Did Kerstin and Peter read my mind? What could I want to do more while in Sweden than visit a glassmaker’s gallery – particularly a small, independent glas hyttan like that of Micheal Ahlefeldt-Laurvig!?!
Today Caroline Andersson is at work in the studio.
While the rest of us are otherwise occupied, my cousin’s father wanders off. I assume he is looking at the photos by Angelica Ahlefeldt-Laurvig (amazing close-ups of glass) on exhibit in another building, but apparently he instead makes a visit to the family’s private garden. When confronted, he explains that he has no interest in glass or art or culture, but he really, really likes flowers.
She gives him a guided tour of what is, reportedly, a lovely garden.
The world is filled with kind people.
A tomte is a Swedish Santa-type figure. This isn’t the sort of thing I’d expect to be interested in (too folksy), but I file into the basement with everyone else and find myself absolutely enchanted the moment the creator of these little figures starts pulling back curtains that had obscured shelf after shelf of elaborate, handmade scenes featuring clever little tomte figures.
Time for lunch, so we join the locals at the Torups Gästgivaregård (a historic guesthouse that provides both food and lodging) for a tasty midday meal.
We make an unexpected stop along the roadside to take a closer look at “Hagbard’s Gallows,” a site linked to an ancient Viking story of thwarted love and violent death (sort of a Viking Romeo and Juliet).
The site itself includes the two large standing stones that form the gallows and another nearby pair that includes a petroglyph.
Despite the grisly end of the ancient romance associated with this spot, it just seems peaceful and bucolic.
It is well-known in my family that my father is really into tractors, so our cousins take us (him, but we all go along too) to the Berte Museum of life in the country. (The website is in Swedish, but navigable even if you don’t speak Swedish.)
It is an interesting place with an enormous collection of pretty much anything and everything a rural family would have been familiar with throughout most of the twentieth century (and a few things that would have been familiar to farmers even earlier).
That was a lot of culture and history; time for a break.
(Sila is the local ice cream and they have an outlet store in Falkenberg. I can’t think of many retail operations that would be better than an ice cream outlet – especially when it is really good ice cream!)
Finally we take some time to reconnect with our own family history.
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