Is your kid ready?

Is your kid a cool kid? Then why don’t you suggest he/she leaves the paci/dummy in a Swedish tree? 

You find the tree just outside Falun (direction Rättvik), just before the Gamla Fruns väg, on the left hand side.

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Pretty cool kid. 

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The reason I exist and why you should go there

My parents met during Midsummer, of course. At Dössberget, of course, in Bjursås, 20 kilometers north of Falun. 

Where the mountains and the forests in the distance are the bluest and the greenest, the midsummer pole the midsummer-est, the party the most genuine, the stage the most beautifully situated, the nearby riding school the most picturesque.

(Biased? Who?)

Dössberget is like a festive place and an open museum in one. The view is great, there are typical Dalecarlian houses, swings, a museum with antique vehicles, animals (in summer) and a cottage with typical Dalecarlian paintings.

For the eating, ice cream and the fikaDössbergets Värdshus. 

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3 o’clock am, in June, Dössberget four minutes to the right.

 

Café Peace & Love

People might tell you not to go to Borlänge. Therefore, go to Borlänge.

My friend and I were not supposed to go to Algeciras, Spain, that summer of 69. (Only joking, I was born 77.) But we caught the wrong bus.

In industrial Algeciras my friend picked up this guy. Then he became my boyfriend.

I still love Spain, and the fast and careless way of speaking in Andalusia.

See.

Go to Borlänge, for love.

The name of the place: Café Peace & Love.

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Photo credit: Café Peace & Love
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Photo credit: Café Peace & Love

Organic food, purple seating, candle light bathroom, sometimes a peace-full performance.

If you’re more of a capitalist that loves meatballs, go to IKEA.

Borlänge has it all, including the title as the most dangerous municipality in Dalarna.

Oooooo

Abrazos,
Maria

When you’re sick of meatballs, stuffed baguettes and the raw herring. Or didn’t like it in the first place.

In Dalarna there are two Indian restaurants.
Smell that clove, ginger and coriander?

How do they do it?

17 years ago, I was in India.

One day I go back, I said.

To be wise and stuff.

Eat.

So when am I gonna go?

When am I cool and rich?

I go to Borlänge sometimes.

And Falun.

I bet you too, end up in at least one of the two cities, during your Dalarna stay.

Perhaps you’re like me and would love some chicken korma?

New Mumbai Falun

Dala Indiskt Kök Borlänge

 

For the most beautiful swim

You’ll find plenty of beaches around Siljan, the biggest lake of Dalarna. But if you feel like going off the beaten track there’s this cool place in the forest.

I didn’t even know about this limestone quarry in Djura myself, until I told my niece and nephew about my project  – guiding travellers to the best of Dalarna.

Children tell the truth,  you know.

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There are cliffs and caves.

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Your must visit Dalarna candy shop

Lady Britta in Sågmyra is 85 years old. Perhaps she found a bunch of kindness to keep, every year, because she is very friendly. And does she have experience when it comes to candy. 

Candy=godis.

Lösgodis, very popular in Sweden, is godis in a bag that you fill up yourself.

The bags at Britta’s are small, like back in the days.

But you can always grab two bags, that’s what I do.

I mean, you’re not at Britta’s and her boxes every day.

Some people might tell you that Sågmyra is the place that God forgot about when in Dalarna. But back in the days the giant woll factory next to Britta´s had a thousand employees.

The impressive building is still there, only without the action.

But you can buy shoes in Sågmyra, if you feel like walking. And you might.

There are actually a few more shops creating some action in the village, among them one with nice things for your kitchen.

If you don’t like cooking the mansion from back in the woolen days is still there, serving lunch.

Not that you need lunch.

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Almost as long as eternity

Photo credit: Rättviks kommun
Header credit: Poet Bo Bergman

I’ve got proof.
This Long Bridge in Rättvik takes you places, even if it doesn’t even reach the other side. 

The beach is so shallow you could let two hundred preschools visit without loosing one single kid to the water.

