News & Blog
8. October 2022
Our last day in Sweden ends at Picassos terrace (Picassos Veranda). This bistro has developed to a real meeting point for the neighbours around the Picasso statue. This Friday evening Petra organised a great music quiz to light up the October evening darkness. Thanks, the team at the terrace for having open every day and adding weekend brunches, Octoberfest and other happenings to this. Keep on rockin’ - we’ll be back soon.
24. August 2022
Drive direct to Sweden in 20 hours
With all puppies happily installed in their new homes, we took our dogs and drove all the way to Sweden without ferries. It was an easy and beautiful 1900 km drive taking 20 hours all in all. We left in the afternoon and got a nice sundown between Frankfurt and Hannover. We passed northern Germany and Denmark during the night and enjoyed a wonderful sunrise in Sweden just after the Öresund bridge. During the last part we had a nice deviation on very small roads along Göta canal until we reached our target, Kristinehamn and Tallevika. Couldn’t resist to make another short movie, so here it is:
19. July 2022 (evening)
Inline skating to Kristinehamn city
With in-line skates and bikes we set off on an 8 km route along the water to the center of Kristinehamn. At the music restaurant Mastmagasinet we stop to enjoy a drink in the evening sun. Old Kristinehamn with its cobblestone streets isn't made for in-line skating, but the boardwalks along the Värnan stream are perfect for skating. If you fall, you just land in the water. On the way back we pass the city's guest harbor, the sports arena and the main harbor for small boats in Vålösund. Finally, after 15 km we reach the Picasso Park and then we are almost at Tallevika.
30. May 2022
Iron trail from Niklasdam following the Värnan steam towards Kristinehamn
15. May 2022
Spring arrives and the best time in Sweden starts
After the spring in Switzerland, we now want the Swedish one as well. A night drive to Kiel, a quick walk at Timmendorfer Strand and relax on the ferry to Gothenburg. Going north this time of the year means longer days and very short nights. At the shore of the huge lake Vänern, we already now enjoy the sunrise at 04:30 and the long sunset starting at 21:30. More impressions in the spring photo album from Kristinehamn city, the lonely beach in Jutviken and a visit to Ölme, the famous preachers house hosting the best restaurant in the region.
3. Januar 2022
Visit Värmland in the Winter
Back in Kristinehamn after a night drive to Kiel, a nice dinner onboard with window table and a Christmas buffé in the restaurant. Different herring and other smoked fish, dry meat, meatballs and prinzkorv. They even served lutfisk although not everybody like it. It can be very cold in Kristinehamn this time of the year, but it is only -5° and bright sky. House and garden OK. The ice has been broken up by a winter storm and ice blocks drift around. The Picasso statue is colored red by the sunset over the open Väner sea. It’s rough but nice and so long since we were here during the winter.
1. Oktober 2021
A trip to Karlstad artmuseum to enyoj 10-course menu
We always go to Karlstad a few times to shop. The super large XXL shop is mandatory. In XXL you find all sports to fair prices. We have bought everything from kayak to mountain bikes here but most common for us is to buy hiking shoes. With average 10 km per day, we need a lot of shoes. This time we went for the first time to the art museum on the isle of Sandgrund in the middle of the river Klarälven. The museum hosts a very good restaurant and they served us a 12-course menu with selected wines or fruit drinks. Let’s hope this restaurant survives Corona and it will be part of our travel program, it was really good.
26. September 2022
Food festival "A taste of Värmland"
On the weekend of September 24th to 25th we visited the Food Festival that takes place all over Värmland. The main venue is Kristinehamns city park, where there was an exhibition and several cooking shows on stage. We started at Retrovågen, a great antique and food delicacy shop in old Kristinehamn. We had lunch at Hygn, the famous venison producer south of Kristinehamn with his large shop where we bought elk, venison and venison sausages. Nothing for vegetarians although they offer veggie alternatives. Take a look...
2. August 2022
Impressions from the ferry from Oslo to Kiel
We tested the ferry from Oslo to Kiel when we went back to Switzerland after our short Kristinehamn visit in July. Oslo is only 3 hours’ drive from Kristinehamn, the same distance as Göteborg but with less traffic. The Colorline Ferries are more like cruise ships than ferries. A lot to do, eat and drink onboard. Good quality offers compared to all otherer ferries but bad if you bring animals. No animal cabins and animals only allowed in special boxes on car deck. Max three visits to your animal during 24 hours for an awful walk on car deck so very few dogs onboard. Here are some impressions: Check also the links to the alternatives in How to go to Sweden.
