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Exploring Sweden: amazing Öland

In one of my previous posts, I already shared with you the story of my trip to the southeast of Sweden. It’s time to finish my story and tell you about the amazing Öland. 

Öland is an island located in the Baltic Sea off Sweden’s southeast coast and is the smallest landscape in Sweden. You can reach the island crossing the Öland Bridge that I already told you about. If you are travelling to Öland by public transport, take the train or flight to Kalmar, after which a bus will take you on to Öland.

Thanks to the open landscape, the wind has always been used to grind grain and fodder. Öland is therefore known for its windmills, today there are about 300 of them on the island. 

I’ve always had a soft spot for lighthouses, so our first stop on the island was Långe Erik lighthouse, a magnificent 27 m tower built in the middle of the 19th century. It is located on a little island Stora Grundet in Grankullaviken bay, connected to the main island by a small bridge, and it marks the northern end of Öland. Although the lighthouse is closed during 2021, and we could not see the view from the top, we enjoyed the beautiful nordic beach and had a great walk around the lighthouse. I would say this lighthouse is definitely a must-see while on Öland. 

After that, we went to the historical trading centre Sikavarp. In the 13th century, it was one of the nodes in trade across the Baltic Sea. Traders sailed there from neighbouring countries to do business with each other and with merchants of Öland. Their voyage continued to other trading sites and to the town of Novgorod in Russia, which was a centre for trading in all types of furs and skins. There was also a chapel, however, currently, only ruins survived from the place, but this was quite enough to take our breath away. There also was another lighthouse next to it called Kapelludden, so we made sure to check it out as well. 

Finally, we went to Borgholm Castle, built in the 12th century and destroyed by fire in 1806, today called the most beautiful ruin in Scandinavia. The castle has played an essential role as a fortress, a border marker, and a gate to the continent. The buildings and culture layers create a historical archive that holds stories from earlier generations’ political and economic ambitions, everyday life, and living conditions. People have lived in that place we now call Borgholm Castle for more than 1000 years, can you imagine that? The surroundings and the castle itself is pretty large, and we took our time walking through the walls and exploring the small buildings. It was a pretty sunny day, and the ruins cast shadows, so we easily felt the medieval atmosphere. And when we climbed on top of one of the bastions, we saw wind farms nearby, and this contrast felt incredible. 

The whole trip was just perfect: we were very lucky with the weather and could see so many places in just two days, with almost no tourists around. That trip was a good start, but more travel stories are coming — stay tuned! 

// Valerie 

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