Fun Places in Sweden – Öland Posted by Transparent Language on Aug 21, 2009 in Culture
If you read with some regularity what I write here on this blog, you might have gotten the impression my most favorite places in Sweden are all in the north. True, many of them are, but not all. Take Öland, for example. Definitely not in the north. In fact, as far as Sweden goes, it’s positively down south. Very south.
What? You’re surprised that I like Öland? And what’s there not to like? The place has everything – history, culture, nature, beaches (yes, beaches, and as far as Sweden goes, they’re quite OK), it’s sweet and charming and it’s definitely worth a visit. Or two. Or three. And the best part? It’s totally on the way from Kalmar, which just happens to be one of my favorite Swedish towns NOT located in the north.
I’ll never forget the first time I was traveling to Öland. I was a kid and had a massive panic attack while crossing the bridge (Ölandsbron) linking the island with the Swedish mainland. The bridge is six kilometers long, and while it might not be all that impressive by today’s standards, it was a feat of engineering back in 1972 when it was opened.
Oh, didn’t I tell you? Öland is an island. It’s pretty much self-explanatory when you look carefully at the name:
- Ö + land = Ölan
- ö (def.: ön, pl.: öar, def.pl.: öarna) landområde med vatten på alla sidor – in other words – an island.
And by the way, don’t you just love those one-letter words? I know I do.
But where were we? Ah yes, visiting Öland. Personally, I think that the Öland Tourism website does not do the place justice.
It fails to stress that while most of its info is indeed very summer oriented (and in Sweden, for all intents and purposes the summer season ended on August 16th this year), Öland is a very nice year-round destination, especially if you’re not a beach person (but then again, if you were, you’d go to Greece or Spain, not to Öland) and prefer history and nature.
Yeah history… can you believe that people settled on Öland back in 6000 BC? Isn’t it when the dudes in Egypt were busy carving sphinxes and building pyramids? It just boggles my mind when I realize that during that time things were also going on in other parts of the world. Namely – in Sweden.
But the ruins you can see on Öland these days are positively modern when compared to those very ancient times – they come from the Viking era. So if you’re into Viking stuff, then Öland should definitely be on your itinerary.
And if you like harvest festivals and pumpkins, then Ölands Skördefest will be right up your alley. This year it’s scheduled to take place on September 24 through the 27th. And even though I don’t like pumpkins, this event sounds like a lot of fun.
So, if you’ve been to Öland before, please tell us what you thought of the place. Would you recommend it as an interesting destination for a visit? (I’m asking, because I know that my opinion might not necessarily be for everybody).
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