Favorite thing: It is a festival or a meeting with cars from the fifties. Around 250 000 visitors come from around 40 different countries. It is very difficult to find an acommodation this weekend when it is held. The best day is Friday, and I was there a Thursday, so I made a very big mistake.
I liked a lot this city. It's not very big, but, on the way to the center i saw a part of the old and historical neighbourhood. There were some nice houses with worm colours, trees in the yard and flowers around.
Fondest memory: Sharing it with a good friend.
• Eskilstuna: not a real tourist destination, but it has some nice places. My favourite of all is the Fors Kyrka (Fors Church). Also worth visiting is the Klosterkyrka, sculpture 'Hand of God' by Miles, the historic area of "Rademachersmedjorna" and the museum "Faktorimuseet".
• Tidö slott: A beautiful castle with a toy museum.
• Ängsö Castle: A haunted castle from the 15th century and one if the many smaller castles in this area.
• Strängnäs: one of Sweden's oldest towns. The highlight of this city is its beautiful cathedral.
• Västerås: is one of the top 10 cities of Sweden. Suggestions: visit the park (Djäkneberget), interesting for the many boulders with inscriptions. The old part of town with historical houses at Kyrkbacken and the Cathedral.
• Örebro: is an university city and the 7th largest city in Sweden. Places to see are castle from the 13th century and Wadköping, which is the old town and now open air museum.
You can also read more about this area on my Mälaren page
• Anundshög: old burial mounds from Viking Age.
• Birka: ruins from old capital city of Sweden.
• Mariefred with Gripsholm Castle. A picturesque village and a beautiful castle. In the castle is also the Swedish National Portrait Collection.
• Sigtuna: old city with lots of historical background.
• Sko Kloster: one of the most popular castles with a huge collections of painting, furniture and arms. The latter is one of the largest in Europe.
• Sundby with Sundyholms Castle and the famous stone carvings from the time of the Vikings: Sigurdsristningen.
• Enjoy Swedish Christmas traditions in Taxinge.
Västerås is located at Lake Mälaren, which is the third in size lake in Sweden. It has a climate quiet different compared to other close by areas. It is more humid and warmer in the summer, but not as cold in the winter. This has created a specific flora and also a special fauna. Several species of flowers and trees only grow around Lake Mälaren and in the south of Sweden. The mistletoe for instance is rather rare in Sweden but we can see dozens of them from our window.
Many fortifications and castles have been built around the lake. You can for instance visit 5 Royal Castles by boat on a 6-hour trip roundtrip from Stockholm. This building of fortification and permanent settlements began early, around 5000 BC, and there are many fort hills and archeologically sites around.
Everyone has probably heard about the Vikings, and you can still find lots about them in this area. I live only a 10 minutes walk from a very important Viking monument: The Sigurdsristningen. Being so close to a site like this makes me feel in touch with this part of Swedish history and has made me fascinated by the early history of Sweden. Around Lake Mälaren there are many spots where you can find signs of early culture, like in Birka and Sigtuna. Along the roads you can see a lot of Runic Stones.
Fiholm is not an easy spot to find, you almost have to know where it is to find it. Luckily I had a good guide with me, so I had no problems at all. Fiholm is located just north-east of Kvicksund, on a side road of road 53. When you drive on little road through the beautiful countryside you will find the sign pointing you in the direction of Fiholm. The only big problem is that this last little road is not accessible for cars :-( So you either walk, hahaha, or take the car anyway :-) And that's what we did, without having any problems at all.
Fiholm is a private residence and is not open for the public. So I only took a quick look from the entrance of the castle. Although it is not very 'castle like' it is a lovely place to see.
Fiholm was the seat for the local bishops as early as the 1300's. The estate that you see now was built in 1772 in neo-classic style by Councillor Carl Johan Ridderstolpe.
The last tip I want to write about this road from Rytterne to Västerås is about Asköviken Nature Reserve. Asköviken is located on the shore of Lake Mälaren and it is one of the best bird watching sites of Sweden. There area extensive marshes on this part of the lake. There are several hiking trails going through this area. One of the places you have to go to is the ancient fortification, west of Tidö Castle on Stensjöberget, which offers some beautiful views.
