Swimming and playing in Ulricehamn

It was a few hours in the RV through the forests of Småland. The trees were near the road, the lupines were wavering, and when we stopped for a pinch of air which almost vibrated in the Swedish summer heat. But what magical roads!

drive RV

It felt nice in the car with the AC running and since both children were sleeping, it was just to roll on! We had our sights set on Ulricehamn, and landed there after a few hours. We got a parking spot (it was a great free-parking where we could park wherever we wanted to). However, there were a few spots that were a bit larger than the traditional ones, one of which we took, right next to the toilet-house.

Would not say service house really, but a handicap accessible toilet and a regular one, thus, the RV toilet had to rest a bit and it’s some kind of service however. But a wonderful motorhome parking,absolutely free. Ulricehamn really seems to invest in motorhome tourism, and we found this and several other pitches in the municipality here.

Martin started right away with the food, while me and the kids explored the playground with a big P! An obstacle course, swings, water-sand playground, slides, a “spin-carousel” as Noomie said.. and a sandy beach! Which was still so far from the play area so that you do not have to feel that the children run there uncontrollably. In other words… absolutely perfect!


set location ulricehamn 2

We took walk in the evening. Noomie finally got to ride her bike, and we found a restaurant just down by the water. Unfortunately, it was quite full this nice evening, but we still got a chance to order and got seats near the water where the children could walk around a bit in the grass. It was not a very long evening, but we got to see the sun go down over Ulricehamns lake. And what else do you really need? Than a sunset by the water…

On an adventure in Astrid Lindgrens fairytale world

UPDATE: Later in the morning, after this post has just been written, we are reached by the news that Astrid Lindgrens world is being forced to close for the season. A very sad decision, in our view, and perhaps a case where the rules around the spread of infection did not seem to hit the right kinds of business. In our opinion, the park has succeeded very well in dealing with the new pandemic situation. They spread out the guests, ensure the right type of queuing, hand hygiene and more. A special thought goes to all the employees, who did a phenomenal job when we were there, but who are now out of work. We hope things will work out for all of them.

Adventures in Astrid Lindgrens world

After managing to get some days off over the weekend, we decided to steer The Pearl towards Astrid Lindgrens world in Vimmerby. Vimmerby is barely an hour away from Linköping, so it is not so far and we really would not have needed to bring the RV. Apparently, the most convenient way to get here is by train, as trains stop just outside the park. However, we chose to still take The Pearl, partly because we will travel further during the next days, but mainly because another family also wanted to come along. One of Noomie’s best friends brought mom, dad and her little sister (who is the same age as Lowe), and also slept over in their caravan at the campsite next to us.

Karlsson on the roof
Hey Hey, Hello Little Brother!

I have to say that Astrid Lindgrens world impresses me. To take a step into the park is really to take a step into all the fairy tales Astrid created. I’ll be honest with you that I was never a superfan of the Astrid Lindgren tales when I was little (possibly the exception of The Brothers Lionheart), but it’s therefore a bit cool that I still know them. It still says something about how this woman managed to create stories that several generations keep close to their heart. Just walking through the park becomes an experience in itself, as suddenly a Mrs Blomberg came bicycling past us., or Paradise-Oskar will be walking past you playing on his accordion.

It is certainly not difficult to be blown away, either as a child or as an adult. The different shows are of very high quality, and what impresses the most are all child actors who are real professionals. We laughed pretty well when our daughter, completely absorbed in the story of Pippi Longstocking and the Pirates, shouted encouraging comments and tips so that Pippi would find her father. When Pippi after the show then came and greeted all the children and said goodbye, our daughters eyes were as big as saucers. Talk about star strucked!

Pippi Longstocking
Pippi and the Pirates

Astrid Lindgrens world succeeds in dealing with a strange situation

Astrid Lindgren’s world is remarkable. All the buildings, playgrounds, sets and service facilities seem to be in very good condition. None of what we looked at or used seemed like it was worn out. That is quite impressive when you normally manage thousands of families with children every year. However, it was clear that things were different this year. The park had very few visitors, which of course is because they follow the restrictions due to the pandemic situation. Everywhere there were markings telling us to keep distance when queuing, and it was also ensured that only one person in each family was in line for the shows. Outside every shop and restaurant there was hand sanitizer, and the staff constantly walked around and disinfected surfaces that are frequently touched.

