Mirinda couldn’t find anything about tourist stuff on Värmdö in any of the usual places, so she created her own day of exploration. And it was excellent. From a Buddhist temple to a dive school, coffee in a barn to a restaurant on the beach, we had a bit of everything.
But first, the shower.
The water in the house has a lot of iron in it. I don’t know why and, apparently, it’s not harmful. However, it smells rather strongly when running the shower. The thing is, it smells of fresh blood. Dexter quantities of fresh blood. Which is not exactly pleasant. And more than a little odd. Not to mention what it’s like to clean your teeth with it.
Speaking of odd, we watched the Eurovision final tonight and the UK managed to achieve the awful nul points. To be fair on the voters, the UK entry was pretty woeful. Still, you have to wonder whether it’s a Brexit thing. I could just hear the leavers saying how the 400 million EU voters all ganged up on the UK. Except, Eurovision is not the EU. Still, facts never stopped a Brexiter before.
Mind you, all credit to the UK entrant. He managed to smile and cheer as if he’d been awarded almost top points.
But, back to our day on the archipelago.
We started off by heading for what was rumoured to be a gourmet café and deli. It turned out to be a huge barn full of antiques and, underneath, a room full of apple juice.
While the coffee wasn’t the best, the factory next door, where farmers bring their apples to be squeaked into juice, and cider is made, was quite amazing. Sadly, it reopens to the public next week. So we only saw the outside. Still…
We then found the real gourmet restaurant/café, down by the water. It’s called Bistro Björkvic, and it looks out over the water. Groups of scuba dive initiates are taken through their wet-suited paces by instructors in gradually deepening water, just beyond the trees.
On a bright and warm day, it is pretty close to heavenly.
And heavenly pretty much describes the Buddhist temple Mirinda found. It’s the Buddharam Temple and was the first built in Sweden. That was in the 1980’s, now there’s five. This one is a beautiful oasis of calm. Gold statues, various shrines and brightly painted buildings. And an impressive statue of the previous King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand surrounded by tiny plastic horses and bottles of water.
We wandered around and it all felt very peaceful.
Having made our wishes to the great cosmic void, we headed off, feeling a little bit more peaceful than we had before. We stopped off at a massive marina for an ice cream lucking out with an amazing car space in a bulging car park. (I like to think this had something to do with my wish at the temple.)
The area around the marina, as well as a café, shops and restaurant, sells boats and had them all lined up, like a car yard. It was a lovely treat to wander up and down the piers, admiring various sized craft, pretending to be the sort of chap who throws thousands of shekels at salespeople, taking control of a luxury water vessel and splashing away.
Meanwhile, back in the real world…there were a few I really wanted. Sadly we couldn’t afford many of them.
And I just have to mention the olive oil and sea salt ice cream we had which was deliciously creamy, with several, surprising globules of extra virgin to delight the taste buds.
We then found a medieval church which was locked up tight even though someone was inside practising music. It was Värmdö Kyrka. Fortunately the church has a lot of other things scattered around it to keep one occupied. We were on our way to linner and were a bit early so a good wander was perfect.
Some of the buildings have been moved to the site from elsewhere and preserved and cared for by volunteers.
On top of a hill behind the church is the detached belfry, rising up to the sky at great height.
But, eventually, the bastard arrow of time dictated our removal to the restaurant. And so we had a lovely celebration meal at Siggesta Gard where our half Bolivian waitress, impressed us with her language skills. We were celebrating the arrival of our residency cards. Any excuse…obviously.
Siggesta Gard is a hotel, restaurant and playground with mini putt putt along other things. According to our waitress, they did extremely well last summer because Stockholmers could not go outside Stockholm. So they all went to Siggesta.
And there were quite a few families in today as well as us. People meeting up, kids having fun, it felt normal. In fact, the whole day felt normal as did Eurovision. Well, normal for Eurovision, anyway.
And I should mention the weather. Most of the day was beautiful though we were chased by a big black cloud for a lot of the time. Still, we didn’t get wet at all.