Wednesday, June 15, 2011


After Sundsvall, we headed inland to Östersund - even though it's in Central Sweden, it's really one of the last actual towns before the woods, woods and more woods of Northern Sweden. This is where my family is originally from. In fact, I was able to visit the Bjarme home that has been in our family since 1853! (Though it was built in the 1700s!) It was awe-inspiring. I may or may not have gotten a tad bit emotional...

A large group of family came together to have homemade waffles, coffee cake and without fail, coffee. It was so, so nice that they organized a little gathering for us. I was on cloud nine.

The house in incredibly preserved. For being wood, I'm shocked at how well it's kept up throughout the years.

And a tour of the inside, which felt like you walked directly into the 1800s.

Look at how short the doorways were!

The history was in the details.

My great grandmother, Elisabeth, is seated on the far right. Since her mother (my great, great grandma) died in childbirth when she was only 16, she ended up raising the family. Talk about growing up fast.

After our morning fika at the family home, we met up with my cousin Erika (I know, such a great name) and her boyfriend Johan. They took us on a nature walk, alongside a river. It was just what we needed, a little physical exercise! Something you don't get a whole lot of on vacation.

Toward the end of the hike, it started to blow, but it was so worth it. It's so interesting how different our landscape is!

Isn't it pretty?

Post hike, we went out to the local pub for brews and grub. It was scrumptious. Then headed back to Jan-Erik and Carl-Gustav's homes. (P.S. This picture was taken around 11, if not later. It never got dark in Östersund!)

During our visit in Östersund, we stayed with Carl-Gustav and Ann Marie on Lake Storsjön. We would end each night with more coffee (I know, they love their coffee!) and conversation, even if it was 11pm! They made us feel at home. It probably helped that Carl-Gustav always had a smile on his face :)

We stayed in the most perfect yellow guest house on the lake. I guess when my grandma last visited, she wanted to move in and I certainly don't blame her.

Have I convinced you to visit Sweden yet?


  1. Great photos! I just love how you brought your wellies to Europe! I passed on bringing mine on our recent trip, and immediately regretted it. Love your blog!

  2. SO I'm trying to find the name of the glass blowing shop in Ostersund and I go to your link and it mentioned your grandmother, Bea. I thought how random as my mom had a cousin Bea. Then I'm going through the photos to see if you took a pic of the shop and I see a pic of a girl who looks like my cousin Erika. But I'm on my iPhone so the pic is too small. Then I go further and see the homestead! JonEri and Karen's porch, CarlGustav and Annemarie's porch and is that Madeline in the middle. So I'm thinking we must be 2nd cousins or something!! I was last there in 2005 I think! Leif Lunsford

  3. Whoa! What a small world! We are cousins! You must be Annalisa's son? I think she is one of the only other family members who came to America. If you're ever in Seattle, we'll have to meet up!


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