I've never lived there, but my grandparents have been in the area around Karlholmsbruk, and with my grandparents on my mothers side being farmers, and both being from the area, with relatives all around etc, and doing business in the area, essentially a square between Tierp - the "1" - Lövstabruk - Dannemora are places I know by heart, since I spent every holiday and a good many weekends etc at my grandparent's farm.
There's a saying in Sweden that, if you're born north or south of the river Dalälven (Which ends by the "1" in the map), your heart and soul forever belongs to that side, no matter how long you spend living on the other side of it. Dunno if it's because of that, but I've always felt at home in that area. As if it's always gonna be my "real" home, that I belong there. I think I know the geography of that area, which roads leads where, in my mind, way better than I know the area around here.
But way often, one tend to overlook the obvious. It's an interesting area, with a lot of stuff to photograph, but going away, one tend to go away somewhere further away. I've actually never decided to go there, to just drive around that area and photograph. To actually spend some time in a lot of those places and check them out.
First stop "1", was "Rullsand" and "Billudden". Rullsand is a camping area and very popular beach, including a nude beach, while Billudden is an enviromentally interesting and protective cape next to it. Actually, there's no strict borders between any of it.
Billudden, which ACTUALLY was my target essentially is land that's rising since the ice age, with rather visible signs of it, and essentially a lot of sand and fields of round, polished stones.
As it was, I was walking out towards "Billudden", but found a sign to a WC, which I needed, then followed a path and ended up out on the nudist beach. No problem, as such. Was fairly early, and not that many people there. I'm not exactly someone that would shy away from spending time on that nude beach, but one does feel a touch awkward walking there with clothes, as well as carrying a camera. Came out on the actual Billudden. Found some path that lead through the forrest, but I really hated it, since there were "invisible" spider-webs every other meter or so. Thought I was gonna go crazy, after some time, when I walked into the 100th web or something. Made it across, and walked along the beach all around the cape. Took far longer than expected, and it was really warm. In the end, I came back to the nude beach again, but by that time I really didn't care. Was tired of all the walking on that stone beach and being really thirsty, all I wanted was to get back to the car (and the 1.5 l bottle of Pepsi I had in it, and made the option to make the same way back, even if it took me along the nude beach, since I knew that way, instead of trying to make it through the woods and find the road leasing back. Lot more people then, and a couple that had been there when I passed earlier was engaging in sexual activities.
To try to keep the number of images down, as well as being more of documentary of the trip, I've tried to avoid "special" images, but like this image a lot, so I'm posting it anyway. When I left the beach, my shoes were full of sand, so I sat down on that dry driftwood to empty them, and this "thing" had stuck to my shoe. Liked the look of it, so I placed it on the driftwood and took a couple of pictures.
Now, all I could wish for, would be a piece of driftwood here at home, that I could use as a place to photograph, because it has such nice texture :-p
Then it was off to the Vallonbruken.
Those are historically interesting, since they've both influenced Sweden's history, as well as formed that region. Back in the 15th century, as far as they know, there were talk about huge amounts of silver in Dannemora, but it was gonna be famous for it's iron. Essentially it was just to pick it up, with 50% of the ore being iron of very high quality, very clean and pure. It became famous all around Europe as the best iron you could get. Obviously a lot of iron works grew up around the mine to process all that iron, creating enormous riches. The owners of the works, building huge manors with huge parks etc, and everything they could come up with that would show how rich they were. "Bruk" is the Swedish word for "usage", but is also used for villages built around a process, and usually it's a built, complete, village in some way, meaning that you had the manor, the church, school, servants buildings as well as houses for the workers (usually uniform houses along some stretches of streets) along with the actual factory buildings. The interesting thing, is that all of it, since it was built by the owner of the village, have the same look and general design, making it a sort of closed community which visually belong together.
First stop was the "capital" of the region:
With today's spelling, it's actually "Lövstabruk", but I prefer the old "Leufsta".
The Clock Tower, which seem to be a sort of speciality for that region (as you're gonna see). They exist all over Sweden, but not as frequent as in that region.
An integral part of the "Bruk" was the dam, since it was needed for the process, but it also became a sort of central point of the village, integrating it into the geography of the village and a sort of extension to the park. Not as visible in that image of the manor house, but in Leufsta the house is built right next to the water, with a wooden bridge leading between the building and those gates leading out to the park.
Unfortunately the church was closed, and I didn't find any information about how and when one could have a look in it, unless you go there a Sunday or when they have concerts of course, so I never got to see their famous organ. Saw a sign for ice cream instead, something I sure wanted by that time. Headed there and found both a café and, I guess, 18th century babes. 2 really sweet and pretty girls, probably working there in the summer, which was dressed in "simple" 18th century clothes. At least I imagine it was that. I would describe it as clothes a maid might wear, or a young Miss in the summer. The thing I regret most, of my trip, is that I didn't ask if I could photograph them. Both because it would've been nice to have a picture of how they looked, but also because they sure would be interesting to photograph anyway, with or without those clothes. It was a touch expensive, but at the same time, I got a full teapot at the table so I could drink as much as I wanted, and the chocolate cake with vanilla cream was delicious. Spent way more time there than I could really afford, but it was so nice to sit down and just relax with several cups of tea. Think I'll have to make it back there, and then maybe, I should ask those 18th century babes if I could photograph them.
