Sunday, August 29, 2021

Horses, Pigs, and Chickens in Dalarna

We needed to drive a car up to missionaries living in Borlange so we took an extra day to see the sites (and then took the train home).  The Dalarna area is a 3-4 hour drive north of Stockholm.  It's not that far in miles but the road is narrow and the speed limit is constantly jumping from 110 to 40 to 60 to 100 to 30.  Just when you get moving, you have to slow down or you will get a very pricey photo radar ticket.  Dalarna is a cultural center featuring the Dalahastar (the wooden horses) and the Swedish artist Carl Larsson's home.  It's a beautiful area with lots of cropland, which suited us just fine!

Ah . . . this is what we like to see.  Open countryside.  Farm land. Blue skies and puffy white clouds!  So nice to be out of the city!

We couldn't get enough of the wide open spaces and the beautiful cropland.

We're at Falun for the night.  LeRon was thrilled to see a "real" Japanese restaurant.  This is just like the restaurants he saw regularly on his mission to Japan many years ago.  You can "see" the menu in the window and know exactly what you are getting.

Here's a close-up of the menu that we "saw."  Funny thing though . . . we saw vegetable tempura . . . and guess what . . . there was no vegetable tempura on the actual menu.  So disappointing.

But the food really was delicious.  We are very partial to real Japanese food.  As opposed to what they call Japanese food in the food courts at malls.

Old, old churches here.  The door on the left says MDCL or 1650.  The door on the right says MCMV or 1905.  Did it take that long to build?

And this building was built in 1900.  The facade is very well kept.  I wonder what the inside is like.  Does it smell like an old building?

Now we're at Nusnas, which is the center of the Dala Horse carving places.  In the 1600's, little wooden horses were carved in this area as toys for children.  The Dala Horse became a "thing" due to the 1939 World's Fair in New York.  The Swedish exhibition displayed a gigantic wooden painted horse and it became a sensation.  From then on, the Dala Horse became a symbol of Sweden.  The painting reminds me of the "Tole Painting" that we learned how to do in Relief Society in the 1970's.

Across the road from the Dala Horse Factory is a "church-boat."  Near as I can tell, it was used in boat races.  Not sure why it is called a church boat.  This one is about 200 years old.

Now to the Dala Horse factory.  Outside are a huge horse, a pig, and a chicken.  Why a pig?  Why a chicken?  No one could tell me.  But those are the only animals that are carved.

The chicken was gorgeous!

Inside the factory . . .

The basic shapes are first cut with a band saw.  Then they are hand-carved, hand-sanded and hand-painted by local people.

Now we're back at Sundborn at the Carl Larsson home.  Now that things have opened up, there were many tourists here.  We didn't go inside the house because we did that back in May when there were few tourists and we had a tour all on our own.

The guides dress in clothing that Karin Larsson would have worn.  She designed flouncy, comfortable clothing.  Not very stylish but comfortable.

LeRon found that this millstone made an interesting table top.

I love this picture.  Click to enlarge.  Karin loved her garden and lake and I can see why.  

Carl Larsson built this electrical generating plant right next to his house.  He and Karin had the first electricity in the area.

Carl and Karin's children worked with her in the garden.  Reminded me of working with our kids in the garden.  For many years, each child had a very small plot within the family garden that was theirs and theirs alone.  They weeded it and harvested it.  I remember the year Michael grew watermelons.  Eric was very small when one day he discovered that Michael's watermelons had tiny little melons all over them.  Eric excitedly picked them all and brought them to Michael, exclaiming excitedly, "Look, Michael.  You have watermelons!"  Michael very calmly replied, "Well, I DID have watermelons."  I was pretty proud of the way he reacted.

Back home and a walk through the forest.  Beautiful bug eating the leaves!

And heather blossoming everywhere.  I love heather.  We first saw it in Scotland and Ireland.  I remember the girls in Young Women (a church program for girls ages 11-18) discussing the meanings of their names.  My daughter, Heather, finally spoke up, "I'm just a little shrub."  So cute.  Heather is resilient, just like the shrubby heather plant, and beautiful too.

The two missionaries who planted the tiny garden on the right of the picture have finished their missions and gone home.  They wouldn't have liked to see the deer that have been coming daily to eat their precious garden.  We keep chasing them away but they keep coming back.


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