Impressions of a Swedish Summer
by Edith Knott


This past summer, UVic's Swedish born Nels Granewall and his wife Carolyn escorted a UVic Alumni group on a cruise to the Scandinavian Capitals and St. Petersburg to rave reviews. Next summer, Nels will again return to his Swedish homeland, this time to lead an Alumni group on a journey delightfully entitled, Impressions of a Swedish Summer presented by a Swedish company, Special Expeditions.

Departing on July 15, Nels and his group will explore the small inns along the coast of Sweden, and the islands known as the Stockholm archipelago. Each night they'll stay in charming and historic small inns and by day the will cruise aboard a private boat, the 128 foot Swedish Islander, which carries just 49 guests as they visit small islands, transit the Gota Canal and enter Lake Malaren, a great inland sea where Viking legends abound. Impressions of a Swedish Summer offers a unique chance to experience the simple, and joyous Swedish summer life, far from the madding crowds of the tourist centers. The Swedish Islander carries its own canoes, bicycles, and
zodiacs. Often guests enjoy bicycling though small villages, or following country lanes through fields of wild flowers. Berry picking, fishing, canoeing or dancing outdoors to the strains of lively Swedish music during the white nights of midsummer are some of the simple but delightful
pleasures. And of course saunas and cool dips are added to the options. Some guests prefer just strolling in centuries old villages and meeting the Swedish people (most speak English.)

As can be expected, the food is delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables and sometimes freshly caught fish, (not to mention delectable Swedish pastries.) The first two nights will be spent at the Romantik Hotel Soderkopings Brunn located along the Gota Canal, in the 800-year-old town of Soderkoping Brunn. Next day the Swedish Islander takes travellers for a cruise along the Gota
Canal and the St. Anna archipelago. A trip ashore includes a visit to the ruins of Stegeborg Castle.

The next two nights unfold with a change of location to the Romantik Trosa Stadshotell. Trosa is a charming, turn of the century coastal town richly decorated with pastel colored houses and playful architecture. The open-air market, small shops and cafes are an invitation to explore.

Next morning travelers again board the Swedish Islander to embark on a cruise through the Southern Archipelago with a lunch of fresh fish aboard. That evening the ship sails into Saltsjobaden where passengers spend two nights at the Grand Hotel Saltsjobaden, a historic resort. Back on the ship the Swedish Islander navigates the Hammarby Lock into Lake Malaren and
arrives in the picturesque town of Mariefred and for a stay at Sweden's oldest country inn dating back to 1609. "Here," says Nels, "we can take a bike ride through the beautiful Royal Deer Park or visit Gripsholms Castle."

Impressions of a Swedish Summer finishes with two nights in Stockholm at a small historic hotel in Gamla Stan (old town) and the opportunity to explore Stockholm. The cost of this special 10 day program is $3,180 US plus air fare. This includes all shore excursions and taxes. For more information call Edith Knott at (250) 656-5357.

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