Normally you only find gardens in warmer climats (the ones we have in Sweden are located in the far south) but this one is officially in the "Norrland" part (but not even in the middle of the country) and therefore "doomed" to be filled with more sturdy flowers and plants. However, they have a really nice rose garden (but the roses tend to be smaller than the ones that can be found further south) and since it work closely with UC Gävle (they have a garden architect programme) they have a great display of student works. I am a big garden fan myself and often end up visiting gardens when I travel abroad so I can honestly say that this one is different from any other garden I have ever visited. Don't expect big lushy mazes or orangeries, instead be prepared for a lot of walking, open spaces and art pieces here and there.
They do have a restaurant that serves a vegetarian buffe made from products taken from the garden (it looked delicius), but I thought it a tad bit too expensive (200 SKR). Instead I opted for a sandwich.
The steamboat "Emma" first came to Sandviken in 1904 in order to ship passengers (and gods) between Årsunda and Sandviken, but was "retired" round 1930 (the road was finished 1923 but she continue shipping goods a few more years).
Today she back in good shape and is taking tourists out on lake "Storsjön" during the summer months (roughly between end of June to early August). There are several different routes to choose from but most of them last several hours so bring a picknick.
I actually live next to the lake but hadn't been on the boat for over 25 years when I boarded a few weeks ago. It was a really sunny day and it was very relaxing sitting there on deck and see all the small islands and the calm sea. There are still a few more routes I would like to go on, but that will have to wait until another summer....
You can also buy your tickets at the tourist information in Sandviken, so you can turn to them if you have any questions.
Folkets Hus, Köpmangatan 5-7
SE - 811 80 SANDVIKEN
Tel: + 46 (0)26-24 13 80
A 45 minute drive north from Sandviken takes you to the little village of Jädraås. There you have the oppurtunity to take a short, return trip, with a steam engine driven train, to Tallås. In Tallås they have a café, perfect for the 30 minutes train stop, if you don't choose to bring your own picknick (pleanty of space outside for that). The train journey costs 70 SKR for adults and 35 SKR for children (6-15 years) so it is not expensive.
It is a really nice little train journey and something I probably would pay more to do if I were travelling abroad, but it being so close to home has, sadly, made me "forgetting" all about it for years.
Children seems to love it, but even adults have a smile on their faces during the trip.
A few years ago the perfumer Pierre Wulff got the "crazy" idea to start making perfumes (but also shower gels, soaps, body lotions and so on) in Sandviken! Most of the fruit/berries and the water are taken from the immidiate area and can therefore be somewhat "exotic" for people not from Sweden.
The Wild Strawberries is my absolute favourite! It is their newest fragrance but apparently it was an instant success so they are hoping to be able to buy in enought Wild Strawberries this year to increase the range of products.
What to buy: I bought small, travel size, containers (shower gel and body lotion) of Lingonberry-Rose, perfect for my next trip! However, I do want a Wild Strawberry soap, just hope I can buy one soon...
What to pay: Unfortunately it is quite expensive since the woods round here do not have unlimited amount of berries..... The Wild Strawberry soap that I want is 100 SKR and are only sold in one size. A smaller soap (I bought Honey-Vanilla) costs 45 SKR.