RoadTrip #35.3: Öland escapade: Trollskogen, Byrums Raukar, Borgholms slott (castle), and beachin’ in Sandbybadet (Day 4)

It’s day 4 on the Swedish holiday island of Öland! After exploring the southern cape, it’s time to see what the north (and west) coast has to offer. In the morning, we enjoyed a long, refreshing walk in the woods of Trollskogen (literally, the troll’s forest), visiting a shipwreck and an 800-900 year old oak tree. Then, we were mesmerized by the rock formations in Byrums Raukar, and learned more about Swedish history and culture in the castle ruins of Borgholm. And before the day ended, we enjoyed a bath in Sandbybadet beach.

Trollskogen, dubbed an enchanted forest, is one of the most popular sites on the island. We met several hikers on the way. It is most known for the crooked trees, the Wreck Swiks (shipwreck), and an ancient oak tree that was used as a marker for wanderers. It was quite a long hike, but being surrounded by nature was refreshing. Visitors can park their cars by the visitor center.

The shipwreck (on one of the bunch of photos above) looked very destroyed, but it was actually hammered twice by storm. According to history, Hjalmar Eriksson, captain of the ship Swiks, and his crew was sailing the Baltic Sea when a snow storm fell and drove them on to land in 1926. They were then lost in the woods of Trollskogen before finally sighting an inhabited cabin. The ship, meanwhile, sanked but remained offshore until another storm hit it in the 1950s. The ship was driven onto land and broken into two. It was a bizarre sight in the beach, but it is truly interesting how it had gone through the test of time.

We also saw the Trolleken, the oldest oak tree on Öland, standing in the midst of several twisted pines. Dating has shown that the tree is 800-900 years old. How cool is that?

We continued the walk up north. The northernmost tip of the island is landmarked by the Långe Erik lighthouse, built in the 1840s. The Grankullaviken (bay) was nearly enclosed by the strips of land in the north, and we just saw the lighthouse from the other side of the bay. The photos below show the bay, with the lighthouse zoomed in on the second photo. Getting tired, we walked back to the parking lot and we decided to part ways with my husband’s stepbrother and his wife.

The Böda beach is one of the most popular beaches on the island, so we wanted to check that out and see if we could take a dip. However, we got lost in the woods and there was much traffic on the road. So, we just went for the Bödagårdens camping and grabbed some lunch from a kiosk. We decided to drop the swimming part for later.

Afterwards, we drove west towards the Byrums raukar, a series of amazing lime rock formations on the coast. There are about 120 raukars on the site. They started to form about 490 million years ago, and the highest one measures 4 meters. It was getting very hot in the middle of the day, so we didn’t stay very long there – just enough time to witness the beauty and capture them in some photos.

Our final stop for the day was the impressive Borgholm castle ruins. It is one of the highlights of our trip, I think. The castle was huge, and it’s sad to think that what remains now are only the thick limestone foundation, walls and floors. Built in Baroque style in the 17th century by the Swedish king Karl X Gustav, Borgholm had been torn by fire and neglect. More about its long history here: The castle is open to visitors only in summer. It is also venue to some big concerts.

Looking out the tall windows, one is graced by amazing panoramic views of the coasts and the surrounding forests.

The 4th day was tiring, but we really enjoyed the roadtrip and the sightseeing. I remember how hot that day was, and how we were covered in dust and sweat by the time we reached the cabin. So, it was really nice that we finally dipped into that seawater! It was amazing – and not cold at all! It was the first time I bathed in the nordic sea, and I’d probably do it again if it’s in Öland. I also have to say that the island is perfect for families with small children. That beach in Sandbybadet was huge and the seawater had a long shallow part and calm waves, so it’s safer for kids. There were lots of small jellyfish though, but they’re not dangerous.

So, this is how we spent day 4. Up next, we drove back up to Norway, but first, a detour to the pretty town of Våxjö. 🙂 #spreadloveandpositivevibes



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