Kalmar, Sweden Day 107

Kalmar is the town where the train deposits you before you head over to Oland by bus. Since I have 4 nights booked in Copenhagen I thought I’d spend a few hours here before I got back on the train to go back to Denmark. The bus pulled in at 12:30, and my train didn’t leave until 5:00, so I had a few hours to do a little exploring. I have to be honest… at this point of the trip, I’m starting to see that 6 months of  travel is really quite tiring. Who knew? Well, everyone who told me just that when I told them what I was planning on doing. They knew. So, I concede people, you were right, 6 months IS a long time, and yes, it is tiring! Having said all that, I’m obviously still having a great time, I’m just slowing the pace a bit (well, except for that 6 hour bike ride yesterday) and have adjusted my itinerary a bit to make things (like my train connections) easier. I still have 2 months to go, and I don’t want to poop out now. I just don’t want to waste my time feeling like I’m just going through the motions because I’m exhausted, so Oland was a nice break, despite being a bit hard to get to. 

Kalmar is a nice town, walkable and has a castle! I haven’t been to a castle for a while (I think the last was the site of “the proposal!) so I was excited to check this one out! I won’t lie. I was bit insulted that Kalmar had flags from all over the western world (USA and Britain included) but not ONE Canadian flag! Come on people, aren’t you supposed to LIKE Canadians? We are the forgotten people, I tell you!

A majestic tall ship in the harbour.

My first view of Kalmar Castle. The castle was built in the 12th century, then expanded upon by King Gustav Vasa in the mid 1500’s for his sons to live in. In the late 1600’s the castle lost it’s importance and it was then used as a prison, a distillery and a grainery. It was renovated in the mid 19th century to look the way it looks today.

The castle has a moat running all the way around it. Handy that there an ocean right there to keep it full of water!

A painted wall, kind of like an early wallpaper?

A great spot to fight off the pirates!

A couple of ornate ceilings in the castle.

I was excited to find 2 interesting exhibits happening within the castle as well. One was about contemporary design and the other was about Picasso and his contemporaries. Those were a real treat because all I expected to find at the castle was, well, a castle!

I bought one of this guys small hand carved Moose sculptures when I was in Stockholm.

Looking into the Picasso exhibit called “Kings of Art.” On another note, all of the doors in the castle were very short, like maybe 5 ft 8″ tall. I guess people really were shorter back then!

Henri Matisse.

Alexander Calder.

Enrico Baj.

As I was leaving I noticed a swan and her 5 babies on the lake beside the castle. I saw a family heading that way to check it out so I followed them. As I got to the edge of the stone wall I went onto the bank to take some photos, and suddenly there was this woman yelling at me from the bridge and motioning me to go back behind the stone wall. The family said she was saying that it was for my own safety to not be on the “water side.” The family were told the same thing. I just looked at him and said, “Really? REALLY? They started laughing and said, “Well, that’s Sweden for you!” As per my story before about the life preserver by the duck pond in Stockholm, I now see that Sweden takes their water safety very seriously. Maybe just a tad TOO seriously. Having said that, I didn’t see a single life guard on any of the beaches I was at yesterday. Very curious…

As I was stopping to take a photo of this…

I noticed these two waddling out of the water! This momma only had one baby left, and she was protective. As I was walking away she was settling down for a rest, and I watched as the baby nestled in under her front for safety. So cute, almost made me cry.

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