One part travel blog. One part nerdy history lesson.

Day 3- Östergötland and Västmanland, Sweden

Our cute little empty spa hotel had a great breakfast this morning. Because of this, I got a little adventurous with the selection. ha 

They had the normal meats and cheeses, but then they had some seemingly odd very Swedish choices.

 They had shrimp salad…which was heavy on dill but was good. Mustard pickled Herring….which I was half gagging at the thought of trying…but actually was pretty darn good! I think its a bit of an acquired taste, but I can totally see how people eat that…I kinda want more now that I’m typing this. ha  Lastly, the caviar paste. Sounds so fancy right? Well, they serve it in a squeeze tube… so I dont think we’re talking Beluga or anything. lol 

I’ve had that type of caviar…and its not really my thing, but it’s just salty and has a water texture…. THIS caviar…. wowza. It was pretty terrible. Its like if something fishy sat out for a day and then got pureed with some salt. I had that little pink dollop and the taste was in my mouth for 3 hours. There isn’t much I don’t like… but I put this on the list. haha But all in all, glad I tried it all.

We covered a lot of ground today…and a little bit at the beginning twice…because Google Maps did me wrong! lol We were looking for the Berg Locks on the Göta Canal, which turned out to be right near our hotel…but Google Maps had it listed about 45 minutes away. But I had never seen a canal before, so we backtracked and took the time to find it. This canal was constructed in the 1830s and connected Gothenburg on the West coast with Söderköping on the East coast and into the Baltic sea.

They have a cool display of the doors that have been used in the locks over the last 150 years. Surprisingly, the metal ones fared the worst…only lasting 30 years before they had to replace them….one of these doors lasted from over a hundred years.

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Standing in the middle of one of the lock doors looking down.IMG_1136 IMG_1139 IMG_1145 IMG_1149 IMG_1150

Just a couple of horses with the view of a lifetime.

We found a Toys R Us at the exit by the canal. (yeah, I know… I was as surprised as you are) and I wanted to get a couple gifts to take to Marie’s little boys (age 2 and 5, I think…)

Norah had fun.. who needs Sweden, we could have just given this kid a lego table and been set.

We had a little bit of a drive. We stopped at a gas station for water…and I found weird snacks… so we sampled.

First was a Kex bar. Wafer chocolate… thought it would have been my thing. mehhh. Norah loved it. lol

Next up, Colaflaskor. Cola flavored gummies with the texture of JuJuBees. Kegan didn’t like them, but I did…

Later in the afternoon we tried our third- a Japp bar. It basically turned out to be a 3 Musketeers so it was ok but nothing I’d ever pay money for again.

We drove another couple hours and stopped at a roadside Restaurant. Norah had Ikea food. ha (Meatballs, gravy, potatoes and lingonberry jam.) We had a prosciutto and mushroom pizza.

On the way out, we got some desserts to go (because we are apparently eating our way through Sweden today haha)

We had no idea what we were getting at the time, but just pointed and researched later haha

Norah got a Chokladball – which was like a chocolate cake donut rolled in coconut. I got a PunschRulle (punsch roll) which is chocolate cake covered in green marzipan, with the ends dipped in chocolate. It is dunked in Punsch, which is a liquer here apparently. I took the first bite and was like, WHOA! thats got booze in it. haha I had to taste Norah’s to make sure we didnt give her booze chocolate. Hers was fine. Kegan got a Mazatin cake- very basic but good- crust, white cake, hard icing glaze. He was happy.

We drove a bit farther to the north side of Västerås to Anundshög: Sweden’s largest Viking burial mound. They have records of people in this area since 2500BC when the glaciers receded in the area… and all the way into Christian times. There are also some Viking stone ship grave markers that would have been used to mark the burial plot of someone really important. I think I read that they researched the bones found here and found they were all females… with gold and bracelets and pearls… so they were royalty of some sort.. but I don’t think it’s known quite what their role in society was…

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In records from the 1600s, all of the stones weren’t standing anymore. They were repositioned in 1932.IMG_1167 IMG_1168

They had a cute little playground at the visitor center that Norah was a fan of.IMG_1176 IMG_1178 IMG_1181

A cute church as we were leaving the viking mound

From there, we continued driving to our hotel another couple hours away. We actually ended up driving through Marie’s little town of Avesta… but since I didn’t know we would be (because we changed our route today) I just sent her a little message and said “Waving as we go through- see you in a couple days!” ha.

This area near our hotel had tons of these style fences. Thought they were pretty cool.IMG_1187

Our hotel is so typical Swedish minimal and cool. Concrete floors, 2 twin beds and 2 chairs.IMG_1190

The hotel itself is so amazing…. the First Hotel of Tällsberg. The lady at the desk said there were only like 4 guests tonight. They didn’t even have the restaurant open, so she sent us into town to another hotel with dinner tonight.IMG_1193 IMG_1194

We walked down to this gem. The Hotell Klockargarden. The waitress was really confused when we asked to eat…turns out it was because they were having a pre set 3 course menu tonight for a conference at their hotel…so she went to go ask the chef if he had enough to serve us as well… and he did! So we got lucky. IMG_1197

The food was excellent, but not out of this world… and when we paid, we learned that it was $142 US. eek. Wow, it costs a lot to eat in this country. ha Luckily, our lunch was only like $27…so i guess it evened out? lol

The first course was a marinated reindeer with pickled onions and some other stuff. Really good.

Main course was Prime Rib with potatoes

Dessert was a frozen Blueberry pudding with ice cream, cloudberries and some sort of crunchy pound cake crouton. so good. By far the best course.

We walked back down through town to our hotel and let Norah run off some energy at this massive jungle gym that have inside our hotel! This sold me on this place vs the other… even though it cost a few dollars more- I knew Norah would lose her mind. and she loved it. She asked to play on it twice tonight. IMG_1198 IMG_1205 IMG_1210

Inside of our hotel


Tomorrow, we’ll see Mora, go to a National Park and make a 4 hour drive into Norway again to go see some Fjords on Thursday morning.


  1. Lindsey

    So what does reindeer taste like?

    • Erin McKinney

      Like a really rich regular deer basically. Both times we’ve had it, it’s been “marinated” but it’s also been almost raw…so I don’t know what they do with it-but it’s good 🙂

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