Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dalarö in darkness and light

One of our smultronställen ('wild strawberry patches' - hidden places that have sweet delights, which only you know about) is Dalarö. Of course, we aren't the only ones who know about it ever in the history of the world, but we have had little competition during the dark months of winter. (Plus, we can get there on the bus in about 25 minutes!)

Waiting for bus home around 3pm in December.

Dalarö is called an island ('ö' = island) and feels like an island, but is actually more like a peninsula. Nonetheless, it has beautiful views of the water and other islands in Stockholm's archipelago. Wikipedia actually has a great map of the archipelago, where you can see Dalarö and Ornö (see below) south of town.

This photo shows the dim light and snowiness of a December day.

And the iciness across the water.

The sunset in January, around 4pm.

We have made it a weekend tradition to visit Dalarö, so we have a few photos now of the area from throughout the winter. Here are before and after shots of the ice and snow from the lookout spot:

No ice.

How cute is this place?

Pretty cute. Dalarö was one of the main tollways into Stockholm for goods coming by boat until the 1920s. It has also been one of the summer retreats of the rich and famous. Now it is a slumbering town in winter, and (we expect) a bustling one in summer. Lots of rental homes and beautiful large houses from the late 1800s, with lots of snickarglädje ('carpenter's delight' - that is, lots intricate wooden detailing and decoration). Future posts will have to include some house shots.

The sunlight has returned.

When we came back to Dalarö in February, we discovered a wonderful establishment... A waffle house! They make you fresh waffles while you wait, and you can add the soup of the day to your meal for just a few extra spänn.

Not actually a brand name 'Waffle House'.

Andy likes waffles.


Combine waffles with outdoor seating, and you have the first outdoor fika (coffee break) of 2011! Just a few days before the Vernal Equinox!

Afterward, we went on a boating adventure to Ornö, an island a bit further out in the archipelago.

Leaving Dalarö.

As you can see below, the ferry is not exactly packed with tourists.

The ferry reminded Andy of Army raft making and ferrying tanks across enemy waters. The Army rafts have the same green floors and ramps on both ends.

I think the water looks a little like a frozen margarita.

Out on Ornö, we found these videkissar buds awaiting spring.

Waiting for the ferry, practicing artful photography.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Summer house in winter

It's been a while...
So, to catch up, here is a blog post about our only trip of 2011 so far. A visit to our summer house in Dalarna and our friends there. It'll be more like a photo essay....
Welcome to Furudal!

An important part of our visit was the stop at the local bakery, which has recently changed owners and been renovated. We had to check it out, of course.

We approve.

Oh yes, we do.

Btw, above you see a semla - the delicious treat traditionally served throughout lent. (It started out only being served on Fat Tuesday, but then everyone sort of forgot that 'lent is for suffering' part and decided to eat them all the time). They are simply very good pastries with almond paste inside and cream on top (and a lid on top). [The best way of eating them, in my humble opinion, is with hot milk, in a bowl. Usually they are not served this way, but rather like a normal pastry.]

In addition to eating semlor, we also (very safely, moms) tried our hand at snow mobiling. It was really fun!

You can tell that its a popular way of getting around. This is one of the lakes!

Our hosts!

And was there ever snow! About a meter deep around our summer house. Beautiful!

In nearby Rättvik, a huge ice creation had grown up on the ice. Some how made using the fountain and the cold temperatures (but how exactly?), this structure/mound was more than 4 stories tall!

Someone had even made it to the top with Dalarna's flag!

Thanks for a great weekend, friends!!