Meet a Local – Janne Bark from Klocktornet in Lyckorna

Janne Bark bought and restored the old clock tower (Klocktornet in Swedish) a couple years back. The clock tower is located by the water in Lyckorna in Ljungskile, Uddevalla. The perfect location for Janne’s big passion – nature and wildlife. Janne offers several nature activities from his clock tower – the favorite one being their Mussel Safari.

Janne himself on board his Mussel Safari! Photo credit: Maria Winterstrid

Lyckorna is a great location for growing mussels for numerous reasons.  The mussels can be planted in such a way that they always come in contact with the under water currents, which contributes to the high quality of the mussels. Also, since the islands around Lyckorna protects the mussels from a lot wind, the mussels don’t have to produce as many strings to keep them from blowing away. All the land surrounding Lyckorna also leads to a lot of phytoplankton being produced. Mussels feed off of phytoplankton, and the more there is the better the quality of the mussels. Also, the cold temperature in the waters slows down the growth process of the mussels, taking them about 2 years to grow, which also makes them delicious!

Mussels ready to be harvested! Photo credit: Maria Winterstrid

Janne has a special fondness for mussels. Apart from the fact that they are a true delicacy, they also do wonders for the environment. If it weren’t for all the musself, the amounts of phytoplankton in the water could be harmful to the environment. Since algae also feeds off of phytoplankton it could result in too much algae which can be deadly to other vegetations as they take over the bottom of the sea. Thanks to  the mussels eating most of the phytoplankton before it reaches the algae, that problem is solved. Also, one mussel filters about 1-3 gallons of water per hour – keeping the water clean! Simply put, mussels have a major positive impact on the environment.

Mussels doing their magic under water! Photo credit: Maria Winterstrid

The mussel safari itself is a gourmet experience that lasts about 2-3 hours from start to finish. After you leave the clock tower by boat, Janne begins the safari with a little history about the area and its inhabitants. The safari then takes you to the mussel cultivation where you lift up the barrels – or rigs – of mussels from the water. Each rig has about 200 tons of mussels. Everybody helps out to harvest the mussels and on the way back everyone cleans the mussels that you then cook together later on. The mussels are then prepared back at the clock tower and enjoyed together with some great wine! Sometimes Janne will even take you to a cliff on the way back and cook the mussels out in the open!

Safari guests cleaning their mussels on the boat ride back! Photo credit: Maria Winterstrid

The mussel safari guest varies from being a tourist, a PR representative or a tour operator. All wanting to discover something truly unique on the Swedish west coast. Janne’s clock tower is only 45 minutes away from Gothenburg, making the clock tower and it’s mussel safari a great expedition.  Villa Sjötorp, located nearby, is a great place to spend the night before or after your mussel safari!

A bucket full of fresh mussels! Photo credit: Maria Winterstrid

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