Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Great adventures with my kids in Västerbotten, Sweden

Our trip to Sweden has been a lot of fun, as usual, this year. None of the crazy heatwave weather we had last year, but some very enjoyable days, and a lot of fun activities.

We are just outside Skellefteå in the county of Västerbotten in northern Sweden, and here are some of the fun things we've experienced so far!

"Loppis"

Flea markets, auctions and second hand-shops of all kinds are a big thing in Sweden, especially in summer-time when you can see signs for "loppis" (flea market) almost everywhere: some more larger and more established places, while others are smaller ventures in people's yards or houses. You can find a lot of junk, and some treasures at a loppis! My daughter found this gorgeous necklace at the small "loppis" in Bureå, Västerbotten, Sweden. '

Bjuröklubb Nature Reserve

We also visited Bjuröklubb nature reserve. This is a great place to visit: there's an old lighthouse at the top of the cliff, there's a café, historical landmarks, trails, and beautiful views of the water from almost every angle. In the harbour near the lighthouse, there's a place to buy fresh and smoked fish from a local fisherman, located on a small boat. A highly recommended treat: the smoked prawns!

Björn Larssons Krukmakeri / Pottery
On the road to Bjuröklubb, you can also find a fantastic pottery shop: Björn Larssons Krukmakeri.


This local craftsman makes gorgeous cups, bowls, platters, and other items.

His small shop is worth a visit all on its own: the kids got to pick a shard of pottery each to bring home! I bought a new tea-cup and have been enjoying my morning tea even more since!

Fällfors

Fällfors is a small community near Byske on the coast of Västerbotten. It's located right on the river, and salmon fishing has been important here for a very long time.


There are two sets of fish-ladders to help the fish navigate the rapids and get up river, and once a year the local fishermen show off some old fish-capturing techniques here. The water is shut off for a portion of the fish-ladder and the salmon trapped in the pools are then taken out with a fishing-net. It's no longer used for large-scale fishing (only two salmon are taken out to demonstrate how it used to be done), but it's pretty exciting to see the huge salmon up close and personal!

There is also an old power-station to visit, with turbine and gauges still intact!

4H in Moröbacke

The local 4H organization in Moröbacke, just outside Skellefteå, is a great place to visit if your kids like animals. It's called Lilla Lyckan, and there are lots of different kinds of rabbits, pigs, goats, sheep, and ponies to be looked at and petted.

Rismyrliden

Another fantastic place to visit with kids is the old-time farm in Rismyrliden.


There are cows, sheep, goats, piglets... and a variety of old, traditional farm-buildings to visit and look at. You can learn how tar was made and how the houses were constructed. You can buy locally made dairy products, and taste some home-made bread and waffles in the small café. There's even a small gift shop with locally produced arts and crafts (and ice-cream!).


If you ask my kids though, the best thing about Rismyrliden are the kittens: this year there was a black one with a white "gem" at his throat, and a fluffy black and white one with a jaunty tail! You don't pay a cent to get in and enjoy the farm, but it's all powered by volunteer work and effort, so buying a coffee or ice-cream, or a bag of Rismyrliden-tea is a nice way to show your appreciation!

Finally, a reading tip from my kids:

If you're looking for a funny and heart-warming picture book, you can't go wrong with Guji-Guji, by Chih-Yuan Chen. It's sort of a twist on the old "ugly duckling" tale, and it brought laughs and smiles for my kids.

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