Scandinavia Part 3 of 4
It’s amazing how quickly you can get around Sweden! After the five hour drive from Stockholm to Dalsland, the trip down to Tjorn felt super quick. In under two hours we went from thick, rich forests and lakes to the rocky west coast. The sea water was so blue, but different than the rich, velvety blue at the lake in Dalsland. It was more of crystal-like ice blue. Tjorn is one of the thousands of islands that make up Sweden’s western archipelago. While I’m sure there were many islands we could have chosen to stay on during this leg of the trip, Tjorn was the eventual pick. The central part of the island is made up of small farmsteads, one of which we stayed on in our AirBnb. The rocky coastline has a few towns with a sea of red roofed homes, which were just too picturesque for words (or even photos). Getting around the island is a short ten minute drive to just about anywhere, to give you a feel for the size. Our time here was really relaxing and rejuvenating. I think our highlights were the first evening’s wind storm, and the sourdough bakery on the sea. Thanks to our timing, we missed the summer crowds and felt like we had the island to ourselves. It was wonderful, so let’s jump in to our time in Tjorn :).
*Photos were taken by my husband Scott.
ARRIVING & the watercolor musem
Crossing over the light blue seawater on the bridge to Tjorn was something surreal. There was still forest all of the way up to the coastline, and even on the island too. However, once we dropped our bags off at our AirBnb, we hopped right back in the car and took a ten minute drive down to Tjorn’s largest town of Skårhamn to go to the Nordic Watercolor Museum.
The hurricane hitting the east coast of the United States at the time had moved across the Atlantic, and by the time it reached the coast of Sweden (which was when we arrived) had turned into a light sprinkling of rain with the fastest winds we had ever experienced. The photos don’t translate this completely, but imagine every footstep putting us at risk of falling over, and Scott struggling to keep the camera from violently shaking in his hands as he tried to take every one of these shots (haha!). The videos in my stories on Instagram do this experience better justice, if you pop over and look for Tjorn in my highlights.
The watercolor museum was a bit of a let down, but we were grateful for it luring us here on this evening, because the walk on the rocks behind it was one of our favorite experiences on this trip.
morning at our airbnb
Our AirBnb rental for our time in Tjorn was serene (with the kindest host as well, highly recommended). It was up against the trees on a small hill, overlooking a patch of grass with a few sheep. It was incredibly peaceful and quiet. There was one road that cut through this strip of farmland on the way to the coast, and we decided to take the fifteen minute walk to the water after breakfast.
I love this area of the island, farmland by the coast with forest too? A little slice of heaven. These small moments from our trips are the ones I live for, and find myself going back to in my mind most often.
lottas bak & form
After our morning walk, I had a sandwich and we took a short drive down to the town of Bleket to visit a sourdough bakery I had come across in my research of the area. It was the only one on the island, and is called Lottas Bak & Form. Imagine just the cutest little town up against the sea, with a bridge the goes over to other small islands with more picturesque vacation homes, and a sourdough bakery on the water. We walked inside and there was a single guy doing all of the baking that day. There was a rack of breads, a case of special Swedish desserts, a handful of mismatched tables and chairs, and a view of the water you just couldn’t beat. A customer or two came in to grab a loaf, but otherwise it was pretty quiet. We chatted with him about his baking and the sourdough pizza Scott had his eye on. Apparently his pizza dough had fallen flat and had a new batch rising. He said to come back in about an hour and he should have some whipped up (he was genuinely so kind), so we went for a walk.
After walking around the town and over to the smaller island, we came back to the sourdough bakery - and alas! He had been able to whip up some pizzas and Scott ordered one margarita-style. I purchased a cup of coffee and a sourdough loaf for later, and we sat at a table I will return to sit at again. This is one of those moments that makes me wish I had a remote for my life, so I could keep hitting “replay” over and over.
the last evening
We came back home for a rest and a snack. I dunked slices of the gorgeous sourdough from Lottas into a jar of crunchy peanut butter, it was heaven - I don’t know what Swedes put in their peanut butter but it was unlike any I’ve ever had. I then took a very cozy nap, fully settling into vacation mode after exploring for so many days. It was heavenly. We wanted to go for a hike before dinner, so I found one on the map that took us through the forest (of course, I’m always drawn to forests). Again, it was maybe a ten minute drive from the house and we were at the trail. It was amazing to find a lush and magical forest here on the island. This simple hike was so refreshing and just rounded off what was already a wonderful day.
Afterwards we made dinner as the sun set behind the trees, tucked in, and spent our last night in Tjorn. In the morning we didn’t take any photos, but we went for another walk and then packed up. A little before noon we headed out, once again on the road, but this time we were going to cross over into Denmark to spend the last few days we had in Copenhagen. It was a four hour drive through a beautiful mix of forest and coastline, sunshine, clouds, and rain, before taking the very exciting bridge over the sea (and under the sea) to Copenhagen. Which is where I will meet you for the next, and final, post of our Scandinavian adventure. (So sad it’s almost over! We already miss you so much, Sweden.)