- The route. (Make the map larger.)
Heeeey....it's been a while. Yes. Yup. Yeah. I got back from Sweden about a week ago, but in the last week I've been editing photos, writing posts about Sweden on Serious Eats (which takes me an obscene number of hours, partially because I can't read Swedish, partially because my thoughts unfurl at the speed of a one-legged sloth on barbiturates), getting caught up on work stuff, and not going out to eat. The last bit was pretty nice, actually. How else would I get to eat boiled potatoes, crème fraiche, and pickled herring three nights in one week, if not in my own kitchen?
...I must miss Sweden. Just a bit.
To remind y'all, I went to Western and Southern Sweden with Kåre on a press trip sponsored by Visit Sweden, West Sweden Tourist Board, Skåne Tourist Board, and Volvo for their CAR + VACATION contest. The contest is only running until the end of the month, so for better or worse I have a deadline that's motivating me to push out posts—at least ten—as fast as I can. (Now I'm thinking about ten babies popping out so quickly they're hurled airborne into...something. Something soft? Ok, I haven't thought about where they're going; they're just forever airborne.) Which means I may further neglect this blog for the next week, despite that it's already horribly neglected. Erm...um...
But I do have one Sweden-y post I can give you that doesn't fit on Serious Eats. Since I won't be able to write about everything we did (because we did...a lot), here's the itinerary we followed in case you too want to rent a car in Gothenburg and drive it down the Western coast, zig zag across Skåne, and end up in Copenhagen, the main difference being that your trip would cost mountains of more money than ours. (Now I can't stop thinking about Scrooge McDuck. That's just what mountains of money makes me think of. Anthropomorphic duck with a Scottish brogue.) What the itinerary leaves out is when I stayed up until 3 a.m.-ish every night doing work or attempting to edit photos, and all the times I took naps in the car and in the hotels (because of the "staying up until 3 a.m." thing—my hallmark cycle of fail), but you get the picture.
- A map of just about all the places we went to, sans driving directions. (Make the map larger.)
Sunday, June 5
- 10:30: Arrive in Gothenburg. Pick up car (ahem, Volvo; we're in Sweden), drive to Marstrand.
- Somewhere along the way: Make an unofficial stop at Bohus Fortress. Because it's right there! And it's cool looking.
- 13:30: Arrive at Mastrands Havshotell on Koön. Check in. Feel pooped. Flop on bed.
- 14:00: Take ferry to Marstrand Island (there's no car access to the island; it's super close to Koön, like, you could lob a baseball from one coast to the other...okay maybe not, but you know what I mean), eat lunch at Marstrands Wärdshus.
- Afternoon: It's Herring Weekend; eat lots of herring! Take boat rides! Go on a historical guided tour! Or....just roam around and enjoy the scenery (which is what we did; it was the most relaxing option). Make sure to check out Carlstens Fortress. You can't miss it. It's a huge fortress.
- 20:00: Eat dinner at the hotel. (We met with Masterchef winner Louise Johansson and her husband Peter, along with Maria Kjellsson, project manager of Herring Weekend—all super sweet people.)
Monday, June 6 (Sweden's National Holiday)
- 9:30: Eat breakfast at the hotel. Find out that Swedish breakfast is totally awesome. (I'll write about it on Serious Eats soon.)
- 10:00: Drive to Kladesholmen on Tjorn island. Celebrate Herring Day by eating herring, visiting a herring packing plant, herring herring herring etc.
- Afternoon: Check in Salt & Sill.
- 18:00: Eat dinner at Salt & Sill. Enjoy crazy beautiful view. Eat more herring.
Tuesday, June 7
- Morning: Eat breakfast at the hotel. Unless you are Kåre and me, in which case you woke up too late to eat breakfast. Oops. :(
- 11:00: Drive to Sundsby Säteri. Eat lunch at the coffee house/cafe. There's also a store where you can buy locally made foodstuffs.
- 14:00: Drive to Gothenburg. Check in to Avalon Hotel.
- 15:00: Walk around Gothenburg; walk through Haga (where you can eat a giant cinnamon bun), and visit Fiskekyrkan and Saluhallen. (We had a great guide, Birgitta Ekesand, show us the sights.)
- 19:30: Eat dinner at Familjen.
- After dinner: Roam around the city a bit. (Actually we didn't do much of this; too tired. We popped into a 7-11, McDonald's, and Burger King out of curiosity. I found out you're not allowed to take photos in 7-11, so...don't do that.)
