Southern Sweden has an area dubbed as the Kingdom of Crystals (Glasriket), consisting of about 13 glass factories and smaller companies. On our way home from Öland, we decided to break the roadtrip into two legs and stay in the pretty town of Växjö (tough to pronounce), Sweden, where we got to visit several sights, including a castle ruin, a glass museum and a glass factory. We also brought home a beautiful Kosta vase and bowl!
Day 5 of the roadtrip was actually just driving out of Öland. We managed to take a stop and see the amazing bridge connecting the island to mainland Sweden. Some people were also camping, bathing, fishing and grilling by that area.
We stayed in Scandic Växjö for 2 nights and 1 night in Bohusgården in Uddevalla. I should probably blog as soon as possible – I tend to forget these days. I thought we only stayed in Växjö for a night. Anyway, here’s a quick shot of the room in Växjö, and the breakfast that came with the stay.
Växjö is a big city in Kronoberg county, Sweden with a population of about 66,000 (2017). We visited three main attractions in the city, and then a glass factory a little outside Växjö in the afternoon.
First stop: the Kronoberg Castle ruin. Although the castle is beautifully situated in Helgasjön, don’t expect to see too much inside. It was just basically the castle foundation left. Due to risk of collapse, the castle is only open to visitors in summer. Originally a bishop’s residence, the castle was taken over by the King Gustav Vasa after an uprising and was used as a fortress. However, when the region became Swedish in the 17th century, the castle was abandoned and the stones were taken and used to build houses in the city center of Växjö. More about the castle ruin here: https://kulturparkensmaland.se/en/visit-us/our-destinations/kronoberg-castle-ruins/.
There’s a cozy restaurant in the area, but we weren’t hungry/thirsty, so we just left the vicinity right after. At around 10:30 am, we were in the entrance of Småland Museum and the Swedish Glass Museum. They share the same building. The Museum was opened in 1867, making it one of the oldest county museums in the country. Visitors learn more about the county’s history and culture through the temporary and permanent exhibitions. The Glass Museum, on the other hand, displays glass from all over the world, with some dating back to the 1500s.
A few blocks away from Småland Museum is the House of Emigrants (Utvandrarnas Hus). It is a very interesting, although small, exhibition of how the Swedes emigrated to North America in the 19th and 20th century. There were old passports and other travel documents, and newspaper articles about the travel, luring many Swedes to take sail to the newfound land. The House is a research facility and is the largest institute of its kind in the Nordic.
At 12:30 pm, we had some lunch at Restaurang Napoli in the city center.
Our next stop is the eyecatching Växjö Cathedral, built in the Middle Ages. The church is beautiful inside and out. It’s actually a bit animated – it looked like a cartoon character when you see it from outside, with two pointy ears and a face. 🙂
Before heading back to the hotel, we decided to pay the famous Kosta Glasscenter a visit as well. It was one of the glass factories in the Sweden’s Glasriket. The glasscenter has been operating for 20 years, and they also offer courses for those interested in glass making.
It was an educational day; learned a lot about the history and culture of Växjö and Småland. The rest of the trip was relaxing. We drove from Växjö to Uddevalla the next day, after a hearty breakfast in Scandic, and stayed in Bohusgården for a night. Scandic hotels really have the best scrambled eggs.
Here’s Bohusgården and the complimentary breakfast. We didn’t really do much in Uddevalla. We just relaxed and enjoyed the time together aka sleep.
Then, we drove home on Saturday. Overall, the weeklong roadtrip was amazing. I’d love to go back to Öland on a summerday and swim in the calm beach again. But oh, all the other places waiting to be explored. 🙂 Summer 2022 continues with a trip to Denmark to visit my sister and her fam. More about that in the next entry. 🙂