Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 10, 2008 Touring Skåne Sweden

While we don’t quite have “midnight sun” where we are located, we did have a dusk that blended right through to dawn and it never got completely dark during the night. Since we didn’t have windows from our cabins on the ship, we don’t know if this has been the case before.

Some may wonder why we chose to spend time out in the country in this part of Sweden. First it is a very beautiful country setting with ocean views, orchards and sea breezes. We also chose this area because this is where the towns are located where my grandmother’s side of the family emigrated. Nels Anderson from Onslunda, Anders Olson from Heingetorp and Eljaröd and Hanna Larsdotter and Hanna Person from Ravlunda. I thought it would be interesting to see the type of area they came from (plus we needed a break from all the big city tourism stuff).

Today we did some sight seeing and exploration of this area and visited each of these towns and villages. They all had a single church and I managed to take pictures of most of them. While they all have graveyards near the church, it is a typical Swedish custom to re-use grave sites from generation to generation, so most had very few remaining tomb stones from more than 50 years ago. If they did, they were often piled up in one corner or lined up under a tree on the side of the yard. Of course the names on this side of the family are quite common and we saw dozens of more modern grave stones with the same or similar names.

We had some dark clouds and some intermittent sprinkles today, but nothing that upset our plans. We also visited a few of the local palaces in this area including Kristinehof and Kronovall Slott. The countryside also has some very scenic vistas overlooking both historical and modern wind mills. Like Denmark, Sweden has made a large investment in wind energy and modern wind turbines sprout from hillsides or from shallow bays in the ocean. But there are also many historical wind mills that were used to grind various grains from the 19th century. These old wind mills have a very Dutch looking design and form an interesting contrast with the modern electric generators.

Not far here in Kivik is a mysterious site that is believed to be the burial site of an ancient bronze-age king. What’s left is a 150 foot circular mound of stones that has a subterranean entrance way to a tomb below that contains carved stones with unknown markings. This is called the Kungagraven.

Becky wanted to make use of the kitchen tonight so we went to get a few things from the grocery for dinner. We were going to make one of the family favorites: Chicken Tika-Masala, but the store was out of chicken. We had to improvise and ended up substituting some Swedish meatballs for the chicken. While it may have been a cultural abomination (Swedish/Indian mix) the Swedish meatball tika masala was yummy!

The slide show for Skåne Sweden is located here:

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