Archive for the ‘Travel’ category

Visit Visby

September 25, 2006

visby-ringmur.jpgVisby is located on the island of Gotland, east of southers Sweden in the Baltic sea. You can get there by ferry or plane from Stockholm or other cities on the sout-east coast of Sweden.
Visby is a very well-preserved medieval city with a vast network of narrow, cobble stone streets. The many ruins of churches and abbeys give Visby its unique charm. 500 years ago, Visby was the centre of the Hanseatic League – a mighty trade network of 30 independent cities. The Hanseatic League made the town rich and during the 12th and 13th centuries it became one of the most prominent towns in the Baltic Sea region. A defense wall with more than 50 towers surrounds the old stone houses and churches. The ring wall is about 3.5 kilometers long and 11 meters tall, and within the wall are the ruins of 23 churches and abbeys.
In 1995 Visby was put on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, entailing a responsibility for keeping the unique cultural values intact. The World Heritage Committee wrote: “Visby is an outstanding example of a Northern European walled Hanseatic town which has in a unique way preserved its townscape and its extremely valuable buildings, which in form and function clearly reflect this significant human settlement.”

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Many architectural historians consider Visby to be the finest example of early gothic architecture in the northern Europe. 200 medieval stone buildings have been preserved. Fiskargränd is one of Visby’s most popular narrow streets with its roses and tiny houses.
Visby also has a beautiful botanical garden where one can relax after a day exploring the old town. Don’t miss to watch the setting sun at the kissing gate! Within the wall, there are large numbers of small shops, restaurants, pubs and clubs, many of which keep open all year round. They are especially crowded during the summer, when a lot of people from Stockholm come to the island for their holidays. Every summer, Visby has “the Medieval Weeks” with a lot of activities for everyone, picturing life in medieval Visby.

 

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Flying to Sweden from the UK and Ireland

September 15, 2006

ryanair.jpgFlying to Sweden from the British Isles and Ireland is easy. Many airlines fly the same routes, making the prices relatively low. Note that Ryanair flies to a central airport in Gothenburg, making them an excellent choice, but to airports about 1.5 hours outside Stockholm.
Here are the direct routes to Sweden listed, make sure you check the prices with different airlines before you book your ticket. Also, if you are going to southern Sweden, near Malmo, check the prices to Copenhagen.

  • SAS flies London Heathrow, London City, Birmingham, Dublin and Manchester to Stockholm Arlanda.
  • London Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham to Gothenburg Landvetter.
  • FlyMe flies London Stanstead to Gothenburg Landvetter.
  • Ryanair flies Dublin, London Stanstead and Glasgow Prestwick to Gothenburg City.
  • Dublin and London Stanstead to Malmo Sturup.
  • London Luton to Stockholm Vasteras.
  • London Stanstead and Glasgow Prestwick to Stockholm Skavsta (Nykoping).

Finnhamn

September 8, 2006

jwhuvudskar-bodar.jpgThe name Finnhamn stems from the time when Finnish ships on their way to Stockholm used to berth here. Nowadays, Finnhamn is the name of a whole group of islands, which have grown together into a magnificently beautiful archipelago landscape. You can wander freely along paths and small roads or rent a rowing boat and row out to one of the islands nearby. If you happen to pass by Idholmens gård, we recommend a visit to the farm store. The animals and the farm are shown on request. If you wish to stay the night, try the old coal keeper Rönström’s fabulous summer villa, converted into the archipelago’s largest hostel.
Eat: Finnhamns Café Krog, weekends Easter–Sep, daily June–Aug, 08-542 464 04.
Stay: The largest hostel in the archipelago, cottages and camping, 08-542 462 12.
Shops and activities: Rowing boats to rent, shower and sauna at the hostel, 08-542 462 12. Summer store, 08-542 462 07. Farm store at Idholmens gård, 08-542 462 42. Click here for Finnhamn’s own information site.
How to get here: boat from Stockholm, about 2.5 h. Single fare from Stockholm SEK 120.

