Västerås, Sweden pt IIMay 9, 2016 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C
Today we had a private tour in a castle and it was such an amazing experience! The most impressive part is that the state has kept the 900 or so year old building maintained and actively use it to this day. But before we get into that experience... we went to Vallby Friluftsmuseum. It is basically an educational attraction for children, teaching about the history of the area, Västmanland. One of the docents who was there preparing for her lesson tomorrow was kind enough to show us around a couple of the buildings that were supposed to be closed today. I won't bore with details, but we can sum it up saying that history is awesome. Along with typical farm animals from the region, there was a casual sign roughly translated to "if you take a little offroad hike around this corner, there are a few graves from the iron age... no big deal. Oh, and there aren't signs beyond here, just look for mounds and rocks that look a little out of place".
Now back to the castle... Anette's good friend works in the Västerås Castle and today was a rare, and very lucky for us, day with no guests or obligations for her. She was able to take us around the dining rooms, sitting rooms, and even the king's bedroom. The castle is home to the governor of Västmanland, but also serves as a meeting place and where the royal family stays over if they come up from Stockholm. If walls could talk, I can't imagine how much these would have to say. And apparently the king is a whisky drinker, so he's alright by me! We ended the tour with fika, in a castle... baffling!
As if that experience wasn't enough, we continued to Anundshög. It is the largest burial mound in Sweden, built for a king somewhere in the 6th century AD. There were smaller mounds around the massive central one, along with "boats" marked out with raised rocks. Apparently the site has signs of inhabitants back to the stone age... 4,500 years ago. Wow.
It has been another long day and tomorrow morning we move on to Värmland!Read more