In the morning you can enjoy a coffee on awesome places in Berlin and a few hours later you are in Sweden – that’s just wonderful.

I found it really nice that you have a free choice at the plane to take your seat everywhere in the small machine with 74 seats. I love window seats – so I’m a big fan and I’d like to travel by plane the next time I visit Sweden privately with my husband and some friends.

Fika and nature experience

While the design group had other program points, we went as an outdoor group with 4 bloggers to the Little Rock Lake Zipline and Wilderness Camp. Unlike expected we did not go deep into the forest for camping, but we had small, cozy warm huts, where we could spend the night.

At the Ziplining base camp were welcomed with Fika – a rogue who thinks evil in this word. Fika, that’s actually something like drinking coffee or tea time in English. Just that you just do not necessarily need coffee and cake – you can also do this with sandwich or vegetables. Children in Sweden often ask if there is delicious Fika with waffles and cakes or healthy Fika.

Our local outdoor adventure started with a hike through the rock and forest landscape, which occasionally housed a bit of snow in the shade of the trees. Our Swiss guide Martin explained to us all sorts of interesting facts about the local flora and fauna and so we walked along a path that had nobody run long since two to three months. Only a moose seemed to have visited, but although we ran with the wind, unfortunately we had no luck with moose spotting. Birch bark burns well and can be eaten in an emergency – cooked like noodles in boiling water. I’ve already known that from Scout times. But that you can eat beard lichen (they taste a bit harsh, but it’s  okay) or how to determine the age of a tree without dropping it, that was new to me. It’s also an interesting fact that this forest was not always forest in Småland and generally in Southern Sweden. Once, this landscape was a kind of heath, as evidenced by old juniper bushes. Juniper, you may know the scent of gin. And it is also cool that we visit Sweden at exactly the same time as harvesting the birch water. In short, before the birch leaves expel, it pumps a lot of water into the trunk – you can tell by the fact that the upper branches turn red. Theoretically, one can then tap the birches and drink the water of the birches.

Ziplining – a step in the depth

The next day I was a bit queasy when I climbed the first tower on the longest ziplining course in Europe. To plunge into the depths like it’s daily routine, no, that’s not really my world. But I have to confess that this experience was really good to redefining your own boundaries – sometimes you have to jerk. Cell phones and all items are packed away. Only my Actioncam was allowed. Fortunately, Elisabeth, the good soul of the house, organized us a photographer who came with us and captured our adventure.

If you do not want to book our “Kamikaze Tour”, you can also choose two easier tours. Especially in winter zip lining is an insider tip to get to know the snowy landscapes in a new way. Maybe you are able to see a moose in winter, if you dare to look down. Of course, in the summer the fun is just as great, but you have to expect that it will tend to be fuller in summer. We also made a tour together with some Swedes from Växjö. Secured is always twice, so you don’t have to worry. You are always safe. On the tour eight different routes with up to 70 km / h. I liked best to zip together because you do not feel so scared when there is a second one next to you. The second half then has its own peculiarities, but I do not want to give too much away to those who want to try these courses themselves.

Who of you is wondering: Wow, Bettina, how exactly was that with the ziplining? What did you feel when you just looked in the depths? There will be a separate blog post.

Design and candlelight in Växjö

After the big adventure came for us as an outdoor group, the contrast program and a wonderful surprise. As warm as the small huts have been, it was so nice to move into your room in the PM & Vänner. The room was extremely spacious and invited to a shower or bath. Highly recommended in the morning and evening hours in this hotel is also the rooftop pool, which allows a nice view over the city center.

Växjö is not the largest city and certainly not a comparison to the pulsating and sometimes stressful Stockholm. Many works of art await you in every street corner. I can recommend the Swedish Glass Museum (I’ve visit it twicee in my childhood – at this trip there wasn’t enough time for this) and a visit to the cathedral, which is dated back to the 14th century. A popular free time activity in Växjö is water sports of all kinds, for example in the Helgasjön, which is located in the north of the city and is one of the largest lakes in southern Sweden.

The PM & Vänner is not only a hotel, but also a restaurant. There is a very delicious, vegan dinner for me with surprising flavor combinations and also some old acquaintances of vegan cuisine. No fake meat at all! But delicious vegetables and awesome flavors. Anyone with a taste for wine can sample some good wines, as the wine cellar became the Wine Spectator magazine with the Grand Award. He shares this privilege with only 87 other wine cellars worldwide – none of them in Germany. The atmosphere in the PM & Vänner was very pleasant and the design modern and discreet. Not everywhere, as a vegan, I’m so spoiled with good food, so I can definitely recommend that you simply sign up as a vegan or allergic if you want to eat there. Definitely worth it to get new impressions and inspiration for your own kitchen.

Between lakes and campfire

On the last day we went out again with our guide Lisa out into the nature for an excursion through the National Park Lake Åsnen. That was Sweden, as I knew it – not too mountainous and with rocks. But still with frozen lakes. Hard to believe that in a few weeks there can be bathed again.

Sweden’s 30th national park will open in May. Nevertheless, we had the opportunity for a short hike – a boat tour was unfortunately not possible because the lake was still frozen. Our guide also told us that the Åsnen is a pretty mean lake with all its rocks, but still very good for boating in the summer. After a short tour, we had the opportunity to try out with the guide in Slaglinen and make a fire ourselves. It is amazing that firewood, a natural resource, can make fires as well as with fire accelerators.

Before the return flight, there was still coffee and cake in the old Lanthandel, which was converted into a cafe a few years ago.

Schweden – always worth a trip

Who does not know Sweden, should try it – the beauty of this country is that there is something for everyone in Småland – whether sports tourists, culture lovers or outdoor junkies. Everyone can get their money’s worth and every time there is something new to discover.

I made this trip as a blogger trip. I would like to say thank you Flyingbra and the team from Växjö Småland Airport. And of course the entire team of AB Little Rock Zipline with Jonas, our guide Martin, the good soul of the house Elisabeth, who conjured really great food and took good care of us, Peter, who “saved” me (yes, this one I have not told any story yet and the wonderful @fotografceciliaforss who accompanied us photographically while ziplining and also thanks to the second guide on our zipline tour Unfortunately, I forgot your name and I do not want to write anything wrong – thanks for letting me Also, a big thank you to PM & Vänner Hotel and Lisa, our guide in the National Park. And I’ve also have to say a big thank you, Cathrine – thank you for the great time and interesting insights into the current tourist attractions of Småland – I also have a lot of inspiration to collect for upcoming trips to southern Sweden.

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2 Comments

Vin Diesel April 19, 2018 at 6:19 am

Amazing post.Thanks for the post.Keep sharing.

    Bettina Barth April 19, 2018 at 10:59 am

    thanks a lot for your comment. I hope you enjoy to read this.

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