Here in Stockholm the air is already turning brisk, leaves becoming reddish-golden in preparation for fall. I am still thinking about summer however and holding on as tightly as I can. I love fall and all of the (pumpkin) wonders it entails but accepting fall is almost like saying yes to winter and, well, I’m just not ready to make that commitment yet. So for now I will keep my focus on summer and celebrate the three wonderful weeks we had with my parents and then later just me, my husband, and my cat.
My parents came to visit us in late July and one of our adventures together entailed a road trip to Tjörn, an island on the west coast of Sweden. Since they had been to Sweden previously and we’d taken them to the west coast on that visit as well, we decided to drive a different route out west this time. One of my work colleagues recommended a visit to a place called Läckö Slott – a castle that sits at the southern tip of Lake Vänern, Sweden’s second largest lake. After looking at maps and routes we decided that a visit to Läckö Slott en route to Tjörn was a great idea and to complete our trip we made lunch reservations at Hvita Hjorten. The castle’s restaurant is about 800 meters south of the castle and is beautifully placed so that it overlooks both the castle and Lake Vänern.
Much of our drive en route to the castle was typical of picturesque Swedish farmland, with rolling fields of green dotted with houses and barns painted in Faluröt – a famous red color that comes from Falun, a region of Sweden in the Dalarna area. There were no moose sightings but there was the occasional deer and plenty of cows, many of which were lying lazily in the grass. Swedish cows tend to be rather relaxed.
As we neared the southern tip of Vänern the scenery became more and more charming; staggered with old churches, quaint, farm houses, and tall, grassy fields. Soon the castle became visible. It was such a magnificent sight after hours of watching lone, open fields and farmland pass by. Lunch at Hvita Hjorten was the perfect break in our road trip with a selection of fish or meat from local fisherman and hunters, and fresh vegetables fresh from the castle’s own garden and local growers. Our meal was delicious though I wished there had been a few more options to choose from. One drawback from using ingredients that are near produced and in season is that most restaurants use the same ones, making dining out a bit monotonous.
We didn’t spend as much time walking around the castle grounds as we would have liked due to the extremely strong winds but we did get a few nice “postcard” photo opportunities before continuing on our way to Tjörn. I would highly recommend a detour to this lovely castle and restaurant if you are planning a road trip to Sweden’s west coast in the Bohuslän region.
Look for my next summer series post on our visit to London!