Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Out and about in Vägsele, Ytterfors and Lycksele in Northern Sweden

We learned rather quickly that any visit with cousin Sture and his wife Inger meant hiking, eating REALLY GOOD food and learning about how things were in the "old days" as evidenced by relics left in the old houses where various relatives were born and/or lived at some time in the past. Our second day visiting with them was filled with so much activity that it was very hard to choose representative images... hope you enjoy your visit here. We certainly enjoyed our visit there!

collage of images as described
Images seen here in the top left and bottom right are from the garden as is the flower image (cannot recall the species). Others are from our before lunch hike on the property where Sture and Inger live and include a rear view of my brother and his partner heading into the woods, my brother getting up close to a flower, a view through the trees to a distant farm, my brother-in-law with Inger and my sister trailing behind Inger as we return to their house at the end of our walk.

collage of images as described
The images across the top half of the collage include views of the Johansson family property showing Sture and Inger's home and barn as well as land across the street that used to be part of the property; the two smaller images are actually the left and right halves of a landscape image take from high up the hill above their home looking across to distant mountains. The bottom half of the collage shows the home of one our great-grandfather's brothers next to the windmill that is a lawn decoration at this home, another view of distant mountains as seen from the Johansson property and the barn with wood bins FILLED to overflowing with wood chopped by cousin Sture. Inger told us the home that belonged to our ancestor has been added on to since it was originally built in our great-grandfather's time and is now quite modern.

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A short drive away from the home of our cousin found us at a lovely picnic spot, complete with shelter in case of inclement weather, a fireplace for warmth and/or cooking and beautiful scenery just across the road from the picnic table. Sture carried the coffee pot and fixings for coffee with him whenever food was involved in our outings... including carrying it in a knapsack when we went hiking! By the time we had lunch spread out on the picnic table and had taken a few photographs of the lovely scenery, Sture had coffee ready for us. The tiny people in the image in the lower left are my brother and his partner.

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In addition to lovely scenery, wildflowers were abundant at our picnic spot. Caught my sister taking a photo of our spectacular views... we never did figure out if the white flower is Queen Anne's Lace or some other look-alike flower... and the pink cluster of tiny buds is still unidentified. The others are either Common or Small Cow-wheat (hard to know which the tiny yellow, twin blossoms are), Buttercup and Wild Geranium, completely with a tiny fly that MAY be a hoverfly. (There is not enough detail to be absolutely certain of the ID and it is not a hoverfly with which I'm familiar if it is, indeed, a hoverfly.)

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After lunch, we headed off on our next adventure. A short distance away we visited property that used to belong to my grandmother's family and saw the house in which she was born, the top left and bottom right images are of that house which is no longer livable. The woman in the lower right image, Brigitta, lives in the new house (built in 1960) on the property and had much to tell us about the old house and the old days. She is standing on the back corner of the old house and told us that it used to be bigger but part of it was demolished to provide building materials that were used in building the new house. The top right image is of the old barn on the property; Sture and Inger are standing in front of the old playhouse on the property and the dishes and tea service (use your imagination) are inside the playhouse. Although there is a new playhouse, Brigitta says the children prefer to play in the old one. She also told us she played in this house when she was young and learned everything she needed to know about life here. The other images on the bottom left are of some of our party going into the woods (you will see why in the next collage), a vole hiding in the grass and a detail of the old, cast iron stove in the old house.

collage of images as described
More images of the old house including a closer view of the rear corner where Brigitta stood and told us about the house, another view of the playhouse, the other side of the rear of the old house and a building used by our great-grandfather as a smithy. The part of the old house, now gone, that was on the rear half of the house seen in the lower left was lodging for the schoolteacher who came for three months of the year to teach the school age children. It would have also served as the schoolroom.

collage of images as described
The top left image is one last view of the barn on the Ytterfors property... beautiful to me in the setting of all the green hues and wildflowers. The rest of the images in this collage are from the inside of the old house on the Johansson property and include old wallpaper, old linoleum flooring (watch your step), lasts used in making their own shoes, one door of a wardrobe used until fairly recently by one of our grandfather's brothers (we think), two views (front and rear) of an old knapsack that would have been used for berry picking and an anvil that our great-grandfather used in the old days. Sometimes I think we have NO IDEA how easy our lives are compared to our ancestors.

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An old sundial, another lovely view from the Johansson property, our cousins' pet playing with his chew toy, another marvelous meal prepared by Inger and Sture and roadside views taken around 9:30 PM on our way back to Lycksele. The late evening light was just amazing!

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The sunset images flanking the church are not exactly as they were seen. I was experimenting with color adjustments on images taken at the same time as those seen in the previous collage... clearly one can change the look/feel of an image quite dramatically! The church in Lycksele was right across the street from our hotel; the picture was taken at about 10:30 PM as we were heading out to walk along the water before bedtime.

collage of images as described
Images from our wandering around town and along the Ume River in Lycksele... a lovely building whose purpose I cannot recall, a house in town (do you see the face?), one of the only modern churches we saw during our stay in Sweden, sunset along the river with an abandoned boat, two fishermen coming in to shore, a statue of a fisherman and the front of our hotel. As for the "WICTORIA" poster, it is advertising a Circus and was sometimes spelled WICTORIA and sometimes Victoria. Either way, I had to take a picture of it!

Last, but not least, you may like to view a slide show of the images included in this post. If you made it this far, thanks so much for coming along for the journey!

1 comment:

Ginnie said...

I am still amazed by all the wood construction everywhere in Scandinavia, Victoria. But as Astrid says, you use what's available. Wood there, clay for bricks here, and rocks/stone in France! It all goes with the territory.

That you are able to see with your own eyes where your ancestors lived still blows my mind! I can't imagine what that feels like. Well, actually, I take that back. Have you ever heard of Hartsville, SC? Yup, I'm related to its namesake, but still get confused by how or when. I visited there a few years back and was in awe, thinking about my connections!

Anyway, I love that you are "documenting" all of this. Good for you...and us!