Keeping a distance was not a problem whatsoever. In fact, there are undeniably advantages to not having to queue too long, especially when your day at Astrid Lindgrens world offers 30-degree heat.

Astrid Lindgrens Tales

Something that there is room to improve however, is the possibility to entertain “adult children” between shows. Yes, you may think I’m a crappy parent if you like, but anyone who says they are not tired of watching two five-year-olds ride a drag raft for the 47th time, it’s lying. Above all, I think there are no things to do together with the children. Apart from the little water war we started, there were quite few of the activities where I could do anything else but watch the kids play. But, of course, the most important thing is that the kids had fun, and they definitely did!

We will most likely return to Astrid Lindgrens world in the future. Especially because she’s written fairy tales that kids can grow into. From Lotta on Troublemaker Street and Pippi Longstocking, which are very cute stories, to Ronja The Robber’s Daughter and the Brothers Lionheart who are sometimes more scary. So the kids will probably like to visit for many years to come.

Tonight we sleep at the campsite right next to Astrid Lindgrens world (a review will be published later about the campsite under Campsites). During the morning we will look at the surroundings, and among other things visit Katthult and the farms where the children in Noisy Village were recorded. We believe that the journey then goes on to Ulricehamn, but as usual with us it may well have changed four times before departure actually takes place.

Favourite places along the Utflyktsvägen

Did you know that there is a road that is actually called and is signposted “Utflyktsvägen” (the excursion route in Swedish)? At least we didn’t. until yesterday that is.

After spending the night yesterday at Arkösunds Camping,we wanted to explore Arkösund. Said and done so we took The Pearl the 5 minutes drive down to the small harbor. Unfortunately, the day did not offer much for swimming weather, which downright meant that there was not much to do in Arkösund. In addition, it was the Swedish national day (the 6th of June), which meant that the small exhibition about wildlife in the archipelago was closed. However, we took a walk among the rocks, and certainly the archipelago is beautiful. It’s hard to say otherwise.

Arkösund Archipelago
Arkösund Harbor

When we had looked at the archipelago views for a while, and in all honesty it started to get pretty cold, we jumped into The Pearl again. On the way to Arkösund we had seen a sign for an ice cream factory, and of course we did not want to miss that. At Sänkdalen farm they produce their own ice cream, which quite honestly tasted heavenly. Noomie thought the chocolate ice cream was the best, I myself highly recommend the peanut and caramel. The small farm shop really consists only of a two square meter room, where you go in, choose ice cream you want and Swish the payment (Swish is an app for making payments using your phone number). So easy, and well worth a short detour.

Sänkdalens Glass

During the ice cream break, we tried googleing a little bit to see where we would go next. It was decided that we would go to Oxelösund, which was not so far to drive from where we were. The road there also looked cozy (the trip is the goal when you go by RV, you know 😉 ), with quite a lot of small back roads. We set the GPS, and at the first left turn we saw the sign for “Utflyktsvägen”. Of course, it was a given choice to go by that route, and try to find out what it got its name from. (“Utflyktsvägen” means “the road of excursions” in Swedish).

Utflyktsvägen – Favourite places from Bråviken to Stockholm’s southern archipelago

Pretty soon it was time to stop to make lunch, and right where we stopped we saw the sign for a coffee roastery. If there is one thing you do not have any further discussions about, or compromise with in our family, it is the importance of good coffee. So when we had eaten we went down to the port of Kvarsebo, where we quickly found Qvarsebo Kaffe. Here, of course, we both had a cup of coffee. Noomie got a chocolate ball and elderflower juice, Linnéa ate some licorice cake, and I ate the best macaroon I can remember. For real, Qvarsebo Kaffe is worth its own excursion, the ideal Swedish fika! (Fika is an honorable Swedish tradition, where we eat cake or other sweets and drink coffee with our friends and family. We celebrate this great tradition every day, and it is a great excuse for taking a break and eating some good stuff). The place doesn’t look so much to the outside world, but certainly appearances can be deceiving.

