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Sunday, December 28, 2014

DAYS 17 & 18 -Rättvik to Stockholm to London to New Jersey to Denver to Idaho Falls

Sept 19 - Travel For 32 Hours!... one car ride, 2 mini buses, 3 large buses, 3 air flights in two days

It's time to leave my ancestor's homeland of Sweden.  I had a wonderful time - thanks partly to Susanne and Paul and their boys.










Susanne took me early to the bus station.  It was leaving at 8:00 a.m. - 4 hours to Stockholm.



...and to their friendly chickens!

 I had lunch at the bus station.  I needed to print off my ticket for the bus to Stockholm Stansted Airport.
Very nice shrimp salad and brownie.
 I was to meet Linne at 3:15.  She was our couchsurfing host a year ago when we came to Stockholm.  She was the BEST!  I was excited to see her again!
Stockholm has a beautiful river going through the middle.
 Linne and I decided to take a brisk walk along the river.  It was a sunny day and there were many joggers along the path.  It was a Friday afternoon, so it seemed that many got off work early to exercise.  NO ONE in Stockholm is overweight.  They are very health conscious and fit.
Beautiful Linne tells me she has a boyfriend...wish I could meet him!

It really wasn't that warm out, but this guy is having fun anyway!

Linne is like a daughter to me - love this girl!


Cute little houses along the way.  Many are used only in the summertime for garden plot residences. 
 I caught the bus to go the airport at 6:30.  We arrived at 8:00 and already it was dark.  I had a two hour wait until my flight.  Again - my experience with Ryanair was not very good....long lines, long security wait, and my ticket did not get punched when I checked in.  So - rather than go clear back to the main gate, I stopped a worker and asked what I should do.  She went ahead and signed it.  I didn't have any problems!
Waiting...Waiting!  I made it to London at midnight.
 It was good to be in England, but I needed to find the little mini bus to take me to the Holiday Inn Express where my luggage was being stored.  I barely made it in time as the 1 a.m. bus was the last one for the evening.

After I retrieved my luggage, the front desk clerk wanted to know if I had a room.  Since I had to leave at 5:00 a.m., I said I would just hang out and rest.  I ended up lying down on a couch, resting, then eating breakfast at the hotel about 4:30 a.m.

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I made it back to the other London Airport by bus and waited for my next flight to take off to America.
I had to get a photo of this cute mother and her baby!
                                                                      
Bull that's orange - reminds me of the Denver Broncos - yeah!

Bakewell Pastry - this was AmaZinG!!!!!!
After catching my United flight back to America, I enjoyed a nice meal and got a little rest (but no sleep).  We had a layover in New Jersey where I had to get my luggage and check them back in again.  More lines and security and standing standing.....aughh!   My hips don't like that at all!

Then to Denver and another layover.  So - I finally made it at 10:30 p.m. in Idaho Falls - 6:30 a.m. on a Thursday and arriving 10:30 p.m. on Saturday.     WHEW!  It was totally worth it, though....let's do it again next year - ha!!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

DAY 16 - Rättvik's Church, Cemetery, Horses, Rugs, and Sunset

Sept 18 - My Last Day at the Homestead
 I woke up early and took the bike around the neighborhood.   It started out to be a little misty and foggy, but I'm told that's how it is most mornings because of Lake Siljan and how the weather comes off of it.

Looking down from Nis garden to Lake Siljan.
 My main quest was to find another old farm house that I had discovered was in my family history.  My great grandfather, Olaf Olafsson's grandfather AND great grandfather grew up on Nis farm, which dates back to at least the 1600's.  Paul knew right where it was... just up the hill from his place, the farm Sofia, which is the same as Bohmgarden as Bom Daniel changed its name in the late 1800's when his brothers moved to America.
I found it!  Nis Garden and isn't it so cute!
 If the people had been home, I would have totally asked to go inside and look around.  They happen to live in Stockholm during the winter season, as it turns out.

Too bad they didn't keep journals that I could read of the stories of courtship between Olaf's mother, Brita, from Nis farm and Olaf's father, Olaf, from Sofia farm.
A cool mushroom in their yard.

Their name adorns the large barn/stable

Another look of the beautiful farm from a different angle.

Another neighbor's house - love the little wishing wells!

