Travelled: 233 kilometres from Stockholm to Säterdalen, Sweden
Stayed: Farmstop on the waterfront in Säterdalen, SEK100. Just a bin.
We say goodbye to the stellplatz in Stockholm this morning making our way north through the cities maze of freeways.
A couple of last comments on Stockholm as we leave. It is an amazing city built around a cluster of islands with waterways in every direction. Many beautiful buildings and palaces, classic public artwork and lots of interesting museums. The fact your can look over the water and see the spires of churches in every direction. On the flip side its a very expensive place to stay, eat, drink and visit museums. As beautiful as Paris but much more expensive in our opinion.
We are heading north this morning rather than south (the way home) to visit the town of Sigtuna. Pam’s cousin Iris lived in Stockholm for some time and recommended a visit to Sigtuna (Iris also recommended the Vasa and it was great). Sigtuna is only 40 kilometres north west of Stockholm so its an easy drive on the freeway.
We roll into Sigtuna and find a parking spot easily enough. Free parking is something of a rarity at popular places in Sweden.
We follow the signs for the tourist office, perhaps to meet the ‘Mother of Dragons’ (it’s a Game of Thrones thing and I’m hanging out to watch the new season when I get home), by the look of artwork above.
Sigtuna is Sweden’s oldest surviving town, established in 980 by King Erik the Victorious.
The Main Street of Sigtuna, obviously these wooden building are not a thousand years old. Most of the original structures along this street were lost to fires 🔥 in the Middle Ages. However its a pleasant walk and the shops are not full of too much touristy stuff. But we are looking for Rune Stones not tourist tatt.
Sigtuna is also well known for the many Viking Rune Stones and its series of ancient churches ruins. So armed with a map from the toursit office we set off looking for both. Pam finds our first Rune Stone.
Our next find was the ruin’s of Saint Peter’s church. Built in the late 11th century it was being used as Protestant Reformation until 1530 when it was abandoned.
Found another one, hope these people don’t mind us in their driveway. Whilst rune stones have a religious symbolism and apparently refer to particular people they are not headstones. According to the blurb we got, its more like. ‘Orm was a Christian and he lived here’, that sort of thing.
Hope your getting the drift as this blog is going to get more boring than usual if I need to show you another 14 rune stones. The message is written around the outer edge between the lines. This one states my name is Michael but I do whatever Pam says.
During our wandering we find all sorts of pretty places, like this park.
More ruins of Churches. Apparently the king ordered four churches built across Sigtuna. That’s about one every 200 metres.
Also found this interesting thing. Looks like an old telephone box turned into a book exchange.
Finally we come to Saint Mary’s Church. The oldest building still in use in Sigtuna. Built by the Dominican Monks in 1230.
The ruin of Saint Olaf’s Church sits within the cemetery ground of Saint Mary’s Church.
The grounds of the church and cemetery are beautifully maintained.
Most pieces in the choir and alter date to the 15th Century, however the pulpit was fitted in 1647.
However these amazing murals date back to the 14th century.
Another mural this time from the north aisle, the crucifixion scene accompanied by various saints.
Pam lights a candle for the Grandchildren, as you can see she is not empty handed, so its still been an expensive day.
We finish our visit to Sigtuna with lunch in the park before heading south again. We have no choice but to drive through Stockholm again, but being Sunday afternoon the traffic is reasonable and we are soon heading south out of the city. We have entered the co-ordinates for a farm stop about a 100 kilpometres further south, so we’ll see how we go.
Our farm stop at Säterdalen looks pretty good, so we have a drink and watch the ferry go back and forth across the Bråviken. We are finally getting some milder weather so we enjoy it while we can.