Sunday, August 08, 2010

outing sweden ~ nora

red cottages in nora

One of Sweden's three best preserved wooden towns, picturesque small town Nora - a couple of hours drive northwest from Stockholm, situated in the beautiful part of Sweden called Bergslagen - makes for a most delightful day trip. The town, which got its charter in 1643, was originally built around the mining industry.


Nora was awarded the Europa Nostra Award 1993, due to its well-preserved town-centre. Despite some devastating fires over the centuries many of the houses are still originals from the 18th and 19 century and walking the cobblestone streets lined with all the pretty houses is really most enjoyable.





If pretty walks and picturesque view aren't enough, here are a few things one can - and in some cases absolutely must - do when in Nora;


:: Learn about the town's history and the mining industry (I bet you can detect my great interest here)


:: Have an ice cream at Nora Glass (glass = ice cream in Swedish), one of the best ice creams I've ever had. Not to sweet and very moreish. Freshly made each day (only served during summers), just three flavours, always vanilla and hazelnut plus the flavour du jour. Last weekend my cone contained hazelnut and peach. It was de-lovely.


I also love how the streets are lined with ice cream eating, thoroughly enjoying people.


As well as quirky people who currently aren't enjoying ice cream but are up for being caught with camera.


:: One of Sweden's most well known (not sure if she got translated to English) suspense novelist Dagmar Lange (with pen name Maria Lang) - I loved her books as a teenager, she writes cleverly and in the style similar to Agatha Christie - originates from Nora and many of her books takes place there. Thus you can take a murder-walk in her books' paths. With a guide or on your own. Admittedly that's still something on my when-visiting-Nora-list-to-do.


:: Take a stroll by the pretty lake front.



:: Have coffee, cake or light lunch at pretty located by said lake walk summer café Strandstugan ("Beach cottage") - though beware friendly but quite tardy waitresses... - where the birds hardly can't wait to get a beak at your leftovers.



:: Learn more about the local historical railway, visit the old station house and even take trips with steam engine trains or railcars.




:: You can also stay over in an old railway car at the local hostel



:: There are many interesting shops in town, a plethora of antique, curiosity and thrift stores - the prominent one being Nora Diversehandel which is an absolute heaven to walk around in. No matter wallet size you will always find something worth paying for there -


the fine kitchen utensils and such store Leon. Sandberg Bosättningsaffär,


a local pottery which has its own adorable cat in a basket.


:: And last but not least, try and spot "Tre små gummor" (Three little ol' ladies) as in the classic song about the Nora market. I was most successful with that last summer. Aren't they darlin'? Just like the town itself.

If you have the opportunity, do visit Nora. I know you'll enjoy it.





Kea said...

How lovely and utterly charming!

Why is it that far-away-places (to us) seem more enchanting than our own history and attractions nearby? At least I find it so.

When we had moved to Kingston 14 years ago (my ex and I), we spent most of the summer travelling around on various day trips, checking out all the wonderful spots in the area. Then, after some time, it all became ordinary.

Part of the reason I so enjoy your blog (aside from the wonderful adventures/places/food/photography) is that it inspires me to look at my own city and surrounding area with fresh eyes. Thank you!

heidikins said...

Such a lovely little place. Heart!


Erica said...

Such beautiful photos of such a lovely country. Looking at them makes my heart ache with such a longing to return and revisit such beautiful places.

If only teletransportation....or at least much cheaper airfare between the states and scandanavia...were possible!

P.K said...

Thank you for the tour, what a delightful town. The streets, hazelnut ice cream, the water, everything sounds perfect, and a mystery writer! Lovely. If I could I'd fly out today.

Pia K said...

thanks, kea, so much for your lovely comment!

Pia K said...

thank you kindly, heidikins, erica and p.k!

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