A Winter Day in Sweden

Dear blog visitors – I wish you a Happy New Year!
Staying in Sweden the week between Christmas and New Year as a tradition the last couple of years, we had a jolly good time. We are a small colonies of about 100 Norwegian families with our own vacation home in a small town, Mariestad. It is called the Pearl of Lake Vänern. Situated beside the lake gives Mariestad its unique character. 140 kilometres of coast, a huge inland sea and a splendid archipelago of 22,000 islands, islets and skerries all combine to give the city a very distinctive quality. For visitors to Mariestad there is a great choice of accommodation. Camping by the lake, the touring hostel by the harbour or an elegant hotel room at Stadshotellet (the first pic) are just a few examples.
Walking around at the town’s central market place a winter day blessed with snow, I could not resist capturing this charming town. It was the last day in 2005 and we had a jolly good time entering the New Year together with the Norwegian Colonies.
The town was founded in 1583 by Gustav Vasa’s son Karl IX, who named it after his wife, Maria af Pfalz. Cobblestone streets, charming wooden houses in Gamla Stan (the Old Town) and a beautiful cathedral (but no bishop!) all bear witness to a long, exciting history during which plenty has happened.