Rastplats Vida Vättern
We stopped for the evening at the rest stop Vida Vättern on a cold winter day. This would also be our first night with our Bürstner Lyseo (The Pearl) in sub-zero temperatures. Actually one of the first times we were out with the new RV at all. Mostly depending on the season we were completely alone at the rest area. This except for a single passenger car that made a fast stop to use the restrooms. Overall a good rest stop, which was very clean and nice in the small service house where toilet and latrine emptying was found. The possibility was also available to dine outside at a number of fixed tables up on the small hill.
Unfortunately, there was no playground, which you as a parent of a four-year-old miss, regardless of the season (apparently it is just as fun to go sliding in -5C as in +25C). The rest area is also badly located as it becomes very close to the highway, which is not great when you have children with you.
But the absolute best thing about the place is of course the view. Although we have lived in the area for a long time, Martin actually for more or less his entire life, you never get tired of the sight of a sunrise over Sweden’s most beautiful lake Vättern. Breakfast with this view is clearly hard to beat.
What’s around Vida Vättern
From the rest stop Vida Vättern you are close to Gränna,which is a bit of a classic camping town. It is the very definition of a summer city, which really gets completely crowded in summer, an almost a ghost town during winter. The city is best known for its candy canes, after which it is not usually a major problem to persuade the kids to spend a few hours in town. You can of course buy a lot of candy canes that are available in all sorts of flavors, but above all watch when they are manufactured which is usually popular with the little ones.
If you are in Gränna, it is also quite easy to get over to Visingsö. For those of you who drive motorhomes, we would actually recommend to leave the car on the mainland and instead take their own or rent bicycles. The island is basically made for cycling excursions (there is really like one hill on the entire island) and the distances are no longer than that a bike will take you anywhere. If you do not want to pedal for some reason, you can instead choose to ride “remmalag”, or “horse and carriage” as the rest of the world would call it. The “Remmalag” tour takes you to the most common tourist destinations on the island.
Visingsö certainly has a rich history, full of royal murders, oak planting and fairy tales. Legend has it that the island came about when the giant Vist (which, incidentally, exists as a sung statue along the E4 in Huskvarna) would step over the puddle of water that was called Vättern. He walked over himself, but his wife had problems whereupon the giant Vist is said to have thrown a tuft in the puddle that his wife could step on. This tuft is the one we know today as Visingsö.
For those who have read Jan Guillou’s series about Arn, Visingsö is a well-known backdrop. In fact, several great kings housed, lived and died on Visingsö and the castle Näs at the southern end of the island. The castle is today just a ruin, one of several you can find on this little strange tuft. In the early Middle Ages, Visingsö was the center of the Swedish royal power. So for those interested in history, Visingsö is a given excursion from Vida Vättern.
On the island there is also a large oak plantation that was built to produce building materials for the Swedish navy in the early 19th century. The problem is only that, as you know, oak grows very slowly, which meant that just in time for the trees to be old enough to be used, we had stopped building warships out of wood. Luckily, you can use oak for other things, such as whiskey barrels for example. So the forest has come in handy anyway, and is a very beautiful place to visit.