My faithful readers know we spend most of our vacations in Mariestad, Sweden. The city is called The Pearl of Lake Vänern. To give you an idea of where we are in Europe and compared to the latitude of Northern America, click to check at Google Map. I’ve posted a lot about the city and the most popular are Adventures Shopping Trip and Wandering in Old Mariestad. Let me add some facts about Lake Vänern:
The third largest lake in Europe (covers an area of 5,655 km²). It’s located at 44 m above sea level and is on average 27 m deep. The maximum depth of the lake is 106 m. Basically all common fresh water fish are found in Lake Vänern. The most important large fish are salmon, trout, bass and zander. The most important small fish is the stickleback and other whitefish.

Since on vacation, we have plenty of opportunities to travel around and explore this area and spot those pearls. Today I will share another quality time I had with my wife exploring the biggest Island of Vänern; Torsö: If you love nature and like the countryside with small groups of houses, some farms and of course quite a few beaches, you will see it as a pearl too. Let me give you some examples (click all pics to enlarge!):

Torsö at Mariestad in Sweden #4 Torsö at Mariestad in Sweden #13
Red cottages in all shapes and houses with nice cultivated gardens as well as farms and of course beaches.
Torsö at Mariestad in Sweden #8 Torsö at Mariestad in Sweden #19

To explore and enjoy these surroundings is just what you need at vacation for recreation and recharging your batteries: Very few cars, clean fresh air, no sound pollution and a lot of candy for the eyes. Let me give you some more:
Torsö at Mariestad in Sweden #10 Torsö at Mariestad in Sweden #23
Left: Retired bicycle. Right: A camp ground.
Torsö at Mariestad in Sweden #24 Torsö at Mariestad in Sweden #29
Left: A white stone church. Right: A funny mailbox frame.
Torsö at Mariestad in Sweden #31 Torsö at Mariestad in Sweden #2
Left: Wild Foxglove. Right: Wild Raspberries.

Like I said; I explored this island together with my wife. So this is a joint venture as today we both post about it. There is a lot more to tell about the architecture – e.g. you might wonder why most of the houses are red – so therefore I recommend all to hop over to Diane’s and experience how this adventure looks through her eyes!


  1. Pingback:Swedish cottages and gardens on Torsö « DianeCA’s Metamorphoses

  2. It looks so beautiful, Renny, and the glorious weather too. So glad you are having a wonderful vacation. It just makes me want to visit Scandinavia even more!

    Have a great weekend :-)

    Yea; it is great Diane and you know you are welcome for a visit any time – both to Sweden and Norway!
    Wish you a good one too :-)

  3. This lake and area has the feel of places like northern Minnesota. Clear water with a mirror-like reflection of blue. Probably lots of mosquitoes, and the fresh water has to be COLD. But excellent freshwater fish. Gorgeous.

    Interesting comparison and I think you are very right. Not that many mosquitoes though and the water is fairly good (18C or 65F). The fishes are great and we eat it a lot.

  4. It’s a beautiful place, Renny. As you know I’m a country girl, not much for the big cities. This is much more to my liking!

    Hope you and Diane have a wonderful weekend! :-)
    Love and hugs,

    I knew a country girl like you would love it Diane!
    Hope you and your family have a great one too!
    Bunch of hugs from Diane and me :-)

  5. A delicious visit! I red a few months ago why houses are red. But, zut, I don’t remember! A product issue from nature using to paint, no?
    Help! I will see on Diane’s blog!

    Glad you liked it too Claudie! You’ll fined the answer about the red painting at Diane’s!

  6. Nature, countryside, cottages, beaches – lordie you guys are so blessed! I read D’s as well and am so happy I stopped by today to see your posts. I may never get to see that part of the world except thru your eyes, so much appreciated. *smoochies* to you and your wife and gr8 weekend to ya my friend.

    Yea: in a nut shell: everything :-) Glad you took your time to read D’s as well and you know we both love to share those pearls.
    *smoochies* back and have a good one too!

  7. Thanks for exploring Torsö with me! I love the pic of the foxglove. You know it is one of my favourites. Deadly but beautiful…I love to watch the bees fly in and out collecting nectar. Apparently its not deadly to bees.

    Your welcome my dear and you know I love these quality times with you!

  8. As I wrote to Diane (I believe you two met ;-)), it looks beautiful. Very peaceful and I love the vibrant colours.

    I think I’ve seen here around, yes ;-)) Glad you like the round trip too!

  9. You pictures are marvellous! Raspberries, beaches, cottages, foxgloves!!! I’m just breathless with the beauty. Hubby recalls quite fondly camping in Sweden and Norway.

    Well said: it took our breath away too. Glad we could fresh your husbands memories from Scandinavia too – isn’t it fair he takes you for a trip soon too :)

  10. What a beautiful area…no sound pollution. That sounds absolutely heavenly. No wonder you keep going back again and again. I don’t blame you. It’s wonderful to still have a place that is unspoiled on our planet. I think they’re becoming few and far between now…tourism seems to be the name of the game and the dollars it brings in. Too bad about the environment.

    Your right; heavenly is the right word and we just love it.
    I do agree with you, at least when it comes to commercialised mass tourism.

