“Come on Ride that Train…And Ride It…”

Today, we traveled by rail to Falun. A small mountain town about two and half hours north of Stockholm. The lust green landscape was a familiar site. The perfectly crisp green meadows with sprouts of early summer vegetation was reminiscent of my maternal family roots in Tennessee. I know farming is hard work, but the landscape is so peaceful and calming.

The farther we moved outside the city, I firmly believe the Scandinavian countries restrict outdoor paint colors to barn rust red, mustard yellow, gloss black, and hunter green. These colors acted as bookends to the random clusters of houses in the smaller outlying towns where the train occasionally stopped. 

After we arrived in Falun, we missed our bus by minutes and were forced into another taxi situation. Initially we attempted to walk to the museum, but after five MILES (we are stubborn people…. You would think after a mile or two a smart person would turn around, not us! Plus, we needed some exercise, so we could eat dessert later). The lovely paved path was twisting around the main road, but abruptly came to a dead end on a major highway, we agreed to call in reinforcements. 

I added a ‘passport’ package to my June phone bill. I have AT&T for my service provider. It allows me a certain number of international phone calls, free text messaging, and a small amount of data for $30. I have kept my phone in airport mode mainly. Today I had to call a taxi, so the phone package was a savior today.

Thirty minute taxi ride later, we arrived at the Carl Larsson home. In need of refreshment and lunch we enjoyed watermelon, sandwiches, and two Swedish desserts. I must say my sandwiches were off the chain today. I am naming them “the green machine”. I used a cucumber sandwich for my inspiration with the traditional cream cheese, but added spinach and presto vinaigrette. Amazingly fresh and delicious. 

We were lead through the Larsson house by a guide that clued us in to little bits of information. Like some of the tapestry designs from Carl’s wife Karin are used in IKEA! In Carl’s bedroom he had a secret door. The door was no bigger than a small window, but he believed he should see his artwork first thing in the morning. The rooms were spectacularly splashed with colors of oranges and ivy greens. The colorful stain glass windows made the rooms glow, while the larger picture windows captured the surrounding landscape of trees and a lily pond. Larsson customized each room with hand painted text, vines, ribbons, and family portraits on the doors. Unfortunately, we were unable to snap interior photos, but I was able to swipe some images from Google. 

Although public transportation was the root of frustration today, it was still another spectacular day abroad. I am now sitting on the return train to Stockholm as the evening sun warms the cabin. Tomorrow will be a day of relaxation! We have a spa day scheduled for traditional Swedish messages. Only six days left in our journey!  

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