We said goodbye to the coast and made our way inland through Småland. We found a camping spot on a lake just outside of Växjö. It was a nice badplats (bathing place) with friendly locals taking in the last remnants of the setting sun. We cooked up a simple pasta dish accompanied with a salad and watched another stunning sunset over the lake from the beach.
One of the best parts about free-camping by a lake or beach is waking up and jumping in the water to wash off, followed by a relaxing coffee in the sun while drying off. We did exactly that the following morning surrounded by beautiful, crisp blue skies.
After cleaning up we made our way to the medieal Kronoberg castle stopping by an adorable cafe in the country side called Svenska Tantens Trädgårdscafe. We had a delicious salmon pie, and a sneaky dessert of blueberry pie and a kanelbulle (classical Swedish cinnamon pastry). Who ever said you can’t have a dessert after breakfast?
Kronoberg castle ruins are on Lake Helgasjön. We learnt that it was originally built for a Bishop’s home, but because the castle was strategically located, Swedish King Gustav Vasa claimed it to defend against the Danish border at the time.
The castle is not very big and you can knock it off within an hour. Just outside the castle is a cafe with lots of outdoor seating where we enjoyed a beer in the sun while taking in the lush scenery and catching up on our travel journal.
Värnamo was our next camping destination! We made a quick stop at Lidl to pick up the ingredients for Tom’s version of his mumäs famous tuna mornay. We found a newly registered spot to camp on the Park4Night app which had no verification, but it looked like a really nice secluded spot on a lake to the east of Värnamo, so we thought let’s just try it. A little bit of a rough road to get to this spot, but we had our very own park bench and campfire spot on a beautiful lake! We settled in and about thirty minutes later we were unexpectedly joined by a very friendly German couple and their three dogs, who also use Park4Night! We ended up spending a great evening having drinks by the campfire and exchanging stories!
The couple very kindly offered to make us breakfast pancakes (the bottle pre-mix where all you have to do is add milk), and we were pleasantly surprised – they were actually really good! Definitely will be picking some up for our future trips! Because it was our last day we decided to finish with a 12 km hike in Store Mosse National Park. It is the largest moss area in Southern Sweden, so needless to say, it was very flat with an excessive amount of boardwalks. It was pretty, but we both agreed that we preferred both Tiveden and Stenhuvuds national parks.
After the hike we drove a little further North to Långasjön, where we found a great spot for free camping at the badplats. The lake is surrounded by beautiful forest and the water, which is dark red in colour, is very warm. Since it was our last night we had picked up a nice entrecôte steak and we had some local red wine we picked up in Ystad. The wine turned out to be a disappointment, but the steak was cooked to perfection, medium-rare and accompanied with corn on the cob and a salad. A perfect meal on our last night, which we enjoyed whilst overlooking yet another gorgeous sunset over the lake.
We finished off the evening with some good old fashioned beer (actually wine) pong, Jamie destroying game three games to nil (… the usual).
The following morning we ran through our usual routine of coffee, breakfast and swim and packed up our things for the drive back to Gothenburg. Within three hours we were back in our apartment, happy to be home, but already missing the amazing countryside of Southern Sweden 🙂