Wanderlust by Jona

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Travel Diary: Kalmar day 3

 
On our third and last day during our Easter weekend road trip, we visited Kalmar Castle.
 
It opened at 10 am and since we lived pretty much next to it, we slept in and had a long breakfast at the hotel before heading over. The castle has two floors containing everything from a church to grand dining rooms to dungeons. The castle is almost a thousand years old (!!!) and it has happened a lot there throughout the history so it was just so fascinating walking around looking at everything.
 
 
 
I also found a throne completely in my taste! Can totally see myself as a queen ;)
 
 
 
After exploring the caste for almost two hours we talked about heading out to see some more places in Kalmar before heading home, but just as the day before at Öland - it was cold! So instead we decided to jump into the car, wave goodbye to our hotel and start the five-hour drive home.
 
 
 
Nothing exciting happened during our drive back home (except that we wanted to find a nice and cozy restaurant in Oskarshamn to eat lunch at, but the only place that was open was McDonald's, haha!) and I honestly think I was asleep for most of the time. Just as I mentioned in my earlier post, the weather was a major set back, but otherwise, this was such a good trip!
 
Read more about my trip to Kalmar & Öland

Travel Diary: Kalmar/Öland day 2

 
I'm home again after my weekend away during Easter, and honestly, I have to say that the trip was a big epic fail.
 
Okay, so the trip itself wasn't actually bad. In reality - it was really good. Me and my family got to spend some quality time together and explore a lot of new places so I'm actually really happy about the weekend. The only problem though was that our purpose with this trip was to get away from Stockholm for a while since it has had the longest, coldest and darkest winter in ages. Our plan was to drive to a more southern part of Sweden where the spring had arrived sooner and ended up in Kalmar - which I honestly think was the greyest place in Sweden during easter, haha! It was more snow there than at home and we didn't see the sun even ones. Oh well. 
 
We started our second day of the trip with breakfast at our hotel before heading out to some shops to buy some warmer clothes. After getting prepared for the cold, we drove over the bridge that connects Kalmar at the mainland to the island Öland. Öland is known to be a beautiful summer destination, and as you might already have figured out - it was everything but summer there during our visit so we spent most of the time in the car driving around, looking at the bare, snowy landscape and beautiful windmills.
 
 
 
We had some destinations in mind before getting to Öland and the first stop was Öland alum factory ruin. It's an old factory building that was abandoned about hundred years ago, and since I'm a big fan of ruins this was obviously one of the places on my bucket list. Unfortunately, I was wearing shoes that were not good for walking in snow (you know, I was prepared for spring and all that) and ended up slipping when I tried to climb an elevation. Miraculously I managed to fling my camera over my back, but fell face first and left the ruin with a big bruise on my left knee as a "lovely" memory of the place, haha.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our second destination was the most southern part of Öland, a nature reserve called Ottenby. Ottenby is known for its diverse range of bird species, meaning it was a lot of bird-watchers there. I've gone bird watching ones when I was studying marine vertebrates in Australia and it was a mandatory part of the course. I didn't like it back then and I didn't like it now (mostly because I'm extremely bad at it) but got super excited when I managed (with a little help, because as I said, I suck) to see some seals with a telescope! I have never seen seals out in the open before! I tried to photograph them, but honestly, even with my telezoom the seals pretty much looked like small rocks in my photos, haha ;)
 
One other reason people go to Ottenby is the lighthouse called Långe Jan (translation: Long Jan). It is possible to get up in it but they only let in a couple of people every hour. We missed the first slot with just a couple of minutes when we arrived and missed the second one because we had lunch and we weren't really in the mood to wait for a third slot. If it was warmer, I had totally waited since I love to see places from a higher angle, but it was such cold winds coming from the ocean that made us all just want to go inside the car again and turn the heat up - and so we did.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We had driven down Ölands west side on our way to Ottenby, and on the way back we drove on the east side of the island so we had the opportunity to see some more places.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
We ended our time on Öland with visiting Borgholm Castle which was closed for the day, but I honestly didn't mind. Once again I have to blame the weather for my lack of enthusiasm, but at this point, my feet where wet and my body was chilled to the bone so it was enough for me just to walk around the big building. They played some "medieval music" in the speakers around the castle which really set a dramatic mood. I have to go back there sometime during summer because I think I would really love Borgholm Castle then!
 
 
 
We drove over the bridge back to the mainland again and I think we all enjoyed taking a hot shower at our hotel before we headed out to get some dinner. We were in the mood for Italian and ended up at a restaurant called Ernesto Ristorante where we ate some delicious pizza.
 
 
 
We walked passed Kalmar Caste on the way home (we literally lived like two blocks away from it) and I used a trash bin as a tripod to get some long exposure photos of the castle when it was dark. Sometimes you have to be creative! After that, we spent the evening playing cards at our hotel room.
 
 
 
Read more about my trip to Kalmar & Öland
Travel Diary Day 1
 

Travel Diary: Kalmar Day 1

 
I have spent this Friday on the road together with my family.
 
We all had a couple of days off during Easter and wanted to travel somewhere together, but pretty much every flight, train and boat ticket was ridiculously expensive, and even though we all love to travel we refuse to pay overprices to get somewhere. We waited on a good "last minute"-deal but realized it was impossible to do with five people (me, my boyfriend, my brother and my parents) in the travelling group and decided to go on a road trip in Sweden instead.
 
We started to talk about possible destinations when we realized that none of us has been to an island called Öland since I was about two years old, which I obviously have no memories of. All said and done we booked a hotel in Kalmar (the city where you have to go to get to the island) packed our bags and headed out on the roads. Like every good road trip, we took a couple of stops on the way at places like Valdemarsvik, Västervik, and Gunnebo. The two photos below are taken in Valdemarsvik, which I, by the way, learned the hard way is a town that is pretty much closed down during public holidays. Let's just said that the search for a toilet after two hours on the road got interesting ;)
 
 
 
After a couple of hours on the road, we finally reached the city Kalmar where we had booked our hotel. The hotel is called Slottshotellet (translation: Castle Hotel) and is decorated in a very old-fashioned style I just adore. I have to remind myself to take some interior photographs before we leave!
 
 
 
We left our bags and the car at our hotel and headed out to explore Kalmar and get some dinner. I ended up with a memory card full of cute houses and a stomach full of spinach with cheese sauce wrapped in filo pastry from the restaurant Table 20. Eat there if you ever visit Kalmar, so so SO delicious!
 
We also stumbled upon a bench that's apparently the longest bench in Sweden. I'm not sure what else I can write about that since they didn't even write how long it was so I think we'll just leave it at that ;)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Before heading back to our hotel where we spent the evening playing cards, we also took a visit to Kalmar Castle which was built in 1100 and used to be an important part of Swedens defense back in the days. Unfortunately, the castle was closed for the day so we only got to see it from the outside, but we plan to go back there before we drive back home to see the inside as well since a lot of historical events has taken place there.
 
 
 
Our main goal with this trip is the island Öland which we will head out to tomorrow, but I'm already so satisfied with this trip since I've already been to so many places I've never been to before. I'm so happy that we actually ended up traveling somewhere this easter even if it's "only" a car ride away. Who said you had to go far to experience new things?