Even if the vacation is over, we still go to Sweden on the weekends as we love to explore what the entire area around Mariestad and Vestra Götaland has to offer. Yesterday we had a lovely trip to Öhns Gärd (a farm) and I hope you will enjoy our crazy adventures as much as we did! I had my Nokia mobile phone ready to shoot the highlights of course (Please click to enlarge as alwasy!). Let’s start with an overview:

As we entered the farm it was mysteriously quiet, but the owner, Elisabeth Svantesson soon came out of the farmhouse. She told us their 30 guests – a Swedish team playing America football – were in the city to play in a tournament. This farm is actually an activity centre for groups or companies who will give their members, partners or customers a special experience.

Coming from The Norwegian Computer Society I told her this was very interesting and she then urged me to take a look around and explore all the facilities. The farm was all ours and what could be more fun than doing it together with my family:-)

Just farming around :-)

Of course we had to explore all the buildings. We started with the barn where a pig welcomed us. Further in I saw a huge pile of newly shorn wool in a corner and I could not resist jumping in. Soon my wife and a cat joined me and one of the children assisted as the photographer.

The demonstration – To keeep balance in marrige:-)

The top of the cream was when we entered the loft as we saw a bow and a target. I have played Robin Hood and made a lot of bows in my childhood and was of course eager to demonstrate. We had a competition of course and a friend of one of my bonus children who joined us this weekend won. The prize was that he could pick what to have for dinner that day and his choice was my wife’s delicious home made burritos.

We heard oink – oink here, moo – moo, there, baa – baa, quack – quack, cluck – cluck, miow – moiw, and everywhere a woof – woof so we knew we where at the right place:

Did I mention that there were animals around? heheh. It felt just like the good old days of childhood when I visited a lot of my friends farms. You feel so alive, close to the nature, relaxed and so happy. Is there anything more giving in life than to interrelate with trusting animals who have been well treated and don’t know anything about our modern, hectic urban life?

The stone – The kitchen

Other things that reminded me of the good old days was to see a sharpening stone with a scythe as I remember walking in the fields at my grandfathers farm with one of the farm hands showing me how to use it. In the kitchen they still had the old stone oven where I remember the milkmaid made the very best bread. My favourite topping was just sugar with milk fresh from the cow. Yes, I am born in the earlier century as I also learned how to milk a cow with my hands. Roots and traditions are important to me and on this lovely day a lot of good childhood memories came back to me.

A cairn from Bronze Age

As I know my regular readers like to hear some history background from The Nordic countries. Today I have a scoop as we passed a cairn (burial mound) on our way back home. This is one of the largest Bronze Age monuments in Västre Götaland (1800 – 500 BC). It has a low, stone brim round edge. Large cairns of this type that have been investigated have often contained a cist build stone stabs, for one burial. Bronze Age cairns are found in the whole of Vestre Götaland. Grave goods from the same period have been found in a number of rather large, low stone settings. Numerous loose finds also show that there have been many more graves, now destroyed.

With this lovely memory in mind together with all the others, we are heading back to Norway. But I’ll keep them all in my heart and dwell on all the good quality time with my wife and family this summer too:-)

Here is the referral link to Öhns Gärd (sorry but only in Swedish) and I want to thank Elisabeth Svantesson for the hospitality!