We began the day with another drive through pine forests from Orebro, this time to Vadstena, an historic place on Lake Vattern. Another cold morning, we wrapped up warm for a walk along the lakeside and were surprised to see a woman emerge from the water in a bikini - our car thermometer read 2C and the water must have been only slightly above freezing. She was, it has to be said, rather pink!
Our first stop was in the convent church of St Birgitta, a principal destination for pilgrims and an important historic site. We found the interior to be breathtaking, especially the vaulted ceiling which was so beautifully painted.
By the time we'd meandered through a few old streets we felt in need of refreshment and stopping in a little Konditori could not resist a couple of traditional Semla
Sitting outside in a sheltered spot, the sunshine on our faces, we tried hard to convince ourselves that there were calorie-free (but failed)
Vadstena is also noted for lace making, so seeing an open door to a small lace studio, we took a closer look. Not being a lace maker myself, I'd appreciate a comment or two explaining what particular characteristics make this lace different from some of the English lace I'm more accustomed to seeing when I'm out judging craft competitions. All I could say is that it is different!
We left Vadstena early afternoon and drove through open countryside with wetlands and wildfowl in abundance. We often think that certain parts of England have an "old" feel to them, somehow; that one can sense the long history associated with particular fields and open spaces. The same could be said for this part of Ostergotland. We parked the car in a remote spot and walked over to take a closer look at The Rock.
It was well worth the visit and we both agreed it was the highlight of our day. Carved with the longest runic inscription known, it was beautifully placed by the old church where it had been discovered. Not only was the stone itself fascinating, it was suitably framed under a fine shelter supported by the most lovely wooden pillars.
Oh, and for those of us who have difficulty interpreting runic inscriptions, there was a helpful translitteration in a nearby building
So, another interesting day. We're rather looking forward to dinner tonight at Wongs since it seems a long time since those Semla. Last night's place promised more than it delivered, sadly, and though the service was excellent, the food didn't really live up to expectation. Never mind...another day, another dining experience!