Once upon a time, we got an unique opportunity to get a guided tour in Österlen region of Sweden. Österlen is the southeast part of Skåne region. It was a big tour organized by the University I was working with, but I do realize now that these places are not straightforward on the map and also not that easily accessible by public transport. Hence, I will try to write this blog about the places and why they are worth visiting, but the means to reach there will be based on just basic search and not really based on my personal experience.
I will write about Malmo, Lund and Ystad cities in my other blog post on this website, though they will be mentioned in this blog post for travel guidelines.
Located in the Österlen region of Sweden, is a ship set of 59 large stones or boulders, possibly from Iron age. These stones are located on a hill overlooking Baltic sea and Bornholm (Danish Island). Entire set is approximately 67 meters long and 19 meters wide. It is one of the Sweden’s largest preserved set. No one knows who or why these set of stones were erected. Since they are placed in a shape of boat, some assume it was a guide used for shipping, while others argue about it’s astronomical importance and some think it’s an old burial site.
Personal opinion : It was an unique experience to say the least. I would personally suggest to visit this place on a warm day, but I guess it would be crowded as well. It’s super windy, prepare yourself accordingly. Stones are simple yet something magnificent about it when you think about how and why they are there? Don’t forget to go beyond the stones and stare at the Baltic sea. It’s an absolute must.
How to reach? Kåserberga is the closest fishing village to this place and a bus nr. 322 from Ystad would approximately take 20 minutes. Ystad can be reached by train from Malmö central station in an hour.
A stone walled house built in 1499 still stands proudly in Simrishamn district in Skåne region. The house was built when current Skåne or Scania back then was part of Denmark. House was used for residential purposes by the Knight and his family. Among the luxuries provided to the family was the presence of hot air channels to combat the winter. In 16th century, two attempts were made by the Swedish authorities to demolish it before Danish recapture it, which never succeeded. Later the house was used to only store grains. House contains many defensive arrangements to combat against the attackers. Today, house is under Swedish heritage society. It also helps for fantasizing ghost stories of the area in local folklore.
Personal opinion: Well, it looks too humble from outside to believe it was meant for a knight. But the facilities inside the house might be the luxury it is talking about. It is a sturdy residence and not particularly decorative or has sculptures, though presence of rune stones makes it exotic. The very fact it has survived all these years is an achievement of it’s own. Also reusing the heat generated from the kitchen for heating other rooms was innovative.
How to reach? A bus (number 576 towards Hannas torget) from Simrishamn station will take you directly towards the Glimmengehus. One and half hour regional train ( Pågatågen) journey from Malmo via Ystad or by changing the train at Lund will be a way to reach Simrishamn.
Stenshuvud National Park – Stranden
If time would have permitted we would have explored the National park itself but we had time only to explore the beach. I would highly recommend this activity if you are also visiting national park. Beach is clean and beautiful with very light coloured sand but cold water even in late spring.
Easiest way to reach the national reserve from Simrishamn is by car.
If you have some time then Simrishamn is a wonderful city/coastal town to explore. It has many museums (auto and flygmuseum among others) and port/harbour that can be enjoyed. The new town hall and the church are visually beautiful buildings as well.
Österlens Museum was a unique experience as it offered a gateway in old scandic way of living life. Just a reminder that how places and people have evolved to where we are right now.
Gunilla Mann Art museum
At the end of this trip we got a chance to visit the art museum of Gunilla Mann. She is a Swedish painter born in Gothenburg. Her style is described as detailed, colourful and simple.
After this museum visit we returned back home but there is so much more to see in Skåne.