Friday, April 13, 2012

L is for Lakes

Theme ~ Swedish Rhapsody
There are 97,500 lakes over 2 acres in size in Sweden, a country about the size of California. Counting the smaller lakes, there must be well over 100,000. A lake breaks up a landscape and gives us something pretty to look at as we drive  past. Looking out over southern Sweden from an airplane always gave me chills of pleasure. Before direct flights to Stockholm were available, I would often change planes in Copenhagen and then fly straight up across southern Sweden to Stockholm. My eyes would tear up as I looked out over all the lakes below. 

Driving down practically any road in the countryside south of Stockholm, the part of Sweden I'm most familiar with, you drive by a lake and enjoy the prettiness of it; then five minutes away, you drive by another lake, and so it goes. I read on the internet that there are 52 species of fish in the lakes and rivers of Sweden, some of them in very small numbers. 
The largest lake in Sweden, lake Vanern, covers an area of 2,183 sq miles, and is the third largest lake in Europe. It was formed during the last ice age, about 10,000 years ago.

Courtesy Wikipedia
The archipelago of Djuro, located in the middle of the lake, is a national park. I also learned that a viking ship was found on the lake's bottom in 2009. 
Lake Vattern is the second largest lake in Sweden and the sixth largest in Europe. It's a long, relatively narrow, and deep  lake. The deepest known point is 420 ft with an average depth of 135 ft. 

From Wikipedia
My hometown of Stockholm is situated on lake Malaren and the Baltic sea. Malaren is the third largest lake in Sweden. In order to go by boat from the lake to the sea, you must go through the locks at Slussen, an exciting experience that I described in the first post of this A to Z Challenge. 
Malaren is a very pretty lake with many islands. My great-aunt had a summer home on one of these islands and our family would visit her often. Her house, high on a rocky hill with a view of the lake, was one of those magical places: The smell of the pine trees, swimming in the lake, and rowing a small rowboat around. Only problem, no indoor plumbing, so you had to use the outhouse.
I have three memories that stand out from these trips to aunt Magda:
First, the trip to the island on an old steam boat. On the way there, we passed a place called King's Hat, where one of our kings, I don't remember who, probably Karl XII, lost his hat as he was, I believe, fleeing from someone or something. I'm sorry, I'm not sure about this any longer, but I do remember our excitement and anticipation, looking for that place. And there was a hat there, made of some enduring material on a pole, for all to see, high up on a hill.

Then there was, on this island, an ancient oak tree with the widest trunk and an enormous crown of branches and leaves. It stood in a meadow, and we would often go there just to marvel at its size. With the exception of the Sequoias, I have still never seen a tree that size. I hope it is still there.
Finally, an elderly couple lived in a house above aunt Magda's. I loved to visit them because they had in their possession the most gorgeous doll I have ever seen. And, better yet, they let me play with her when we stopped by for a visit. Another memory that will stay with me.

For me, lake Malaren is one of the prettiest places in Sweden. In the summer, the islands are lush with green woods and meadows. Summer cottages fill up with families and boats of all kinds and sizes are put in the lake for all to enjoy. Many people live on the islands year-round and grand castles and old manor houses dot lake Malaren's shores, as do several lovely old towns.
Samson Says:
Thank you, all you nice people who thought of me and sent me greetings during this ORDEAL! I ask for only one thing:  GET ME OUT OF THIS CONTRAPTION!


  1. That is one huge collar. Contraption is the right description.
    The lakes are beautiful. You must miss Stockholm a lot.

  2. poor samson! :)

    i liked your memories of the lake house. i think i'd put up with the outhouse to visit there. :)

  3. Poor Samson. Wait til he sees what the vet has gone and done to him though!

    Those lakes look beautiful. I love water.

  4. What a beautiful place to spend your childhood!

  5. Hi! What a wonderful post, and I really enjoy your blog. I am your newest follower and will be back. Best of luck on the rest of the A-Z, and I hope that you have a great weekend.

    Kathy M.

  6. Sjöar ja det har vi i Småland. Vi har 3 st här hemma inom nära håll. Vår sjö som är 15 min genom skogen är undebar, inga turister utan man kan var där själv. FInns i mina inlägg från i somras...
    Bra beskrivet av våra vackra stora sjöar

  7. I gotta say, you are really moving Sweden up my list of places to visit. There is such great imagery in all your posts. I can feel your love for this amazing place.

  8. I can't thank you enough for this magical tour of Sweden. I keep saying 'magic' because each of your posts weaves a gorgeous spell.

    Poor Samson! What a sweetie he is put up with that thing.

  9. Oh my...look at how sad he looks wearing that thing! But, on a lighter note, the lakes are great, Inger...beautiful...never knew there were so many!...:)JP

  10. Samson, Gracie says you look Sexy with that satellite dish on your neck. (she is so kinky, huh?)

  11. Oh what wonderful memories for you. Kalen didn't wear the collar we had to deal with him not chewing the bandage. I'll never go through that again.

  12. I am learning so much about Sweden from you! I never knew about all of the lakes. I guess I've never really 'looked' at maps of Sweden. I went to Google maps and looked - wow, you are right. How interesting that there are so many lakes dotting Sweden, and they aren't in Norway.
    Poor Samson. Poor you! I bet you have been the victim of run by collar muggings!

  13. The lakes in Sweden are so special to me. it's where I learned to swim, to drive a boat, to row, to windsurf. My sister and I had the privilege of staying in the guest house (the former boat house) on the shores of Sweden's largest lake.
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

  14. Oh my word, that is the largest cone I have ever seen! No wonder he is running into stuff. Poor guy...


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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