Dalarna trip report

Anna has always had a soft spot for Dalarna and it was on her wish list so we decided it was time to have a few days in Zorn land.

Monday: We drove to Kristinehamn in alternating sun and heavy rain. Our first objective was Picasso’s concrete 15-metre-high statue of his wife Jacqueline. The statue was impressive, the wind blew hard and the environment around it was also impressive. After a 7-hour drive, we needed our hotel which turned out to be probably the ugliest we have stayed in. But our room was spacious and quite good. The restaurants were a 30-minute walk into town. La Cucina delivered acceptable food served by a rather curt Chinese man.

Tuesday: Breakfast was sparse and noisy. A child’s play area in the same room was used actively by two boys. An elderly lady talked incessantly to her friend who tried but failed to say anything. We drove towards Sätergläntan, a school for handicrafts. We ate lunch in their canteen. It had the peaceful and familiar feelings of a residential occupational school. On the way, we passed trees, lakes, trees and yet more lakes. Red buildings peppered the scenery as beautiful punctuation. We drove up the left side of Lake Siljan which hid itself in the trees. We crossed over to the island of Sollerön and sought a café. We ended up in an old people’s home restaurant, drank weak coffee and ate carrot cake. Our hotel in Mora was fine and dinner in its restaurant quite acceptable. The hotel pool reeked of chlorine and the sound of excited children. It was avoided.

Wednesday: Breakfast was crowded and noisy with people wearing aspirational T-shirts, “Lamour”, “Legend” and a young lady with too-short shorts from which her bottom cheekily hung out.

Zorn’s house was amazing even for the second time around. The museum beside it showed what a consummate artist he was. His portraits especially earned him a fortune, part of which, he lavished on his house in Mora that had all the latest gadgets for the beginning of the 1900s. There was electric water heating, a telephone, central heating and a vacuum cleaner.

We bought a Dala horse in Nusnäs and a hamburger in Solgördskrogen. In Tällberg it was coffee and strawberry soda. Faluröd houses in the lush green landscape paled from beautiful to kitsch by way of excess.

Next stop Falun and the First Hotel. Dinner was Indian, quite good and closely followed by shuffleboard in the hotel lobby. I cannot remember who won.

Thursday: We travelled 13 kilometres to Carl Larsson’s house which, with his wife and 8 children, is featured in many of his paintings. His wife, when not giving birth, was an innovative textile designer. Then we drove to near Linköping and a relation of Anna’s where we stayed the night and ate an excellent venison steak.

Friday: Breakfast, goodbyes and a fast drive down the motorway and home.