Adventures shopping trip in Mariestad, Sweden

This weekend, my wife and I went to Mariestad, Sweden to our vacation home. It’s about 4.5 hours drive east of Oslo on the coast of Vänern (Northern Europe’s biggest lake). The city is called The Pearl of Vänern – we call it our paradise and adding to that: we went without children, so you might also call it a honeymoon :-). It’s a small, charming city and this weekend: with the loveliest warm, sunny weather (27C – 80F).

As soon as we arrived, we got into a relaxing vacation mood and on Saturday we took a trip down town. I gladly take you along for some of our adventures: First to ‘Systembolaget’, the liquor store (same system as in Norway: governmental run):

MariestadCity #5

Let me take this opportunity to tell you about why we go crazy shopping when going to Sweden: Norwegian trade in the Swedish border regions accounts for about 10 billion kroner (2 billion $ or 1.25 billion €) and is increasing about 10% per year. We buy meat, cheese, chocolate and other sweets, mineral water, wine and liquor as well as tobacco in large quantities. One reason is the currency difference of about 15% and then you have difference in taxes. This shopping leakage from Norway to Sweden means that we have moved revenues corresponding to 8,500 jobs from Norway to Sweden. Adding to that, since the Norwegian salaries are higher, e.g. in a restaurant in Oslo or elsewhere close to the boarder, your most likely be served by a Swede.

Mariestad is very lively on weekends and has a lot of stands or outdoor traders. I could not resist this mini tractor and Diane got my Nokia mobile phone to capture the fun (to the left):
MariestadCity #8 MariestadCity #9

(to the right): Another good thing about Mariestad is that there are no malls, but small individual shops and since we’ve been here for more than 5 years, we know the staff quite well. One is in the sports shop and I could not resist showing my enthusiasm for the Swedish football team playing the European Championship within one week – Norway isn’t qualified :-(

My wife told me I needed new short, so off we go to the changing room:
MariestadCity #7

Then in the middle of the city: the town square, there were two cute girls who caught my eye: They where from the Swedish boxing association promoting their sport. The square was full of curious spectators including me who went crazy with my Nokia:
MariestadCity #1 MariestadCity #2
The fountain is beautiful too – click all pics to enlarge!
MariestadCity #3 MariestadCity #4

We ended our tour at Mariestad’s Inn. It’s in the Old Town section of the city and some of these building are from the 16th century. You might like to check my guided tour viewing a lot of old buildings from last year.
MariestadCity #10 MariestadCity #11
We had hot waffles with ice cream and coffee and to make it short: Delicious!

Then we headed back, had a wonderful salmon dinner on the balcony and went on with our honeymoon, including golf on Sunday. I would say this is really about charging the batteries for a new week of work. I do hope you all had a good one too!

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  1. That’s a great post, Renny. I really enjoyed reading it. Sounds as if you had a fantastic time and I’m *so* jealous of the warm weather. It’s been pretty dire over here :-(

    Glad you liked the post as much as we loved the adventure.
    The weather was (still is!) fabulous and I’m sure you’ll soon have some too :-)

  2. What a fun day. The waffles with ice cream looks yummy. Never had that before. Have a great day.

    You just have to try waffles and ice!

  3. This was so much fun Renny! I felt like I was right there with you and Diane. Love the shorts!
    You know New Hampshire is a tax free state and so people come from our bordering states so buy liquor, tobacco, and clothes. It’s great for New Hampshire.
    Hi to Diane!

    I knew you would like it – the shorts too :-)
    And some might go further north to Canada, I guess.
    Diane says thanks and hello back to you!

  4. I remember seeing a French documentary which, I’m pretty sure, was about this city. The shown how much booze people were buying… crazy! And also all the ways to sneak in more goods than they were supposed to :lol:

    I guess it’s like Americans shopping in Canada for medications and Canadians shopping in the USA for cars and clothes.

    Your so observant, it was not Mariestad, but Strømstad (closer to the boarder) and its embarrassing how Norwegians behave sometimes!
    Yea, I guess you have some shopping leakage between US and Canada too.

  5. Well, that was fun. :-)

    I’m hungry though, and seeing those waffles aren’t helping at all.
    Hope you enjoyed your weekend honeymoon.

    You and Diane have a great new week, Renny.

    Love and hugs,

    It was real fun and you should have waffles like that once!
    Wishing you a good one too and tons of hugs back to you.

  6. Ahhh, everything looks fantastic!! Yes, all Europe is having delightful weather while all clouds are over Spain!!
    It’s a long drive for a weekend, Renny, but it surely looks worth it!

    I know we’ve had sunnier and warmer weather than you lately, but I’m afraid it change back again soon :-)
    Yea, its quite long, but really it gives a great deal in charging the batteries.

  7. Sounds like you had a wonderful weekend there. Those smaller cities are the best really!!! I love old buildings and cafés. Such an historical atmosphere in there that takes you back in time.

    Wishing you two a equally wonderful week at home :-)

    I do agree; great atmosphere and more personal service – we just love it.
    Hope you’ll have a good one too!

  8. It sounds like you had a wonderful break, I am very envious! Spending quality time together in a wonderful place, eating and shopping – sounds like heaven! And now I know where all the nice weather has gone to….

    Your right; quality time like that is important to maintain the relationship you know.
    I’m sure you’ll get better weather in mid Europe soon….

  9. Sounds like you had a great time, it’s very important to have time together for relax and for fun. I liked your post and the pictures, of course!

    I agree; and important mix – glad you liked it and from a photographer like you, its an honour with such compliments!

  10. Hey Renny, you have the best of both worlds and that’s wonderful to get away from home every now and then.

    It certainly sets you in a relaxing mood too :D I love this post, thank you!

  11. looks like you both had fun, even though it was shopping (hehehe). thanks for taking us along on the relaxed weekend.

  12. looks like you enjoyed your shopping day, renny! :D

    and the waffle looks really good! mmm. you just made me hungry!!!

  13. I had to laugh as your discussion of buying products in Sweden because of taxes and costs, reminded me of Maine. In neighboring New Hampshire, there is no sales tax and alcohol is cheaper so all the Maniacs (people from Maine!) cross the border to buy clothes with no tax and cheaper alcohol. The world over, people are always looking for bargain :)

  14. whoah!!nice shopping time with Diane,Renny!I love shopping,too!and wow!look at the weather?is it summertime already in your place?

    i love the 16th century buildings!amazing that they are preserved!!

  15. nice shopping trip, i thought that it was more expensive in stockholm than in germany when i went there for a short holiday, that means it must be really more expensive in norway than here if you do your shopping in sweden.
    btw, those waffles look really yummy! :) it would be good to have some strawberries on the side too.

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