Sweden is twice the size of the UK yet its population is more than 6 times smaller. Linköping is the 7th biggest city in Sweden- this gives you a clue as to the general size of towns and cities.
Linköping is a lovely city but I’ve not actually spent that much time there. Most things that I need, I can get in the village where I live or towns near by. I do feel like I missed out on some of the perks of city living- mainly being able to meet up with friends, but the benefits of living in the countryside are great. One of things my husband and I noticed most when we first arrived was the quiet. The countryside is so peaceful and calm. The landscape is beautiful too and we have enough space outside to play badminton and to sit out when it’s warm. At night the stars are clear and we see incredible animals moving in our woods.
Despite enjoying the countryside, I wanted to see some of the other cities, to see how they measure up to Linköping. Kalmar is the closest city to where I live. Before visiting I was curious about it, I had read that it was once voted Sweden’s best summer destination. It is situated on the south east coast of Sweden and a train runs there from Linköping, taking about 3hrs.
When we visited (in early October) the weather was bright and sunny but being a coastal city, the breeze made it feel colder that it probably was. We found a parking spot and made our way to the water front. It was there that we saw the famous castle. The castle was not open for tours inside but we were able to walk on the battlements and read about it’s rich history, as well as look in at some of the shops. There was also a restaurant in the castle that looked (and smelt) great. In the winter, a market is held inside the castle wall, on two weekends in December. Unfortunately because of deadlines I didn’t get the chance to visit it this year but it’s on my ‘to do’ list for next year. I’ve heard it’s really good.
The castle is absolutely stunning and the gardens near by are beautiful. They are situated on the shore and from the battlements, beaches can be spotted. I can see why Kalmar was considered such a good summer location. The water was crisp and clear and the scenery was gorgeous.
After looking at the castle we walked around the town. The town is not very big but it has some nice shops. It also has a really good sweet shop! In the summer, we were told that bands play in one of the squares which I hope to see next summer. We also looked at the cathedral (pictured left) and the Land museum. Kalmar has both a land and a sea museum as well as a large art gallery. On my next visit I think I would like to visit the gallery. I’ve read that the light in Kalmar has proved to be source of inspiration to many artist- this is some thing I can definitely believe.
At lunch time we had to choose between a number of restaurant but in the end, because the sun was to nice, we decided to get a take away pizza and sit at the water’s edge. I would definitely recommend visiting Kalmar- it was much quieter than an English city, and smaller but beautiful full of incredible history.