Thursday, June 12, 2008

June 11, 2008 From Skåne to Småland Sweden

We explored some more around Kivik this morning, visiting the apple processing plant and factory store. We learned that in Sweden apple cider is required by law to have a certain percentage of alcohol or it can not be called “cider”. We enjoyed some of the wonderful juice produced in this factory and discovered the world’s best chocolate covered almonds there too. These even beat the ones we found in Switzerland three years ago, because they were dusted in a delicate cinnamon over the chocolate. Even some of the boys who don’t like nuts of any kind fell in love with these. I’m sorry to report that we will not be able to bring any back with us, since they seemed to disappear mysteriously.
Elm Driveway

We stopped for lunch at the Elmvik’s farm near Degeberga. They prepared some really wonderful fish, potatoes and salad and we finished later in the afternoon with a chocolate torte. I was waiting to get a good capture of one of the modern windmills and learned that Bertil manages an electric generating wind mill near his farm. Today was rather windy and cooler with some intermittent sprinkles and the windmill was producing efficiently.

We were all struck by the antique clock of the Elmvik farm. Bertil told us some of the history about it being one of the only items from the original farmhouse that survived a fire many years ago. The best guess is that this clock is over 250 years old, making it older than the United States! This farm has been in the Elmvik’s family longer than that and the driveway was lined with rows of mature elm trees, creating a great tunnel effect. The Elviks were wonderful hosts and gave us a brief tour of the farm after lunch.

We continued our journey to Småland in the late afternoon and found our next accommodations quite comfortable. The landscape seemed to change dramatically from Skåne to Småland as the flat open pastures and orchards were replaced by forests of tall pines and oaks with rocky soil and rolling hills and lakes. The homes also changed as we saw the first homes painted yellow as we went further north. In Skåne virtually all the homes were the rusty-red color, white or a dull concrete. The yellow looks quite inviting as you can see from the picture of our guesthouse.

In some ways this area looks a bit like northern Minnesota with the plentiful lakes and the tall pine forests, but we found it to be a bit more like Alabama or Arkansas if you know what I mean. The people here seem a bit more “country” and surprisingly we found few who spoke English. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I could hear dueling banjos, but this was just our first encounters tonight for dinner in a small town. Overall it is an interesting contrast with the farmlands further south.

I will upload photos from Småland next time.

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