RoadTrip #13: Weekend tour in vibrant Karlstad, ft. Årjäng, the Brigade Museum and the Old Stone Bridge

Before September 2021 ended, we drove to Karlstad, a city situated between Oslo and Stockholm. The trip happened preomicron, so there was no testing requirement when crossing the border. We stayed overnight in Karlstad, and on day 1, we got to visit some of its famous attractions, including a museum and a famous old stone bridge. Karlstad became a city in 1584, and because of its reputation as one of the sunniest cities in Sweden, it carries the symbol of a smiling sun. We also stopped over Årjäng, located near the border, to visit “the troll” and have some delicious breakfast. We left at 8am and reached Karlstad around lunch time.

Yay, roadtrip!
Crossing the border between Norway and Sweden

The weather was very pleasant and there was no traffic! Again, I was impressed by the well-tended roads in Sweden. They seemed to be very good in patching up cracked roads. I wonder if it was true for the rest of the country.. But seriously, Sweden is one of my favorite countries. A roadtrip in summer that passes through the country has been running in my mind, and I’m excited to actually try it.

Driving in Sweden

One thing I love about roadtrips is grabbing something to eat in a new place. We ate breakfast (Carl did; he had a sandwich) in a very nice cafe in Årjäng, a municipality in the Värmland country. Hmm.. I should probably make another bucketlist, since I am almost done with the 19 (former) counties in Norway. I’m talking about the 21 counties in Sweden. 🙂 Anyway, the cafe serves delicious pastries, sandwiches, and hot and cold drinks. Broms cafe also has cakes! I enjoyed my hot cocoa as I write postcards to be sent from Sweden.

@ Cafe Broms in Årjäng, Sweden

When in Årjäng, one should also visit the troll, which stands close to the city center. The 8-meter tall wooden troll was born in 1972, an designed by Erik Hermansson (1903-1976). It even has a song written about it! Watch the song here:

History board about the Årjängstroll

Karlstad was a big, tight city, as expected. We managed to find a vacant parking space in one of the parking buildings in the city center, and then went out to get some lunch. I really enjoyed the asian dish from a foodcourt restaurant in one of the many shopping centers in the city.

Lunch time!

After lunch, we searched for attractions worth visiting. There were many, but considering the opening hours, we ended up in the Brigade Museum. There, we learned more about Swedish military history from the 1940s. It was interesting, given the fact that Sweden was a neutral zone during the world wars. They just happened to make the weapons and artilleries. Here are some photos from the museum:

The Brigade Musem
The Assault Gun IKV102, one of the brigade commander’s most powerful weapons
A kitchen model from the 1940s
A representation of the Berlin Wall
You can sit on some of the vehicles
Old command systems
Cool camouflage
An exhibition outside the museum building

It was a really cool museum, and they have costumes that children and children-at-heart can try! I did try a military cap and suit, but it was too embarassing to post here. The museum was the only one we managed to catch the opening hours. Then, we drove back to the city center, visited the City Library, passed by Värmlands Museum, and walked towards the city’s famous icon – the Old Stone Bridge. I actually told Carl that that’s the only part of the city that I wanted to see. XD It has lovely pictures online and on Instagram.

The City Library
Bought some postcards and saw this white, or albino, elg!
Missed the Värmland Museum

As mentioned, Karlstad is known as one of the sunniest cities in Sweden. How sunny it can be in winter, I don’t know. But the last time we were in Sweden, last week of January 2022, the weather there was probably only a little bit warmer. I saw very little snow, roads are dry and clear. That was Töcksfors though.

Anyway, Karlstad sits north of Sweden’s biggest lake, Vänern. It has a university and a cathedral. A famous icon, as mentioned, is the Old Stone Bridge. Built between 1761 and 1811, it has a length of 168 meters and 12 spans.

Approaching the Old Stone Bridge, crossing the Klärelva
Östre bron, aka The Old Stone Bridge, designed by Anders Jacobsson

It was almost October and yet, it felt like in the middle of summer in Karlstad.

Before returning to the car and driving to the hotel, we visited the cathedral. It is Baroque in style and built in 1723.

Karlstads domkyrka (cathedral)
Leaving the city center

For the overnight stay, we chose a hotel by the main road. One thing we consider now when choosing a place to stay is that it has free parking space. Another thing, if Missy is coming with us, is that it allows pets. 🙂

@ Best Western Gustaf Froding Hotel & Konferens

Oh, the hotel has a huge dining area! More about it in the next entry. 🙂 #spreadloveandpositivevibes



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