  11. What a peaceful and beautiful place. Your pictures are gorgeous, Renny! I want to jump right into them.

    Thanks Lisa – just close your eyes and jump in with us :)

  12. Looks like a lovely place to spend a holiday!

    I’m on my way :)

    It is – see you and Gord around :)

  13. It’s beautiful. Love the charming cottages. Can the wild raspberries be eaten?

    Be eaten?: Of course: Its the most natural as it comes from mother nature itself you know. It taste delicious!

  14. I love visiting quaint locals. It’s almost like escaping to a dimplier time! I was wondering, however, if the red cabin used to function as a different building. Except for the roof, it almost looks as though it started life as an old windmill. (Not that I expect you to know this … my mind was just rambling!) Like Ralph, the photos reminded me of some Minnesota scenes. (I was born there so I have only good memories!) And wild raspberries! The last several times I’ve stopped at your blog I’ve gotten hungry for some reason! I wonder why! : )

    We do feel its like going to a dimplier time and we love it!
    Interesting observation about the red building: as you thought, I don’t know but I agree it looked like a windmill or a light house.
    Your always welcome back – I will for sure share some more good stuff to eat: )

  15. What a wonderful place to go to and relax! Just looking at the pictures makes me want to pack my bags and travel there!

    The most wonderful and your welcome to join us any time!

  16. Wonderful pictures…looks like you had a great time. I loved the mailbox…too cute. Here we have fish, tractors, and birdhouses for mailboxes….

    Have a good weekend!

  17. Beautiful photos! I agree with Ralph that they are reminiscent of northern Minnesota (where my Norwegian ancestors settled). I’ve only been there a few times, to visit relatives, but it was the first thing that struck me about the photos…including the red paint!

    And all this talk of raspberries has me remembering picking wild raspberries up there with my grandmother, and remembering her fabulous raspberry preserves. Thanks for the memories!

  18. how beautiful! It’s so wonderful when you both share your different views. I absolutely love that..

  19. hello Renny,

    First, I want to thank you for informing about the error in my site. I’ve upgraded to newest version of WP that’s why you got the error :)

    I think you’ve got a lot of nice places in Norway. Base on the picture, it is such a nice place to unwind.

    Have a great weekend with your family!

  20. What a glorious place and with so many charming and interesting things to look at and visit. It is truly peaceful looking Renny and I imagine a wonderful “get away” from your Non-Vavation life! GREAT!

  21. what a very peaceful-looking place, renny. i like it.

  22. Wow, what a beautiful island. It looks so calm and peaceful. A place to really relaxe.
    Thanks for sharing with excellent photos.

  23. You don’t have to do much to “sell” your part of the world to me, Renny!!! :)

  24. beautiful pictures you got there and the weather is complementing it too:)

  25. Oh, I feel at home right away! I’m very proud over our red cottages! I once wrote something about it too. I think it’s a very nice old tradition and it feels so very Swedish to me that I’m afraid that it’s going to vanish. If it did It wouldn’t feel the same any more!

    Typical Swedish Red

    (Sorry for leaving the same comment here and at Dianes, but I’m in a hurry – it’s tough work to be on vacation! *giggles*)

  26. it really does look like a beautiful and charming place. :)

  27. The foxglove flower is beautiful! And I can see you had a wonderful time with your family there. Thanks for sharing your nice photos.

  28. It’s beautiful, but there’s no food. No pictures of the delicious food. Just saying. Have a great time. :)

  29. Great photos, Renny! Are you still using your camera phone? I plan on posting from Idre Fläll next week when we go up to the stuga so you are welcome to visit us!

  30. ps…I agree with ComedyPlus…where are the food shots?

  31. That place looks really great =) You know I wonder how that “boat” got buried in the ground! Must’ve been one heck of a job =)

  32. I’m so happy you’re having such a wonderful summer vacation, Renny! I just love these colorful & lovely photos. Thanks for sharing, my friend. :-)

  33. Hello Renny, wonderful pictures….the wild foxglove looks familiar :lol:
    It’s always a pleasure to see other parts of the world captured in a brief moment of time when it looks so peaceful and relaxing.
    Thank you for sharing such wonderful insights my friend.
    Take care and have a great day.
    Colin from Life & Free PC Security

  34. Pingback:Scandinavian beach day with blog friends

  35. You story about why houses are red is sort of not correct. Perhaps even backwards. The manor houses in Sweden were painted white. Really big manor houses were painted white with yellow trim, and sometimes the really big ones were painted yellow with white trim. The owner of the manor provided housing for the people who worked for him and those houses were painted Falun red.

    How do I know this? My ancestors built the manor Skeberga on Island Torsö and the lovely little white church. Berget is an outgrowth of one of the surf’s house built by Pastor Lampa on his manaor Skeberga.

    Did you take the tiny ferry to the next Island, the smaller Island Bromo? Lampa’s son married the daughter of Anders Magnus Ornberg, squire of the manor there and the principal employer for both islands, as owner of Bromo glasbruk.

  36. Pingback:Boat trip on Lake Vänern from Sjötorp to Mariestad

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *