My regular readers know that this blog is about the four seasons in Norway and the Nordic countries. This time I’ll give you another wonderful example of the significant seasons from our summer place in Sweden. We go there regularly, both in the summer but also in most of our spare time year round. The city is Mariestad, placed by the lake of Vänern called it’s pearl. It’s a lovely small town with about 25 000 inhabitants. Let me start with the point of this post and show you a picture from the towns square and opposite (all pics taken with my Nokia mobile phone as I normally do to illustrate – please click to enlarge) :

Let me then show some pics from my post the 2nd of January from the same spot:

I can’t decide which is the best season as I love them all. Winter has a lot of exciting advantages like skiing, Christmas, romantic candle light when my wife lights up over 20 candles all over the house, and anticipation for the spring. Summer times for us is golfing (although I have told you we do it in winter as well :-), swimming and romantic evenings on our balcony when the sun lies low on the horizon until almost midnight. It just takes one to appreciate the other I guess.

I’ll show you one more pics from Mariestad (same street can be seen in my January post) in the summer while I tell a bit about the town:

It is easy to be enchanted by Mariestad’s small-town atmosphere. 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. Places of historical interest are also to be found outside the town; ancient remains, disused millstone mines, castles, old villages, mediaeval churches and museums. Filling days with interesting excursions is no problem.

These last pictures are from the harbour and where you can see the church in the background. In a few months the water will freeze to ice again, but then we can have a skating trip. All seasons has it advantages you know:-)


  1. I laughed just a little because to me the town I live in now is small. Only 6500 year round residents!
    I know what you mean about a small town atmosphere and also about the 4 seasons. I love that about New Hampshire. We love to ski, to fish and to camp and swim.
    If I had to choose, my favorite season is the fall. The air gets cool and crisp and the leaves turn orange, yellow and red and I can once again wear my favorite sweater.

  2. aw…I just wish I could experience the four seasons as well. I’ve always wondered how would snow feel on my skin…someday…someday. :D

  3. Beautiful! Wow. I really think we should do a house exchange. I’ll have to start posting pictures of my summer home once the island it’s on stops burning!

  4. honestly, as much as i loved trinidad i did miss the very distinct change of seasons we have in the northeast USA, and which you have also demonstrated. i’d so much love to experience those looooooong nordic summer days though.

  5. Hiya Renny,
    that place in Sweden sounds really nice =D
    And I don’t know which season I like either. They are all great :D

  6. how i wish i could experience snow, it will be skiing all day!

    that will be fun!

  7. I’m flying off tonite…see you from the other side


  8. “Founded in 1583” – That’s really hard to fathom from my Canuckian point of view.

    I walk through the streets of my home-town of Sault Ste. Marie Ontario, which has been peopled since 1887, and get wrapped up in the rich allbeit shorter history here.

    Sure, this was a meeting place for centuries before, for Canadian Aboriginals, throughout the four seasons, because of the plentiful whitefish and shelter offered by our beautiful forests – but they never left any real lasting legacy – no castle remains or mediaeval churches to speak of.

    I’d love to travel Europe sometime, regardless of the season.

    Thanks for stopping by earlier, as I probably wouldn’t have found your great blog otherwise. I’m sure I’ll be back.

  9. Nice photos, Renny! Looking forward to winter! :-) In the meantime, let’s soak in the sun!!!

  10. Great shots…beautiful scenes. We’re getting a foreign exchange student from Sweden in two weeks! Will have to visit Scandinavian countries some day! Lyn from Bloggin’ Outloud

  11. charles ravndal

    Beautiful photos! And of course I voted for you!!

  12. Hey Renny,

    Its nice that we had this season, to had a change a little bit, but in this case it was really too hot in here, im not near by the shore to had a deep swim but anyway.. lets do city tour. Your place was so good. i think that nordic area was so cool and good view… looking forward to see those places..
    In the mean time. im voting for u…
    “Four seasons in on day” by Crowded House!

  13. @Maribeth: yes, sizes various but the atmosphere is still the same. We love the same then and I do agree with your choice of season. Is your sweater from Norway?

    @jhay: Pay us a visit in four or five month and experience it in real flesh!

    @Nome: It’s a deal – next summer? Looking forward to the pics to see what I get in exchange:-)

    @lime: Glad we have the same opportunities and you are welcome to experience the looong summer night any time (not in the winter then!:-)

    @AngelikaJane: Thanks for the compliments. Hope all is fine with you and your family too.

    @Mmy-Lei: Skiing is just great, but right now we love taking advantage of the best and worm summer for a long, long time.

    @Noojes: Bon Vouage! Please keep us posted.

    @CanadianMark: History all around the world is interesting and remember the peoples who where in Canada before the European came, also have a valuable legacy. I would say: Enjoy history wherever you are:-)

    @Lyn: Thanks for the compliments! How exciting to have a visitor from the Nordic then. Remember to show her my blog when she feels home sick:-)

    @CharlesRavndal: Thanks Charles, I knew I could count on you:-)

  14. I’m here from the queer chef’s comment game. It was cool to see a post about Sweden! My husband is a Swede and we lived in Kiruna for three years.

  15. That would be amazing, Renny. I’ll take pics the next time I’m over there!

  16. It looks great! Is it very hot there now?

  17. oh wow – that is really cool! I love the last one on the lake, but for me it’s all summer when the sun is up late!

