Outside Linköping – Motala

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A boat in Motala.

 

Two weeks ago I spent a sunny afternoon in Motala, 50 kilometers away from Linköping. It is built on the Göta Canal, and on the Vättern Lake, on the opposite side of Jönköping.

How to get there?

Getting to Motala is super easy. Indeed, you only have to go to Linköping’s train station and take the “pendeltåg” (the regional train) to Motala’s central station. It takes about 40 minutes.

Linköping-Motala by train.

When it comes to the tickets, you must buy a regional day ticket (available in the whole Östergötland region). It costs 100kr (around 10 euros). – It makes me feel that I should explain how to use public transportation in Linköping and the Östergötland region.

What to do in Motala?

I just needed to get away from the city so I decided to go Motala to stroll in the sunlight. And that’s what I did. I mostly hung out around the Göta canal – which is one of the most important Swedish construction, and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Sweden – and around lake Vättern.

I ended my day with a Chaï Latte in Espresso House, and went back home around 5pm.

I really recommend the destination as a short get-away from Linköping. Plus, the train ride through the country side is very nice!

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Swedish dictionary – Semla/or

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Vegan semlor.

Today is fettisdagen (or fat Tuesday) ! On this day it is tradition to eat semlor (semla, in singular) in Sweden. Although today is the official day to eat them, semlor are often sold in bakeries and cafés from the beginning of February – if not end of January. I baked some vegan ones with one of my housemates two weeks ago, they were very good – you can see them on the pictures above.

What are semlor?

Semlor are a traditional Swedish pastry. They are basically composed of:

  • puff pastry
  • whipped cream
  • marcipan
  • sugar on top

It can be very heavy to eat, but I really like it. They really are tradition here, almost as much as kanelbullar! Yesterday, was even organized an event at university to eat some – but I did not go because I had to study…

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Swedish dictionary – Systembolaget

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Systembolaget sign.

Here is a word you definitely need to know in Sweden: Systembolaget is the state-owned store where you buy alcohol.

Well, it is the store where you buy drinks with more than 3,5% of alcohol. Below this amount, drinks can be bought in a regular supermarket.

A few rules to abide by

To enter Systembolaget, you need to be at least 20 years-old. And don’t try to mess with this rule. If you are less than 20, you can’t even be with someone who is buying for you. They won’t be able to buy alcohol if they are with an under-aged person. Plus, you will be systematically asked for your ID at the check-out, no matter how old you are. So, no cheating.

Prices are high

Drinks are taxed based on their alcohol rate. This leads to high prices, especially for spirits such as rhum or vodka. Beers and ciders are sold by unit. Count between 10kr and 30kr for a single beer or cider.

Restrictive opening hours

You can find Systembolaget stores in almost every cities in Sweden, and they all approximately have the same opening hours:

  • 10-19 from Monday to Friday
  • 10-15 on Saturday
  • closed on Sunday

This makes it a necessity to organize yourself if you want to buy alcohol, before a party for instance. As a French citizen I am used to go to the nearest supermarket at 9pm before heading to a dinner or a party, but here I have to think about it days before! So sometimes you have to call your friends and ask them to get alcohol from you if you don’t have time to go – and then, you can Swish them.

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