Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 9

This ninth installment of David Anderson’s Return To Sweden includes the Dalarna village of Nusnäs and a surprise evening coffee with Nils-Erik Nilsson in Avesta.  
If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor

June 9, 2014, Monday

Lake Siljän is the heart of Dalarna, and Dalarna is the heart of the idealistic heart of Sweden.  We may have been seeing red and white houses every day and everywhere we go in Sweden, but it is here where time hasn’t stopped, but slowed way down.  Quaint villiages with narrow streets overlooking a beautiful lake, where summer days are always warm and sunny.  Yes, that is the idealistic view.

If Siljän is the heart of Sweden, then Nusnäs must be the holy grail!  Because it is here, on the sides of a side street where Sweden’s symbol is handmade.  It must be so, since this is where the Dala Hästen is made.  The real Dala Hästen, not some cheap knock off made in sweat shops in China.   You can walk around viewing and take photos of the horses being made, all the way thru being painted.  Both shops are worth visiting and both shops know how to separate the kronor from the tourist, but hey, everyone with Swedish heritage needs a Dala Hästen, or two, and maybe a Tupp and Gris!  I know it worked for me because I am adding to my collection of Dala Husdjur, and will be modifying my home décor a little, in the near future.

Siljän itself marks the southwest corner of a 40 km wide meteor crater.  Even looking at a regular road map the boundaries of the crater can be discerned since some of the area’s major roads follow the perimeter of the impact crater.   I am not sure when this impact happened, and if it would have been an extinction type impact or not, but I know I wouldn’t want to be around if another this size strikes again.

There are many places to visit in the heart of Dalarna.  Falun gruva, Tallberg, Rättvik.  The list goes on and on.  But one of the places I had not visited before was Carl Larsson’s house in Sundborn.  We went on a guided tour and upon entering the first room my breath was literally stopped.  I felt like I was in a Carl Larsson painting.  The feeling was amazing.  You can tell by the way they painted that they loved this place and each other.

In the evening back in Avesta this evening we have the honor and distinction to experience evening coffee at the home of Nils-Erik Nilsson.  This is a wonderful experience because not only is it a sunny and warm evening with no mosquitoes, but I realize that Nils-Erik is the author of a book in my library at home.  He is the author of “The Forest”, which is one volume in the National Atlas of Sweden.   When I say, Oh! If I had known you were the author of that book, I should have brought it with me to have you autograph it.  His response: “My autograph has little value in Sweden, and I think less in America.” 



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