 Every village puts up a large pole in the center displaying its colors and celebrates its beginnings.
Might be a shelter for the kids waiting for school

Beautiful rolling hills.
Everything is so tidy and clean!

Interesting fences, don't you think?
"How Great Thou Art" is a Christian hymn based on a Swedish traditional melody and poem written by Carl Gustav Boberg (1859–1940) in Sweden in 1885.  Paul had this in his old Swedish hymn book.  I find it very interesting how the time signature, melody, and words have been altered to the familiar one we sing today.


Nils Anders Farm across the street from our Swedish homestead.

This is OLD!  Not sure how old, but very interesting.  This is on the Anders farm.

Paul is a tailor - he keeps quite busy.
I enjoyed going on a bike ride through the neighborhood with several destinations along the way

I missed finding another important family historical landmark, but it was along this street.
In the winters, boats like this would take the Swedish people across the lake and to the church on Sundays.




Historic house in downtown Rättvik and it's not even falun red.

Time to go to the cemetery to try and find my dead relatives.  Unfortunately, the lady who knows how to plot out how to find them wasn't in, so another lady helped, but we could only find Bom Daniel Olafsson. 
At least I think this is him


You can see the name Olsson on this gravestone, but I'm not sure which one it is.


Cool old grave stones.

Next stop - inside the church in Rättvik.  I wanted to do a video of me singing "How Great Thou Art", just like I did in England at the church of my relatives on my Grandma's side.  It is posted after this one on you tube.

See my blog post from a year ago to learn more about the church.
http://sharichcouillard.blogspot.com/2013/10/day-145-rattvik-church-history.html




So much history at this little community church near the lake.




The church stables are such a historic site next to the church.

Lake Siljan looked particularly beautiful today with the cloud reflections from the sky.





I found the old original door into the church...more history!

Now to bike to Gudmunds shoppe where he makes and sells wooden Dalarna horses of all sizes and colors.  It takes about 30 minutes from the church.
Johnny Gudmunds sells me the last yellow Dalarna horse that his father made.

Johnny, his father, and brother are all in the business and what a business it is!

He remembers my last visit here a year ago - what a sweet man!
Oops...I left the bike key on a church pew, so I went back to the offices and they called a janitor, who met me there.  He showed me some more interesting things in the church after I retrieved the key.


I returned the bike and keys to Krister and Sasa.  Sure love this wonderful couple!  They live in a small condo-like home that they've bought, but they miss their large home and garden where we stayed last year.  This home is much more convenient, however, to the ski lodge which they operate.

Outside their window - I love the Mountain Ash trees in bloom!
Cooking fish for dinner.

Sasa dropped me off downtown and I stopped by the Antique Shoppe and bought a beautiful woven rug.
Now to get it home in my backpack!

I walked up the hill to Gardebyn and back home...such a lovely evening!






My great uncle, Bom Daniel Olafsson was known in the area as the inventor of the speed bump.  Daniel is my great grandfather's brother who stays in Sweden while his four brothers all go to America.   At the beginning of the 20th century, he didn't like all the traffic that was going on in front of his home, so in 1914 he dug a tunnel, so that the buggies and early vehicles would have to slow down as they passed by.

This old schoolhouse is surely where my relatives went to school.
Oddly enough, it is said that Daniel died just around the corner from the school right on this very street that goes to his house and has the speed bump.  He was struck by a motorized vehicle while walking along the road.  Daniel was 76 years old.  His beloved wife, Anna, had died three years previously.

I just couldn't capture this beautiful sunset as I saw it that day!

I ran to the house and upstairs so Susanne and Paul could enjoy the view on their balcony with me.

I'm going to miss my good friend, Susanne.  Maybe I will be able to come back one day.

Such good onion soup with cheese on top

My favorite...roast, carrots, and potatoes.
Susanne was able to find a lady who makes woven rugs for her hobby  We went to her house and she took us on a tour.  Rugs everywhere and then two rooms full of rugs for sale.

Carpets and rugs have been handmade knotted wool in Sweden for centuries, taking on many different forms and functions over the course of time.

Swedish rugs from the mid-twentieth century remain among the most desirable and sought after in the rug world.

This is the one I bought - love the colors!


Skeins and skeins of yarn (all colors)!


What an enjoyable time to look at all her rugs.  I'm so excited to take my two new rugs home and display them in my new home.