I continue to work on my Downton Abbey stained glass flower quilt. Garnet Primrose is the last of the four flowers I designed for this quilt. Since the rest of the flower quilt patterns look like mineral crystals, I made the tips of the primrose petals less curved to keep with the theme. I have always loved the deep red colour of garnet, plus, I also find schist – the metamorphic rock in which garnet is found – fascinating. So I had to name this flower after the mineral garnet.
Here is the initial set of blocks for my quilt. I have already printed out more copies of each pattern. Now I need to work on the quilt layout so I know exactly how many of each flower I need to make. Thank you for your lovely words on these quilt blocks and many thanks also to those who have purchased the blocks already.
I also have the last few photos of Sweden that I want to share with you. Last time I left off at the Lerkaka windmills in Öland.
The next day began at Eketorps Borg. It is a reconstructed Viking fortress, which is closed during September. My husband emailed them about a private tour. We were very surprised to get a reply back and we were not disappointed. Gabriella and her friend, who are both archaeologists, were waiting for us when we got there. While her friend got busy with getting ready for the last celebration of the season, Gabriella gave us an extremely detailed tour and answered all of our many questions very patiently. We even got to see the meticulously created props for the festival which are usually off-limits to the public.
This is the back wall of one of the reconstructed huts. These replicated wall hangings are modelled after fragments that were found during excavation. There is a reconstructed loom on the right side of the room. After the tour the four of us spent more time chatting about the history of that area over coffee. That completely derailed our tight schedule, but we were having so much fun that we didn’t want to rush out of there.
We finally forced ourselves to say goodbye to the two lovely ladies. On our way to the Borgholm Castle we stopped by Gettlinge Gravfält – a prehistoric burial site. This is one of the many burial sites on the island.
There are also many rune stones in Öland. You could literally spend days spotting them!
It was a fairly long drive from Eketorps Borg to Borgholm Castle. Due to the extra time spent at Eketorps Borg and at the burial site, we only had an hour at the castle before they closed. It was a rushed visit, but we managed to see all of it.
It is a castle ruin, most of the flooring is now missing. There are four towers, one at each corner. I took the photo of this tower from the top level. We were desperately hungry by this time since we had skipped lunch to get here on time. So it was time to forage for some food.
Light was starting to fail as we drove toward Ismantorps Borg. We walked through a short path through an extremely quiet wood at this remote place during dusk. I could almost feel the spirits of the prehistoric people in that place. Ismantorps Borg is a ruin, but remnants of leftover structures can still be seen. It is suggested that it was not used as a fortress, but as a place for worship. There is an alter-like area in the middle.
We clambered up on a wall, speculating about the area over a coffee break. As I was coming down after taking this photo, my ankle twisted and I took a spectacular fall. Luckily I was able to put my hands out in front of me and my face didn’t meet the rock underneath. I got away with a limp and some bruises.
We spent the next morning at Kalmar Castle. It is an impressive renaissance castle that faces the sea on one side. We walked all around the ramparts and also alongside the castle wall. This photo is taken from one of the ramparts. It was such a beautiful day, sunny, cool and lightly breezy. A group of four young boys and girls were having a small picnic up here.
The rooms were beautifully decorated with panelling and paintings. We were really happy about our decision to spend the whole morning there. After lunching at Kalmar Cafe inside the castle we started on our drive toward the west.
On the way to Malmö where we would overnight, we stopped at Lund to see the astronomical clock inside Lund cathedral. Very much like Uppsala, the university here is also located close to the cathedral. It made for a very nice afternoon walk.
In the morning we drove from Malmö to Ystad by the seaside to see the stone ship, Ales Stenar. It is a megalithic structure shaped like a ship. It may have had astronomical significance as well.
We were going to spend a little time in Malmö before leisurely taking a train back to Stockholm airport. Unfortunately, on the way back from Ystad, we got stuck in a road closure due to a traffic accident. That and the returning of the rental car hardly left us any time at Malmö. A few rushed minutes at the town centre and it was time for us to depart Sweden.
Thank you so much for travelling along with me. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing about it.
We explored Sweden in 9 days, across 1500 miles, 22 cities and 1111 photos. We had to forgo visiting a few places in favour of spending more time at others, but we are very happy with the choices we made.
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Happy Holidays Everyone!