Ferry over Bråviken
Kvarsebo Kaffe, Qvarsebo Kaffe

At Qvarsebo Kaffe we found a brochure explaining what Utflyktsvägen is all about. Apparently, a joint effort has been made on tourism along the entire route from Bråviken to Stockholm’s southern archipelago. When we ourselves went along the road, we found that there was hardly 200 meters between each farm shop, attraction or other destination. Given, we could not stop at all, but experienced it as a very cozy road to drive, and made to be explored by RV. Furthermore, we followed Utflyktsvägen towards Oxelösund, with a small detour to Jula in Nyköping to buy some stuff for the garage in the RV.

We stayed for the night at Strandstuvikens Camping (review comeing soon in the campsites section), where I to my own surprise discovered at the gates that I had been before. Me and my fishing buddy Viktor lived in one of the cabins here when we participated in the Swedish Pike Fishing Championship Final.. Strange that I had zero recognition until we stood right at the gates, but it says a lot about my “amazing” sense of direction. All and all, this became a day in the celebration of Fika. But on the other hand, is there something more Swedish than just having a Fika, and thus a better activity on June 6th (the Swedish National Day)?

The Pearl Burstner Lyseo
Warning for… Ostrich?!

Warning for… Ostrich?!

After going through a very special spring where you might have preferred to do like an ostrich and stick your head in the sand (or do they actually do that?). But now it’s finally time to get back on the road with The Pearl. The whole family has of course longed for it really much, since this thing of sitting still in the same place for longer periods is not something any one of us enjoy. We therefore got in the RV and set our sights on Arkösund, for the simple reason that we have never been there. A classic “Husbilsbus” thing to do, in other words. On the way to Arkösund we see a large sign along the road advertising for Vikbolandsstruts, the local ostrich farm. After about 2.4 seconds of consideration, the matter was clear, of course we’ll go there!

Said and done, and we start following the signs for the farm. It became a classic “a small road, which becomes a smaller road, which becomes an even smaller road”, but it was always good signposted. Finally we reach the small gravel road into the yard, and laugh when we see the “warning of ostrich” sign. A few hundred meters later we see the first bird, and a “wooooooooow” is heard through the entire RV. Say what you want, but it’s certainly mighty animals we’re talking about. The first ostrich we encounter, which we think is a male (or is it called a rooster?) is simply brutally large. They can grow to three meters high and weigh a bit over 150 kilos. This was of course not as big, but I can promise that it felt that way. Even I felt pretty small.

Around the farm there are also lots of activities that suit a family with children excellently. There is a little playground with swings, sandbox, seesaw, and to Noomie’s great delight a trampoline. There are also other small animals, including rabbits and chickens, to watch and to pet. For us adults, it was perhaps more interesting to look in the farm shop. There were everything from trinkets to meat and meat products for sale. When we arrived at the farm we were all pretty hungry (and this crazy family is NOT fun to deal with when we are fed), but it was easy to solve with an ostrich sausage in the small diner.

Chickens at Vikebolanets Ostrich farm

Stick your head in the sand like an ostrich… really?

Summed up, this was a super fun excursion, where we learned a lot about this bird, but above all got to see these mighty animals up close. We’ve seen them before when we’ve been to zoos, but never got this close to them. So we are talking about an animal that can grow to 3 meters long, can run at 80 kilometers per hour, and never ever put its head in the sand. However, we stood and wondered why they were pecking on the ground and on the concrete foundations. Apparently, it’s because they have to have pebbles in their stomachs in order to digest the food. What strange animals!

In the evening we landed at Arkösunds Camping (will be reviewed under campsites later), and we were all pretty tired. But of course we ended the day by cooking an ostrich steak with roast potatoes and café de Paris sauce. The result was awesome, one of the best motorhome dinners so far. Both Linnéa and I thought that the meat is more like beef than bird, and the taste was really great. There will clearly be more of this birdie on the menu going forward. 😉

Vikbolandsstruts, farm shop
Ostrich, sauce and potatoes