Before February 2022 ended, we took a roadtrip to Sweden. We explored Säffle, the last place in Sweden to receive a city status in 1951, and thus, the “youngest” city in the country. Some of the main attractions in the city with a population of almost 16,000 are von Echstedska gården, Wiksfors bruk, the Vikingacenter and its historical city center. We also spent the night in a cozy “gård” or manor house dating all the way back to the 1300’s, the Krokstad herrgård, surrounded with an English garden and close to Byälven (river).
After visiting the car cemetery in Båstnäs, we drove on towards Säffle, where we booked the accommodation for the night. It was still early and we had plenty of time to explore the place a bit. We enjoyed the ride across snow-covered fields and frozen lakes. There were many churches on the way, like the one in Västra Fågelvik and the one in Holmedal.
As it was Fastelavn weekend (or the day before fasting for the Holy Week), we had to have some delicious fastelavnboller or buns. In Norway, this usually has whipped cream and jam as filling. But in Sweden, this is called semlor and has whipped cream and yummy marzipan (a little bias here, but I really like the Swedish one better). My husband said that he used to eat this a lot as a kid during fastelavn, so it brings back childhood memories.
We enjoyed goody semlor in Årjäng before getting back on the road again.
The first main attraction in Säffle we visited was Wiksfors bruk, a business area with a few shops and cafes and restaurants. Sadly, the establisments were closed in February. Apparently, most of them open in spring, like March or April. So, we turned around and headed towards the next attraction – a well-preserved farm house built between 1762-1764 . Again, it was closed for the winter season, but we still managed to get a glimpse from the outside.
You’ll find more information about the farm house and the opening hours here: https://varmlandsmuseum.se/vonechstedtska/. Meanwhile, we were getting hungry at past 2pm. So, headed towards the Säffle city center next. It was not as big as we expected it to be, so it was not difficult to find a place to eat. We settled for an asian restaurant near the Tourist Information Center with the pink moose.
After the meal, we walked a bit to digest what we ate. We saw a nice skyline of the city, with the Old Watertower visible at a distance. Seriously, Sweden has got some of the most beautiful old watertowers!
At around 4pm, we decided to drive to Krokstad Herrgård, where we would be staying for the night. I’ve already described it, so will now just post photos of how it looks like winter.
As it was an old mansion from the 1300s, it wasn’t noise proof and I got a little upset by the running guests in the middle of the night. Our room was also beside the stairs. But it went fine, and the next day, we got to see more of the refreshing place lying close to nature. I liked it that they have their own yellow box for sending postcards, and I liked the avenue lined with trees. Sadly, we didn’t try their famous restaurant, as we weren’t hungry for dinner, but we did enjoy the breakfast.
If you want to read more about Säffle, https://saffle.se/kommun-och-politik/om-saffle/kort-om-saffle.html, and Krokstad gård, https://saffle.se/uppleva-och-gora/upptack-saffle/boende/herrgard.html. We had a great time, and as always, I loved Sweden even more. Looking forward to more roadtrips together in and out of Norway!