One of the oldest and biggest, since it was sort of expanded to a huge corporate, getting processed iron from a lot of places around Sweden and today's Finland etc, rather than ore. Today Forsmark is most known for having some of Sweden's Nuclear Power plant.
In that last picture, if you look closely at the building to the left of the clock tower, there's an interesting fact which seemed to be common practice in the region.
Fake windows. Obviously glass was expensive, and if they could get away with not having windows, they instead painted windows where windows were missing, to make the houses both look more expensive, as well as filling out the architecture. That way, all 4 windows at the end of this house were painted on.
In Forsmark they had both an English Park as well as a French Garden (The difference for those who doesn't know it, essentially is that a French garden is neat and arranged looking, while an English park is arranged to look like wilderness, often with exotic elements).
An interesting thing is that the "temple" is made out of wood, with bark as a dressing.
Also found a pet cemetery, it seemed by the names on them.
Next I left the Ironworks, and headed out to the coast instead.
Once having exclusive right to ship the iron from the ironworks, but now it's an extremely typical summer town, where more or less rich people heads to in the summer. As such, the town is very much built around that, today, and they make as much as possible out of it. Almost everything have some relation to the marina, in one way or the other. All restaurants have names such as "The Happy Duck" and I don't know what. For good and worse. It was it's own town, but it became too popular as a place for tourists (both the harbor as well as working as a spa towards the end of the 19th century). A lot of rich summer guests started to buy all the houses to live in, in the summers. That meant that large parts of the town was deserted in the winter and in the end it had to join another town to be able to support itself.
But they have a clock tower :-p
greenskye LOOK!!! They also have a barge :-p :-p
As I said, Öregrund had to join another town, and that's Östhammar. Once a big harbour, but as the land rised above the sea, the people of Östhammar founded Öregrund instead, so it's sort of fitting that Öregrund has rejoined with Östhammar. It's the central town in the area, and as such fairly big in comparison, but a very sleepy town which doesn't have that much to offer.
Not even a clock tower :-p This, I guess, was the closest I could find. But instead they had a huge church with a tower.
Of all things, I found a shop called "Lust", where they sold, you're right, lingerie, oils and sexual aid (mattie, guess that would be something for you). Not something I've sort of expected to come across in such small and sleepy town. And yes. I actually saw that girl, visible in the window below "Lust", coming along the street, and waited for her to to reflect in the window below the text.
Back to the Ironworks, even if Harg is at the very edge of it.
Sadly, it's privately owned and the owners don't let anyone near the place. Sad, because it's a neat looking place. I'm slightly mixed by that. We might be slightly spoiled by the fact that so many historically interesting places are open to the public, in one way or another. At the same time, of course one should respect the owner's right to privacy, but at the same time it's an interesting place and to have it entirely closed off is somewhat wrong. Not saying that they should be forced to open it up to the public, but if they decide to live in such a place, some kind of compromise should be made which sort of take both sides into account. As it is now, only 1 building at the furthest end are open and working as a museum, with 2 other buildings being "visible".
Right next to Dannemora, and I guess the biggest town today. A living town, in that sense. They're half famous for it's bath, outdoor. It's popular, and every 2nd weekend of August, 13th - 14th this year, they have "Eldfesten" (The Fire Party) at the bath. This year they celebrate the 70th year of it, so I guess they're spending some more on it, but.. every year they have one or two fairly big and popular artists performing on a floating stage, a really huge firework (where they essentially use the whole bath as a stage for the firework, having a fairground etc, as well as a fire show, with divers etc. Actually never been to it, but I've thought about it, and this year I might go there. It was getting late. I headed out to the bath the first thing, essentially to get an ice cream and something to drink (since you tend to find that at bathing places), and as before, it was nice to sit down and relax, so I spent some time there just relaxing and looking at the people that was still taking baths that late.
They had a slightly boring garden there, but had to take this one for you miravisu. Think you'd love to walk down that "avenue".
In the background of the first image, you see Bruno Liljefors's studio. He's one of the most famous Swedish painters, and he lived in the manor for some time, and the manor is still owned by "The Bruno Liljefors's Foundation". Not sure if the statue have any relation to him, but it was an interestingly odd statue. It really made me curious, and I'd love to know more about the history of it. Gotta find that out.
Just some wall I found, but I really liked it, and I wish I could have brought it home with me :-p
It was starting to get late, but I had one stop left. Especially since it's only about 10 minutes away from Österbybruk. Still, Dannemora maybe is the least interesting place of them all, even if, at daytime, you can enter the mines etc. But Dannemora, which was working until 1992 essentially is just big holes in the ground, some 80 of them, and once mining got modern, most of it is underground and invisible. Just read, though, that some company is thinking about re-opening the mine since there's still vast amounts of ore there (hard to believe after 500 years of mining in the area), which would allow the mine to be working for at least 25 more years, and create work for at least 100 people. That would be a good thing, since you don't have any big industries in that region and I suspect all work is welcomed.
The big hole. A remain from 100's of years back, when they just started digging. 200 meters/650 ft long and 100 meters/325 ft deep.
Severe wide angle, but that couldn't be helped. Wanted to have the clock tower and the mine shaft tower in the same image.
More than 12 hrs after having taken the first picture of the day, the sun started setting and it was time to drive "home".