  18. It all sounds so idyllic, love how you describe the sense of history. Will add it to my to visit list, with best wishes, The Artist

  19. OOps how did I become anonymous, here I am again, with best wishes, The Artist

  20. Hiya Renny, I voted for you =D

  21. Nice pictures. I would love to go traveling one day and see places like this.

  22. what a cool blog! and thanks for the comment in my blog.

  23. Thanks for the comment on my blog; I’ve voted for you today. :-)

    Beautiful country by the way. Start homeschooling! There are many in Norway home educating their children.

    Blessings to you!

    -gena :-)

  24. you live in a very beautiful country- i love the 4 seasons- each season offers a different experience and it’s always a challenge to cope and find activities to do.

  25. You should write for the Swedish tourism authorities – this is a beautiful post! Mariestad sounds like a wonderful town, rich in history and culture. I’ve never been there but we’ve visited my husband’s relatives 2 hours away.

    The countryside around there is very similar to the Midwest, US (perhaps that’s why we have so many Scandinavian immigrants?) I love the changing seasons! You have milder weather there (both winter and summer) with the added bonus of long summer days and beautiful daylight in the wintertime (from the sun so low on the horizon). Oh, how nice it would be to visit Sweden again! Thanks for the photos and rich text so that we may ‘visit’ virtually!

  26. Great pics! It’s HOT here in America’s Third World County, today, so the Winter pics were especially welcome!

    Oh, and thanks for the visit to and comment at twc, earlier today.

  27. I have never been in sweden but it looks really lovely from the pictures you have taken. I have always been in places where is highly populated and I think that would be such a change for me if I had a chance to visit there. Thank you for visiting my site.

  28. I totally agree with you about loving the different seasons in the parts of our country that have more than 2! We lived in Wisconsin for 4 years, in the north midwest part of the U.S.A., and loved going cross-country skiing in the winter time. I grew up ice skating in Michigan, so I know what you mean. The snow and bitter cold have their own beauty! You get used to it if you have something to do :)

  29. It looks beautiful. I prefer the Summer pics…but then I despise winter!!

  30. @Carrie: How nice of you to visit then. Have never been up north to Kiruna, but heard it is very nice there. Welcome back any time you want a touch of the Nordic then:-)

    @Nome: Looking forward to the pics then. Have you casted your vote today then?

    @missy: The hottest July we’ve had for years. Close to +30C (86F) by day and seldom below +20C (60F) by night.

    @ExpatTraveler: Yes the lake are great both for swimming and for skating you know:-)

    @Teena: Thanks – and for your vote too!

    @TheArtist: Thanks for your comments and for adding to your list – welcome back any time for another guided tour!

    @AngelikaJane: Your and angel Jane – and you can cast your vote until end of Saturday, so please come back!

    @Grish: Your welcome any time – I gladly guide you around.

    @imphaldiary: Thanks and don’t forget to visit my blog designer everyone:

    @TOSPUBLISHER: Thanks for you vote! I’ll check up about homeschooling in Norway too!

    @VICKY: Thanks and you said it right: all four seasons are great and I will guide you through all of them in the Nordic during the year, so stay tuned:-)

    @LynAnne: Thanks for the compliment. Actually I was visiting the tourist information centre today and they were excited about my blog too. Ohh yea, there are a lot of Norwegians in the Midwest. Actually I’ve heard there are more Norwegians in America than in Norway. A lot immigrated in the 19th century you know. Please come back for new virtual tours from the Nordic!

    @David: Thanks for the compliments and welcome back whenever you need to calm down:-)

    @Meliza: When you decide for the change, you are welcome any time. I’ll gladly give you a guided tour!

    @Ginnie: I could not said it better myself – we seams to be two of a kind in many ways:-)

    @Claire: Thanks and just come over in the winter time and you will learn to love it!

  31. Love the photos, especially the one with the luscious town square. Good job. :-)

  32. wonderful photos! i love 4 seasons too… the beijing way!

  33. voted for ya, renny! looks like u’ve got it in the bag. ;)

    thanks for the comments.

  34. you miss my comment there Renny! check out again!

  35. @NeiLDC: Sorry I did not saw your comment the first time Neil. It should not happen with a nice blog friend and regular visitor like you!
    I know it is real hot in southern part of Europe and in Spain right now and I wish we could offer you a swim in our lake (22C in the water). Hope you have the time to visit one day.
    Thanks so very much for your vote – and remember you can do it again until Sunday!

    @Talamasca: Glad you liked it and thanks for the compliments.

    @iska: Whatever ways as long as it contains four is great!

    @R*Y A N: Thanks for your support and please come back for casting your vote once per day until Sunday!

  36. Hi Renny!

    I’ve been over here poking around for a while and I REALLY like your blog. You take GREAT pics! So, I wanted you to know that YOU have my vote!! Thanks so much for visiting!!!


  37. What a difference 6 months makes! I love the contrasting pictures.

  38. Ole Blue The Heretic

    Hot? In Norway? LOL

    Come to New Orleans Louisiana and I will show you hot.

  39. Hi Renny!

    you realy do have a cool mobile camera to take this beautiful photos!!!

    great shots!!! like the winter pic with snow…

  40. @Alicia: Thanks for your compliments and the vote too!

    @Barbara: Yea and every season is enjoyable you know.

    @OleBlueTheHeretic: A great comment Ole! For us it hot and if you compare with the temperature we have in the winter time – down to -20C (-4F) in January, you can’t blame us:-)

    @yorokobee: Yes and very handy to document my daily life you know:-)

  41. wow! you really still have the pictures from the last season. and i really love those pictures, how different they are. but still looks a good place to visit :)

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