19. July 2022 (morning)
An exciting kayak tour in the wild archipelago of Lake Vänern
When the big lake Vänern is calm and the weather forecast is good, this is an exciting tour that includes everything. Open water, large and small islands, narrow straits and shallow water in sea reeds. You'll see big pikes in the shallows and osprays circling above the water ready to catch them. If you are unlucky you might even meet a moose playing in the reeds. This tour reminds me of the 1972 film called Deliverance. Four men go kayaking...
25. May 2022
Dining at the preacher’s home, Ölme prästgård
4. February 2022
The day after the winter storm
One morning after a winter storm when we walked along the lakeside walkaway into Kristinehamn we noticed that several of the large floating boat docks were gone. They were broken free from the wind and the ice. Some of them were found at other places in the Vålösund, the long strait into Kristinehamn. They were already catched in the new ice that froze during the morning after the storm.
10. Oktober 2021
Time to go home to Switzerland
A last dinner with what we like the most, a piece of moose tournedos on the grill, chanterelles in butter and a favorite Pauillac from the year 2008, now ready to drink. When I (Carl-Henrik) was a student 1986 I met the owner of Chateau Grand-Puy-Lacoste, François-Xavier Borie, in his wine cellar. I walked through Medoc with my best friend and François-Xavier offered us to taste the 1985 vintage direct from the tanks which was one of those moments I never forget.
10. September 2021
Looking for troll in the 100-year-old pine forest
Our youngest Collie Isa loves to jump on the soft moos in the old pine forest. There is less vegetation on the ground compared to Switzerland which makes it easier to walk and run outside the trails. The forest is wonderful but looks mysterious in the autumn. You can almost expect to meet a Troll behind a large pine but Isa aways chase them away before we see them. We can spend hours here looking for berries or mushrooms and sometimes we see a wild elk. They can be dangerous, so we need to watch out.
15. September 2022
September is the time of the lingongberries in the Swedish forest. This time we just followed the iron trail north of Kristinehamn. We took our dogs except our puppy who is too small to walk that far and wow, this year was exceptional! We filled the buckets in just 2 hours and had to turn back too soon. Even the clearing was easy sine the berries war large. 10 kg in the freezer and 1 kg as jam. Perfect to wild meat or in the yogurt. Here a short video of the event.
25. July 2022
Enjoy lake Vänern more
The summer is short in Sweden, so we take the same way again but now with a bowrider on water. Vålösund is the strait between the island Vålön and the street Vålösundsvägen. Here we see many old manors as well as new houses. Its max 10km/h but it allows us to enjoy all summer activities on the boats and in the gardens. We pass the big “small boats harbor”, the famous Herrgårdscamping (Manor camping) and there we turn back and pass the Picasso sculpture on the way to open sea. Back in Jutviken we try some wakeboarding and banana surfing in the sunset.
15. July 2022
Chanterelle party in the forest
Oops! Chanterelle party in the forest. Despite the hot and dry summer in Värmland, we have never found so many chanterelles in one place. For us, it's forest gold that can be hard to find. The reward is the irresistible smell of freshly roasted chanterelles. Make a béchamel sauce, add some white pepper and cognac and put it on fried toast. It is delicious.
6. Januar 2022
Dark winter with light from the north
The sun is too low to warm us up and only up for 4-5 hours. Its low but you get nice red pictures looking like sun dawn during the day. During the clear and cold nights, we could instead enjoy the northern light (Norrsken). It is normally further north but this winter it was seen rather often. It was however very cold to stand still and watch.
5. Oktober 2021
A kayak trip to watch Picasso statue
When the lake is calm in the autumn it is a special feeling to take a kayak trip. The new double kayak from summer 2021 is a bit more stable than the single kayaks so we dare a bit longer. Here we are in the front of the Picasso statue and the open sea on the other side. It is important to check the weather forecast very careful because Vänern can be very rough when the southwest wind increase. The water is still 16° due to the warm September so we would survive if we would capsize.