Therefore, the boats need to stop 628 meters from shore.

Not that most people walk the bridge to get to a boat.

We walk the bridge to get a walk in the blue.

The mountains of Dalarna are – for some reason I could not find through google – blue.

And the water, you know, and the sky.

Blue.

Once I had an interview for a job in Rättvik. Since I am a Swede and would rather kill myself than be late for an interview, I was early.

When you are early in Rättvik, you go for a walk in the blue.

Needless to say, I got the job.

This was a few years back, before the recent war in Syria. Still, people had to escape their home countries, for other reasons. Some of them came without their parents, and I was given the job to care for them.

It was a bit like going to Afghanistan.

I often missed my daughter, feeling insufficient and wondering if I’d bitten off more than I could chew (or as we say in Swedish : if I had taken myself water over the head).

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Children are to walk in pink on bridges, holding a steady hand. Children are not to die in water. No shit, we say. Then, shit.

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7 signs you’re becoming a Swede, well suited to live in Dalarna

You are on time
Simple as that. If you´re late you´re sorry and ashamed, and stay quiet for fifteen minutes.

You fikar
To fika is to take a break from whatever you need to pause from. To fika is to drink coffee (preferable with gratis refill)/tea/juice/mineral water and eat chocolate ball/cake/wholemeal bread with turkey and green pepper, with a friend or two or three, at home or at some place. To fika is to realize that tomorrow might not come.

You are quiet on the bus
Talking to other passengers is for weirdos. Actually you don’t even stand up for a pregnant woman, or help a father with the trolly. You are too shy/busy being depressed/why me?/over worked/embarrassed/I´m not gonna disturb.

You hate drugs and love alcohol
We do have heroin addicts in Sweden, and people who drink organic locally produced juices only. This is a generalized list. You hate when people don´t get that and start to argue.

You are a best friend forever
When people have deserved it, that is. Like proven normal, is kind with animals and keeping any religion very low profiled. Until then you talk about the weather.

Sugar is your enemy
It is going to kill you, whether it be in sweets, bread or pasta. (Fika eats war on sugar – was the world ever logical?) Just don’t use it. Ever. Sweden is on war with sugar and we need to close our borders to be able to handle this. Just consider the overweight children – do they really get enough?

You found your partner on the Internet
It’s too cold and dark to go out, and whatever the weather you like your sofa and your tea/organic juice/heroin and writing away like crazy, to get an outlet for your oppressed feelings.

Personally I used Happy Pancake. Check it out for a Swedish date.

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For the Leksand gossip

Photo credit: Siljans konditori

The pleasant Culture House of Leksand is a great place, but Siljan´s konditori is very Leksand, too.
Culture Live. 

To the left, outdoors if it’s summer, indoors if it’s not, there is this group of men. I don’t know who they are but they are very Middle East-ish. They drink coffee and their wives are not to be seen.

I bet they know who scored in the latest Leksand ishockey-game and I think their dad and daddies have been here since 1913.

The local journalist is often seen at Siljans. Speak up, and she might tell your story.

The mother group is here, with the new borns or almost, and the kaffe lattes, or, if the person is a ishockey wife – sparkling water because water is ice only not frozen. And without calories.

Watch the students from Leksand Folk High School – they study design, ceramics, book binding and silver smithery. Yes, you’ll see who they are, and we love them for that.

If you want to be a silver smith, well, be.

(If you’re a writer, write.)

There is a school in Leksand for not hearing people. You won’t hear them either, but perhaps take a look at their interesting communication.

For a closer look at a Swedish plumber, carpenter or electrician in blue, come on a Friday. Then they don’t work as much as they fikar* at Siljan.

We love them anyway.

I´m sure you’ll find a teacher here as well, having Friday lunch, or an assistent nurse or some boss that needs a break.

Everyone is welcome, and so are you.

If you feel a little lonely, chances are good you’ll find a sweet friend.

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*Please read the second paragraph here