We departed Skane for Småland and a visit with family. Our maternal great grandmother immigrated from Sweden in 1890. Her brothers stayed in Sweden, and their family welcomed us for Midsommar.
Småland is another beautiful area of Sweden with farms like Skane, but they also have forests.
We stayed with our cousin Christer and his wife Berit for four days. Many, many thanks to them for the hospitality, food, entertainment and much shuttling around. Our relatives came from the Almhult area, home of the IKEA headquarters. The first IKEA store was here, and is now a museum.
We toured the museum with cousins. It is well done and worth a visit. It covers more than just the history of IKEA, but Sweden and design as well. One display compared an antique chair with a modern IKEA chair. In the photo below, the chair on the right is an original from 1780, designed by chair-maker Johan Peter Mansnerus. The 1995 IKEA chair on the left was part of the 18th century furniture collaboration with the Swedish National Heritage Board. There was a textile playground and you could put yourself on the cover of an IKEA catalog, which we did.
Our IKEA catalog covers with cousins Rolf and Christer:
Lunch at this IKEA was the best I’ve ever had at an IKEA, and is special to this museum restaurant only; salmon balls.
We drove from Almhult to Melbystrand for Midsommer’s Eve, using smaller back roads, and were rewarded with a moose sighting.
I love fish soup, and try it whenever it is available. A short walk from my cousin’s house in Melbystrand we had dinner at Kustvagen 46, which serves one of the best fish soups I’ve tasted.
A visit to Halmstad Midsommer’s Eve morning produced a crown of flowers that I wore to put me in the “Midsommer mood.”
For Midsommar’s Eve Christer and Berit prepared a traditional feast including herring (three versions), potatoes and of course a strawberry cake. It was lovely.
To experience the traditional folk dances and costumes on Midsommar Day, we headed to Carl Linnaeus’ birthplace Linnés Råshult for an exhibition. http://www.linnesrashult.se
Midsommar’s Day dinner we enjoyed with Christer and Berit’s son Tobias, his wife Johanna and their two kids at the old farmstead. The fancy dining room is still as it always was and used for special dinners.