RoadTrip #23: Grimeton Radio Station (UNESCO WHS), Gekås Ullared (Scandinavia’s biggest department store), and Tudor architecture-inspired Tjolöholm Castle – a weekend in Sweden

This roadtrip was taken in February, but thanks to school, work and a missing dash of motivation, this blog is late. Nevertheless, here it is. 🙂 Like most people, I like shopping. Window-shopping mostly. So, we thought it was time to visit the biggest department store in Scandinavia. We also stopped by the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Grimeton Radio Station (on the way to) and the beautiful Tjolöholm Castle (on the way back).

Still dark.

We left our cabin box in Lilleby Camping in Gothenburg very early, before 7 AM. It was drizzling a bit when we left, but weather forecast says “dry weather” the rest of the day so we held on to that. Carl and I have always been what they call “A-mennesker” in Scandinavia – people who wake up early. People who wake up late are B-mennesker. Well, being early makes more sense – less traffic, you get the best and the freshest of everything, and you get to come back early as well.

And by starting early, you also get some time to fix stuff that happens along the way – like low motor oil! It was the first time we changed the car’s oil since we bought it in August last year. It was good to learn how to do it, from choosing the compatible oil to measuring its level.

Changing oil for the first time

Our decided destination was Gekås Ullared shopping center, which we saw on Swedish TV a long time ago. Carl wanted to take me there to check it the cheap prices and the variety. We were also open to visit attractions on the way.

The Grimeton Radio Station was built between 1922-1924. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, and is described on UNESCO’s website as: “an exceptionally well-preserved monument to early wireless transatlantic communication. It consists of the transmitter equipment, including the aerial system of six 127-m high steel towers. Although no longer in regular use, the equipment has been maintained in operating condition. The 109.9-ha site comprises buildings housing the original Alexanderson transmitter, including the towers with their antennae, short-wave transmitters with their antennae, and a residential area with staff housing. The architect Carl Åkerblad designed the main buildings in the neoclassical style and the structural engineer Henrik Kreüger was responsible for the antenna towers, the tallest built structures in Sweden at that time. The site is an outstanding example of the development of telecommunications and is the only surviving example of a major transmitting station based on pre-electronic technology.”

Saw the sign, and decided to go check it out
Grimeton Radio Station
Closed in February
The 6 steel towers

I thought of buying postcards, but unfortunately, the shop was closed. Sweden is no doubt a pioneer in telecommunications technology. 🙂

Next stop was the shopping center. Although we came early, the parking lot was already almost full! It was also very big, and it looked like a small shopping village to me. Although it was stil February, covid-19 was not a concern anymore.

Otw to Ullared
Eager shoppers!

Well, I bought postcards (at 0,50 kr each, the cheapest I’ve seen in all of Norway and Sweden), clothes, bags and toiletries. It was a nice department store, and there was a section for watching sports on TV, which looked like meant for the husbands waiting for their busy shopper-wives. hehe

We also saw the seller/staff who was on the TV show and whose face was in the commercials. Shyness got the better of me, so, no picture with him. It’s just odd that popular people in Sweden can still choose to live a common life because other people respect their privacy.

I also remember catching a geocache while there. We were done around noon time.

The roadtrip continues

Going back to Lilleby Camping, we passed by another worthy attraction – a castle! I love visiting castles. Norway has no “real” castles.. Most look like palaces or fortresses. There are some in Sweden, and beautiful ones in Denmark.

Anyway, the Tjolöholm Castle was beautifully situated by the Kungsbacka Fjord in the western coast. It was built between 1898 to 1904 and was first privately owned by James Fredrik Dickson (1844-1898), son of James Jameson Dickson (1815-1885) who was the founder of a Swedish shipping company. When James’ wife, Blanche Dickson (1856-1906) died, their daughter Blanche Bonde (1875-1960) inherited the estate. Then, in 1964, the City of Gothenburg bought it to be used for recreational purposes. At present, it is owned and maintained by the Stiftelsen Tjolöloholm and the Kungsbacka municipality, and was registered as a historic building since 1991. More about the castle here:

Information board

The parking lot was a bit far from the castle itself, but the walk in nature was refreshing.

A fox?
Mushroom rocks
Statues of horses by the Cafe and Car/carriage museum

Before the castle lies the stables. One building was converted into a cafe/souvenir shop, and another building was a car/carriage museum.

The stables
A display of carriages and old cars

The path to the castles was lined with beautiful trees. It was a short alley and one can already see a silhouette of the castle. The castle has a fancy facade and overlooking a vast field.

Getting closer to the castle
Presenting: the Tjolöholm Castle!
Obligatory picture 😉
The view from the castle

We didn’t get to see the interior of the castle, but the manor house offers tours. On the other end of the estate are houses for the servants, a church on a hill, and a restaurant. It was like a tiny, tiny village.

Houses for the workers
Houses for the workers – looked like nobody lives there now
The beautiful stone church
The view from the church

When we got back to Lilleby Camping, we took a nap, played with Missy, and went to visit the beach in the afternoon. The next day, it was time to drive home. 🙂 We passed by the Bohus Fortress, but I only got to take a couple of pictures. We should go back to explore it properly. 🙂

Leaving Gothenburg
Bohus Fortress
Bohus Fortress

It looked like spring had approached Sweden last February, but when we traveled back in April, it was winter again – with ice and snow on the road. 😉 Anyway, that’s a fine weekend, and Missy was out of Norway for the first time. More wonderful roadtrips with the family ahead. 🙂 Cheers! #spreadloveandpositivevibes

Uddevalla Bridge

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