Our drive today took us through beautiful forests, lakes and pastoral scenes. The beautiful red houses were everywhere. There were several small villages where all the houses were red. We learned that the red colour came from the slag from producing silver at the mind in Falun, a town in the area.
We arrived in Örebro around 1 pm and we found our hotel without a hitch, it was across the street from the Castle! We delayed gratification for our trip through the castle until after we had lunch at a quaint restaurant across the canal from the castle. The food was good (Salmon meal #4) and the beer delightful after the long drive. We checked out the castle only to learn that you could only get in on a tour and the next (and only) English tour was at 4:30 pm. So we walked down to the Wadköping open-air museum (http://www.orebro.se/5998.html). It was a delightful park – the Swedish equivalent of Fort Edmonton Park!
We watched a wood carver work for a while and delighted in his skill with a lathe and chisel. We got back to the castle in time and had a great interpretive tour of the castle. This castle was famous for being part of the shift in power from one Swedish royal dynasty to another. There was a whole lot of jockeying for power around the time that Napoleon I was in power – the Swedes lost Finland to the Russians around that time and blamed their king for the loss. They deposed him and invited (a loose description of events) a French general to be adopted as King Carl XIII’s son and heir. The general Bernadotte promised (8 million Kronor from Napoleon and the return of Finland or, we also heard that he had a plan to annex Norway). Neither promise was kept but the French general became King Carl XIV. The deal was put into effect at Örebro in 1810. Thus began the reign of the current royal family. I probably got lots of that wrong – but it is a fun story.
After the castle visit, we wandered the old town and happened upon the 35th anniversary tour of band ToTo in the Church square. We heard a little of the blaring tunes before they took a break. Good and loud music. We weren’t sure why people were buying tickets – we heard it all from the street. Then off to find a restaurant that proved more difficult than usual due to the concert. We finally settled into a place and had genuine Swedish Mexican food.
We are off again tomorrow to Western Sweden. We will be reuniting with my high school friend Elizabeth. I am soooo excited!