Rödlöga

September 8, 2006

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Rödlöga is the island the furthest to the east and shimmers in red granite. This is as far as you can go in the archipelago with regular traffic. At Rödlöga there is a small village, but no roads, just wandering paths through wild rose bushes. The islands used to be inhabited by fishing farmers already during the King Gustav Vasa’s reign in the 16th century. Today it is only populated by sea farers, as there are lots of good harbours and swimming here. The summer store, Handelsboden, is run by summer guests.
Eat: Summer café by Rödlögaboden, 0176-870 60.
Stay: No hotels or guest rooms. Try camping or sail here on your own boat.
Shops and activities: Summer store, 0176-870 60. Telephone, water pump, dustbins, no electricity. Info 0176-719 90, http://www.norrtalje.se
How to get here: Bus from Östra Station or Norrtalje to Furusund, then boat approx. 1.5 h. Summertime there is also a boat from Stockholm, which takes about 4 h. Single fare from Stockholm is approx. SEK 120.8ba66199e2ab799608f687ddff8325f61.jpg

Grinda

September 8, 2006

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The closeness to Stockholm has made Grinda the bathing paradise of Stockholm residents. As the island is owned by Skärgårdsstiftelsen (the archipelago association) you have free access almost everywhere on the island. There are plenty of good sandy beaches and cliffs for swimming at Grinda. You can go fishing both from land or rent a boat if you want to try your luck a bit further out. A beautiful, yellow Jugend-style villa is located on a height with a view over the water. This is Grinda Wärdshus with a restaurant, bar and guest rooms. If you didn’t bring your own picnic to the island, enjoy a good lunch or dinner here.
Eat: Grinda Wärdshus, restaurant and pub, http://www.grindawardshus.se. Framfickan, restaurant by the water. Grinda Café. Tel 08-542 494 91.
Stay: Grinda Wärdshus, see above. Grinda Hostel and cottages for rent by the southern jetty, camping by the northern jetty, 08-542 490 72 (9–11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.), http://www.grinda.nu
Shops and activities: Grinda Lanthandel, food store, 08-542 490 28. Sauna, boats and bikes to rent for cottage visitors, 08-542 490 72
How to get here: Summertime: Frequent departures from Stockholm and Vaxholm, about SEK 80 one way. Travel time approx. 1.5 h. Info 08-679 58 30.

 

Visit Skåne (Scania)

September 7, 2006

skane-sanddyner.jpgSkåne, the southernmost part of Sweden, is no ordinary Swedish region. Its small area offers big experiences. 400 kilometers of sandy beaches and big, beautiful national parks. Fields of yellow rape and deep green forests. Peaceful country life and grand city vistas.

Top things to see in Skåne:

  • Malmö. Sweden’s third biggest city and just a 30 minute train ride away from the Danish capital, Copenhagen. Malmö is easy to walk around by foot and is very pedestrian friendly. Make sure you see the turning torso, the tallest residential building in Scandinavia.
  • Kivik is famous for its apples and the brewery where the Kivik cider is made. If you visit in the summer, don’t miss the market (Kiviks marknad) and walk around in the cute town.turning_torso.jpg
  • Lund is just a short train ride from Malmö and also has one of the biggest universities in Sweden. Lund is a small, charming town which can easily be seen in one day. It is best to visit during the school year, since most students leave during the summer.
  • Höganäs is famous for its ceramics. There are several stores and workshops that you can visit and see how different objects are made. For addresses to different stores click here.
  • Båstad. The Swedish Open tennis tournament is played here every summer, and that is when all Swedish celebrities and everyone else goes here. If you are not into tennis, Båstad has a nice beach, sailing and hiking, and a great night life during summer.

Flying to Sweden from North America

September 5, 2006

There are a few direct flights from the US to Sweden. However, all of them goes to Stockholm’s main airport, Arlanda. If you wish to go to southern Sweden, the best alternative is to fly to Copenhagen Airport, which is between Copenhagen and Malmo, and just take the train to Sweden from there. If you are flying from Canada, you have to fly via an American airport or another European city, since there are no direct flights. These are the direct flights from the US to Stockholm:

New York Newark with Continental, Malaysia Airlines and SAS.

Chicago with SAS.

Boston with Finnair.

Philadelphia with US Airways.

To Copenhagen you can fly direct from these cities:

Atlanta with Delta.

Chicago with SAS.

New York Newark with Continental and SAS.

Seattle with SAS.

Washington DC with SAS.