Wednesday, June 8
- 8:30: Breakfast at the hotel. (Once again, I love Swedish breakfast.)
- 9:00: Head to the Volvo factory for the VOLVO OVERSEAS DELIVERY EXPERIENCE!!@!@ (I suspect this is much more exciting if you're picking up your brand new car, as opposed to us just going for fun.) This involves a presentation on the safety of Volvo cars, a Swedish meatball lunch, and a tour of the factory.
- 16:00: Drive to Torekov Hotel. (There wasn't time to do more in Gothenburg. The Volvo thing lasted...quite a while.)
- 17:00: Take a bathroom / snack break at a rest stop in Falkenberg.
- 18:00: Arrive at Torekov Hotel. Bask in its relaxing resort-ness.
- 19:30: Eat dinner at the hotel.
Thursday, June 9 (aka SO MUCH STUFF Day)
- 9:00: Eat breakfast at the hotel.
- 9:20: Drive to Håkan Paulsson's potato farm. (We were guided by Mia Ekelund of Karlsson's Gold Vodka; she gave us a quick overview of the potato farm and told us the story of how they ended up using the potatoes to make the vodka. Too early to drink vodka, though. ;))
- 10:30: Drive to Heberlein's; eat lots of meat. (We mostly talked to Lina Heberlein as her mom Marie fed us lots of their meatstuffs. What wonderful people, feeding us pork!)
- 11:30: Drive to Flickorna Lundgren. Eat some of the best cardamom cookies ever and awesome cream-filled hearts.
- 12:00: Drive to Vikentomater. Bask in the tons of tomatoes. (Read more about it in my post on Serious Eats. Owner Mats Olofsson gave us a tour of the greenhouse; he was pretty awesome.)
- 14:00: Drive to Fricks Spettkaksbageri. Eat spettekaka, sit in beautiful rose garden. (Anna Fricks, granddaughter of the bakery's founder, gave us a tour and history of the bakery and garden. There weren't any other customers while we were there—the weather was poopy—so we got a lot of time to just hang about. Read more in my post on Serious Eats.)
- 16:00: Drive to Karlaby Kro. Stop in an ICA (Sweden's biggest supermarket chain) in Höör on the way. Spend too much time looking at foodstuffs. Buy some cherries and other things.)
- 18:00: Arrive at Karlaby Kro. Take a swim in the pool before dinner.
- 20:00: Eat dinner at the hotel.
Friday, June 10
(No photos since I haven't edited them yet.)
- 8:30: Eat breakfast at the hotel.
- 9:00: Drive to Ales stenar (Ale's Stones). Look at ginormous rocks. Get a gorgeous view of the Baltic Sea.
- Stop at a strawberry stand if you see one. (This applies to any part of the trip. We passed signs for strawberry farms earlier in the week, but this was the first time we stopped at a stand. It was unmanned; you just left money in a money box. There were signs warning about the presence of security cameras, though.)
- 11:00: Drive to Hällåkra Vingård. (We met up with winemaker Håkan Hansson. He gave us a tour of the vineyard and showed us how they bottle the wine. Super nice, chill dude.)
- 13:00: Drive to organic farm Ängavallens Gård. Eat lunch (made from ingredients produced by the farm) and take a tour of the farm and grounds. Oogle at the cute piglets. Don't think about the piglets become food....delicious...food. (We met up with Lena Andersson of the Skåne tourism board and Ängavallen's owner Rolf Axel Nordström, who gave us a very interesting, thorough tour of the farm and its facilities. They mill their own wheat. Hardcore. They also have cozy hotel rooms, some with pig-themed tiles in the bathroom. Win.)
- Sometime in the afternoon: Drive to Mäster Johan Hotel in Malmö. Walk around the city...or take a nap (I did the latter).
- 19:30: Eat dinner at Atmosfar.
- 22:00: Eat...another dinner at Max (read more in my post on Serious Eats). (Luckily we were able to meet up with one of my blog readers Gypsee and her husband Aron. And these lovely people let me subject them to eating fast food burgers into the midnight hour. I AM FOREVER GRATEFUL.)
Saturday, June 11
- 8:30: Eat breakfast at the hotel.
- 9:00: Drive to Copenhagen Airport. Bye-bye, Sweden. :( (The toll for Øresund Bridge is 360 SEK, nearly $60, for a standard car. If you get on it by accident, that's a whole lot of fail; they give you quite a few warnings before you get to the point of no return. The price doesn't sound so bad when you think about the bridge costing about $5.7 billion to build.)