Financial Times calls West Sweden a “Nordic Cape Cod”. Read the excellent article here!
Archaeologists in Sweden’s Sunnerby have discovered the only ship burial in Sweden hidden under a mound in Lake Vänern. Although currently only parts of the ship have been unearthed, the rivets indicate a sizable ship (10-20 meters in length) is hidden beneath the Kungshögen mound.
Discoveries of this type are highly significant, revealing information about Swedish culture from bygone eras, in this case specifically that of the Vendel era. “The ship would have been loaded with the deceased, animal sacrifices, equipment and gifts and the whole vessel set alight in a huge funeral pyre.” The excavation will take place from now until winter sets in, and work will resume in 2010 to uncover the wealth of history from Europe’s third largest, and Sweden’s largest lake.
Thanks to The Local for image.
Life in a medieval theme park easily gets a bit surreal. If the contrast between hi-tech press center and people in 12th century garb won’t knock you down, the diminutive 180 cm (5’10”) high doorways to every building sure will. The first day here at the Arn Festival in Götene, Västergötland is now over and I would probably give it four out of five spears up. I didn’t actually expect the machinery behind the entire thing to be so well run but I got a seat in an old cottage with wifi and nice press people.
Daytime yesterday was an orgy of historical events and it felt like there were children everywhere; People trying to kill each other with swords or dancing around to the constat stream of folk music of a bygone era. I ran into a Belgian family and they were very impressed, especially with the locally brewed mead and the myriad of kid-friendly activities.
Sweden is a very old country, whose traditions evolved from the civilizations in the South and West of Sweden (nobody really knows anything about what was going on in the North before the 1900’s). These historic civilizations are what inspired Jan Guillou, one of Sweden’s most prominent and also arrogant writers, to write a bestselling trilogy about a medieval protagonist named Arn struggling with life in the dark ages, The Knight Templar.
The hugely popular book series turned into hugely popular movies and now virtually all of the more rural eastern part of West Sweden, where the trilogy takes place, flourish from the attention. Guided tours, film remakes and an unprecedented influx of tourist have turned heretofore sleepy small towns into summer hot spots. The peak came a couple of years ago when Götene, a West Sweden town that is near both the shooting location of the movies and Arn’s fictional heritage, bought the entire prop set from the movies and built a theme park around it.
Now of course, a Medieval theme park isn’t necessarily the hippest of things, but surrounded by the history and culture of the Swedish countryside that still recalls bygone eras, it comes much closer to bringing history to life than any other theme park. This August there is a festival, conveniently named Arnfestivalen, celebrating the old times with slow roasted spitted food, locally brewed mead and major artists, like Ulf Lundell! and Caroline af Ugglas playing on stage. It takes place from the 12-16 of August and will be a blast…from the past, especially for those of you who enjoy jousting, sword fighting and eating grilled wild boar.
When people think of taking a trip to Sweden most everybody thinks, plane. Of course those who are not so keen on flying might look into cruise ships. And for the really old fashioned, and exorbitantly wealthy, zeppelin might even be an option. But car? Impossible – no bridge, no underwater tunnel, ergo no roadtrip…right? Not quite!
You can in fact get to Sweden in a new Volvo car. The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program allows you to purchase a new Volvo car directly from Sweden for up to 8% under the MSRP, and then gives you two complimentary roundtrip tickets to West Sweden with Scandinavian Airlines System, one free hotel night in Gothenburg, Sweden, and a fifteen day European Car Insurance coverage (including Swedish temporary registration). When your vacation is over, your new car will be shipped back to your local US Volvo dealer gratis, including all US Customs charges and fees.
Gothenburg hosts this major travel trade event, taking place from 15 to 16 June 2009, which enables city break suppliers to meet tour operators and online agents from around Europe and learn more about Gothenburg, an increasingly popular city break destination
So what do we actually mean when we talk about “West Sweden”?
Well, technically speaking the region consists of three areas: Dalsland, Bohuslan and Vastergotland. The busy coastal city of Gothenburg is the main gateway with half a million inhabitants and a vibrant cosmopolitan atmosphere. We’ll get into more details as we continue to explore!
Let’s start by taking a look at the map below to get a feeling of where we are! Also, if you click on the map it will bring you to WestSweden.com where you can browse the map interactively to find out more about sights, accomodation, events and fun stuf!
You have stumbled upon a brand new blog intended to raise awareness about West Sweden, a region that sits just southeast of Norway and northeast of Denmark.
We will try to unearth a bounty of culture, nature, gastronomy, adventure and history so that perhaps we can whet your appetite and curiosity about a hidden pearl in northern Europe.