Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Photographic memory: Rismyrliden, Sweden

Location: Rismyrliden, Västerbotten, Northern Sweden. This is in a very small community out in what feels like the middle of nowhere of Sweden. It's a farm operated by a local organization, and has several buildings left from the "old days", including stables and barns.

What I remember most: The three kittens that ran around the place and kept my children busy. One of them is in the photo at the top, hiding behind an old wagon wheel. 

Why I want to go back there: Because it's a great, "old-school" Swedish place to visit with kids.

The organization that keeps this small place alive has a website (all in Swedish however) explaining the history of Rismyrliden.

Essentially, this was once a Swedish homestead, built in the 18th century by what was in essence pioneers. It was a time when Sweden needed more land to be farmed, both to feed an increasing population and to just provide a place to live for that population. People who were willing to move into the wilderness (and this was definitely wilderness back then), and literally break new ground for farming were given incentives like exemption from taxes and exemption from military service.

In the summer months, there are farm animals including horses, pigs, cows, sheep, rabbits, and cats on the property. Bread is baked in "bagarstugan", a small separate building with firewood-heated oven. (I highly recommend buying that bread: it is absolutely divine). And there are also other activities on-going during the weeks, such as blacksmithing, music, oral presentations and more.

You can find lots of pictures of Rismyrliden at the website. It doesn't cost anything to visit, and the area is really beautiful with grass and flowers and trees for kids to run around and play and watch the animals.

Where to eat: There's a café on the site serving coffee, tea, pop, juice, ice cream, home-made cookies and buns, and very delicious and traditional open-faced sandwiches.  A small store in the same building as the café sells some locally made crafts and treats.

How to get there (without getting lost): Rismyrliden is located 40 km west of Skellefteå, which is on the coast of the Baltic (Google Maps link). I highly recommend getting a proper map or using a GPS if you're driving there and you're not familiar with the area. For example, you can ask for driving directions and a map at the tourist office in Skellefteå.

Photos of buildings and map thanks to

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