Friday, August 31, 2012

A day in Gränna and Visingsö

Diaristwoman spent the better part of three weeks back in her old stomping grounds of Jönköping/Huskvarna Sweden.  As can be expected, she took several hundred photos.  Most of those are of her relatives and are interesting to only the family.   However a handfull are general enough to interest a wider audience and I'll share some of those here.  One day diaristwoman, diaristson and diaristmother-in-law took a day off from visiting and headed up the road to the island of Visingsö. More about Visingsö can be read here.

Looking across the rooftops of Gränna (on the mainland) westward to the island of Visingsö which is in the middle of the southern end of Lake Vättern.  After the "grueling" trip of 3 Swedish miles (~30 km) our trio paused for refreshments at Haglunds Konditori--a trip to Gränna/Visingsö without this stop would be unthinkable.

To get over to the island one takes a short ride (less than a half hour) on one of the several small car ferries from the mainland.  My gang generally go as foot passengers and then either rent bikes or tour the island on horse-drawn carriages called "remmalag".

Alternatively, one can book passage on the ångbåt (steamboat) Trafik.  Trafik was built in 1892 and sails from the western shore town of Hjo.  More can be read here.

Approaching the east side of Visingsö one first sees the row of boat sheds used by commercial fishermen.  Peeking up behind those sheds are the buildings where they sell their catch.  The lake is famous for Röding, Sik and Makrill.

The patio of Sol Backen restaurant offers pleasant views of the water and boat traffic.

The ruins of Visingsborg is one of many interesting attractions on the island.  Visingsborg castle was built by Count Per Brahe the younger.  This castle was built in stages between 1573 and 1662.  Per Brahe built a similar castle called Brahe Hus, on the mainland looking towards the island. 

Another interesting historical site is the remains of the fortress of
Näs.  This fortress or slott in Swedish, lies at the southern end of the island.  This fortress has been attributed to Sverker the Elder who reined in the 1100s but most experts agree that it was the seat of Swedish royalty by the early 1200s.

It's hard for photos to convey the thickness of the walls.

There are many other interesting sites and buildings such as the the old Kumlaby and Brahe churches, the Viking era burial mounds, windmills, farms, etc.  Diaristwoman leaves us with this look at a fishing boat departing the safety of the jetty for the open and often tempestuous waters of


  1. Hej George & Elisabeth !
    Fina bilder du tagit man känner igen sig då vi var
    där för några år sedan. Åkte du inte med Remmalaget? Vi gjorde inte det kanske missade något
    då. Snurrad runt på ön med bilen i stället.
    Take care !

    1. Hej Johannes!
      Vi brukar hyra cyklar när vi åker till Visingsö. Det är roligt att åka remmalag om man har småbarn som inte kan åka cykel, eller om man bara vill åka till Kumlaby kyrka och sen tillbaka till hamnen. Men man får en helt annan upplevelse på "öa" när man cyklar tycker vi.
      George & Elisabeth