We aren't doing any real travel this summer, but we did start lord_kjar
's summer vacation with some short adventures. His summer holiday started last week Monday, and he spent the first two days being one of the folk musicians being filmed playing music etc. for a movie (I used the time to finish that paper, which I already mentioned here). Then we had a couple of days mostly at home, doing various tasks getting ready for the big projects we wanted to accomplish this summer (but he got called into the office to help out for a bit of that time, anyway--the disadvantage of not actually traveling during one's vacation--they can still reach you at need).
Then on Thursday, after we spent the morning cementing a large stone into the earth cellar wall, we hopped into the car and drove to Tällberg, a tiny village nearly as far south as Skellefteå, and a bit inland. These days the village is mostly summer houses belonging to one family, but back before the 1930's people lived there year round. Apparently in the 1930's the government paid farmers to give up their farms and move to the cities, so that there would be more workers available for the factories. This village was one where people took the offer, and then, years later, when the forest service decided to sell the houses, the family bought them back to be used as summer cottages. We know some of the younger people in that family from the SCA and "Lajv"
These guys were some of the first to do Lajv
in northern Sweden, and, since their family had a bit of land, they decided to build a(nother) village on that land upon which to hold events. Every so often they get their hands on an old timber house that someone else wants to get rid of cheap (or sometimes free if you haul it away), and they add another house to the Lajv
village. This year is one of the years they are building a new house, and we were invited down to join them.
Since this sounded like fun to us, so we spent from Thursday afternoon through to Sunday afternoon living in one of their summer houses in the original village, and most of those days, walking the 1 km up the road to the Lajv
village to work on the new house in progress. The others spent hours there each day building, but I only did a little work there--the rest of the time I spent at the summer house working on sewing more hair to my beard that I need for the Viking-themed Lajv
event that will be held on this site in August. Since I was based at the house I also made time to cook meals for the others, so that food was ready when they got home from a day of building, and I think they appreciated it.
In addition to those projects we also went into Skellefteå twice that trip. Friday night three of us went in to the opening concert for the Spelmanstämman (gathering of musicians)
joined the other musicians from the Luleå nyckleharpa group, and they were the second performance of the evening (the other two of us in the car for that evening just enjoyed the show (and, of course, I worked on a sewing project whilst I listened).
That concert was held in a large church, which has some statues from the Middle Ages. One of which was a Madonna (long since missing the babe in her arms, along with the hands that once held him), who dates from the 12th Century, and is wearing a bliaut! I didn't expect to see such a statue in northern Sweden, though the church flyer says that particular statue "probably comes from Germany".
The next day we returned to the church because a friend of ours was doing her confirmation, and everyone staying at the summer house (five of us), agreed to go to that and then check out the market at the Spelmanstämnan
. I was not very comfortable attending a religious ceremony, but since we were in a group, and I had sewing to work on, I opted to sit with them and stitch. Granted, I stitched for part of the time, then went out to the car, got some food from the ice chest and enjoyed second breakfast, and then wandered back in after I got cold (it was windy that day) and stitched a bit more before the event was over. Then our group joined the family of the girl getting confirmed for fika at the cafe on the cute little island near the church before heading to the old town for the market. It was nice to see everyone, and fun to visit with them all.
Our plan had been to come home Sunday evening, but by Sunday morning I was itching to head home and get to work on the earth cellar again. I suggested this, but lord_kjar
really wanted to stay and keep building the timber house. Therefore we compromised and stayed till lunch, and then we headed home.
For the trip south we had taking the main highway south, then turned inland to the Tällberg. However, for the return trip we decided to take the scenic route by following the little dirt road upon which the village is located further inland until it hit a paved road, and then took that road north. This village isn't that far south from Hemmingsmark, the village where lord_kjar
grew up, so it was easy for him to guess correctly at each intersection we then came to, since all were labeled with the name of the next town or village one would come to, and he recognized all of the names. But I am glad he was driving, since it took several roads before I recognized the name of a village.
It turns out that going that way takes only 1 hour and 34 minutes, which was surprisingly quick, considering that taking the highway (which has faster speed limits) all the way to Skellefteå takes about 2 hours. However, while one can't drive as quickly on the little roads, it is a more direct path than the highway, which tends to follow the coast line.