You can read more about the Asköviken Nature Reserve on this website : http://www.internat.naturvardsverket.se/index.php3?main=/documents/nature/eramsar/omraden/asko_e.htm
Across the road from Tidö Castle you can find a cafe (Tidö Värdshus) that serves coffee but also lunch. The interior looked very nice, but it was such a lovely day, that I had it was great to sit outside on the terrace.
The opening times of the cafe are almost the same as that of the castle, so that meant that the cafe was actually closed when I got here. But the owner was outside, cleaning the patio, and he didn't mind us dropping by at all. So in no time we had a cup of coffee and tea in front of us, enjoying the great weather and the beautiful view on the castle. I didn't taste the food, so I can't comment on that, but the hospitality of this little cafe is fantastic!
Another picture of the deer, now taken with the digital camera. Hahaha, that's why you can see so much difference in colour between the pictures :-)
Some interesting websites if you want to visit the castle are :
http://www.tidoslott.se/ (in Swedish only)
http://www.werbeka.com/vasteras/leksmuse.htm (about the toymuseum)
Like many castles in Sweden, there is a fenced of area where the deers are wandering around on the castle property. The area is fenced off, but I think you can get through the gates to hike here. There are some limitations though, like not disturbing the deer and not accisible during some times of the year when the deer have young (or something like that). As I was on a trip to Västerås I didn't make a hike here, but I did take the time to walk to the back of the castle to look into the gardens. And yes, I was lucky enough to spot this group of deer not that far from the castle.
Unfortunately enough I got up too early this day, hahaha, so I was here before the castle opened. I didn't feel like waiting for a long time, so all I did was walk around the castle itself. That was great to do though, although I would love to take a look inside! But I don't live that far away, so next year I will make a visit for certain!
The castle has been build by Count Axel Oxenstierna and it took 20 years to complete. They started building the castle around 1625. The mansion was owned by the Oxenstierna-family until 1840, when it was sold. In the next 50 years it was resold several times until it was bought in 1890 by David von Schinkel. Sadly enough the building had gotten into decay by this time. But the family von Schinkel have fully restored the building and its furniture, and that makes the castle a great place to visit nowadays! But besides the restorations, they also opened in 1974 Sweden's first toy museum, with thousands of toys from all over the world. A must see I have heard, so I am eagerly waiting to get back to Tidö again!
A must see in the area of Västerås is Tidö Slott. The slott is not only a castle, it also houses a toy museum. Tidö Slott is on this same road from Rytterne to Västerås. When you drive on this road you will see signs to a sideroad that leads to Tidö Castle. Don't take the exit to Tidö-Lindö though! As this road brings you to the village on the other side of the water and not to Tidö Slott itself. The total distance from Västerås to Tidö Slott is around 14 kilometres.
Opening hours :
May: only during the weekends 12.00 - 17.00
1 June - 15 August: Every day (except Mondays) 12.00 - 17.00
15 August - 15 September:Only during the weekends 12.00 - 17.00
Guided tour through the castle at 2 p.m.
The nice thing about this church ruin is that it is not out of use. During the summer there are 'open air' church services held here.
If you want to know more about Lilla Rytterne Church this might be an interesting website for you : http://www.werbeka.com/vasteras/kyrkruin.htm Unfortunately the website is only available in Swedish.
This the last picture of the Lilla Rytterne Church that I want to show you: the bell tower. I love seeing these old bell towers separate from the church. I remember seeing them in The Netherlands as well, but only in certain parts of the country.
Sorby Fornborg is an ancient fortification 1,6 kilometres of Rytterne Church on the old country road towards Västerås. This is the same road as Fiholm Castle is on.
The fortification is big, measuring 100x90 metres. But you need some imagination to see an old fort in it! It is more that you have to feel the history here than actually seeing anything. Sorby Fornborg is nothing more than a hill with a lot of big boulders. Some parts do look like a little wall, but others are just boulders spread around on the hill. It's a nice stop when you are driving this road, but not a place to make a big detour for.