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Sweden Itinerary

I'm just checking my schedule as I have bounced around with how much time to spend in Sweden, my first visit there. I am going to my grandmother's parents' birthplaces, etc. so not the usual areas, perhaps.
day 1: arrive in Sweden on overnight flight
2-4: Stockholm
5: day train to Umea (I want to see the scenery)
6-8: Umea/Baggpole/?Lilsela
8/9: night train to Stockholm, regional train transport to Motala/Borensberg/Jonkoping/Eksjo area (I haven't decided where specifically to start)
10-12: Motala/Borensberg/Jonkoping/Eksjo area
13: back to Stockholm
14: Stockholm
15: fly out
For a lot of the time I'll just be absorbing the local color, local history museums or looking for places that are no longer there… I don't mind having too much time, but I want to make sure I have enough and that I'm not running around crazy, particularly on days 10-12. I might also switch the order of my destinations. I was going to go for 3 weeks but decided that this visit I might prefer just two days. This is a purely selfish, solo trip just for me. Also, I'm not keen on renting a car, but would rent a car and driver in various places if the bus/train is no good. But Alas, if I should rent a car I'll consider it. Oh, and I'm thinking of the last week in May and the first week in June 2015. Opinions?

Posted by
971 posts

Do you have any particular reason for going to the Motala/Borensberg/Jonkoping/Eksjo area? And what are you interests in this area?
Since my parents have a holiday house south of Jönköping and i am quite familiar with it, i will focus on this area. Personally i find most swedish towns dull as hell, generally speaking the draws of this area is the countryside and not the towns themself and renting a car might be the best option to get out there. Note that renting a car and a driver is not very common in this part of the world and if you should manage to find one other than a normal taxi, it could end up getting very exspensive. Driving in rural sweden is super easy, the roads are great and there is very little traffic.
The drive along lake Vättern is very nice and if you are into nature there are plentyh of forrests in this area. Another natural sight in this area could be Storre Mosse, (great bog) south of Jönköping, near the town of Värnamo. Apart from that the area has a few quaint little churches and tons of nice lakes.

Posted by
2409 posts

Thank you, Morten. I think perhaps I'll rent a car then. I just prefer to look rather than drive. A few of my ancestors on the male side are from Kristberg Parish, which I believe is in or next to Borensberg (still researching). The rest appear to be from Eksjo and the area in Jonkoping County, for several centuries...so I guess I'm visiting the spirit and history of the places more than anything. But from what you say, perhaps 3 days is too much time.

Posted by
971 posts

Ok after doing a little more research i might have to moderate my statement about Swedish towns being boring as hell. Eksjö is actually pretty nice, there is a very scenic old town with typical swedish wooden buildings. A lot of towns in area are called something with Sjö (meaning lake, take a quick look at a map and you will know why :-)) and i have a hard time distinguishing them from another. Jönköping on the other hand is a rather boring industrial town.
The area around Sävsjö, just south of Eksjö has nine small medieval churches from the 12th century, which you might find interesting to have a look around, since your family is from the area and you might find familiar names. http://www.upplevelseriket.se/engelska/toppmeny/attractions/churches.4.578bf4fd12b79e9e85a800013902.html

Posted by
2409 posts

Thanks Morten I'll compare the churches with my list of family churches. It's likely one of them will match.

Posted by
4438 posts

I might suggest that you see if you can fly into Umeå and start uour trip there. You'd probably connect through Arlanda, but it is a pretty easy place for connections. I'd start up there and then train down to Stockholm assuming there is a day train. It will save you a night on the train.

I also think you may want to rent a car for the area around Lake Vättern. Driving is easy in Sweden in the countryside.

May/early June is a good time. Many things are closed over Midsommar holiday (June 19 - 20), so either plan to be somewhere where you can participate in the festivities or plan to return home before then. Many Swedes head to the countryside. In Stockholm, Skansen always has special activities over Midsommar.

Posted by
2409 posts

Thanks Laura. I think I will head home before Midsommer to avoid any crowds. I like your idea to fly to Umea, but from Boston it would mean 3 flights before actually arriving and that is one flight over my limit for one day. AND...I am a train nut so I am happy to get a cabin to myself and enjoy the night train.