The Black River

Karlslund Manor House was covered in scaffolding (see previous post) – not so beautiful for photos! The grounds were largely deserted, apart from a few people fishing down by the river. We wandered along the path beside the river, Svartån, crossed over at the old hydro-power house – Karlslund was the first estate in Sweden to have its own electric power, and apparently the generators are still working – and then we climbed into the forest on the high side of the river. We stopped for fika (Swedish word for coffee, sandwiches and snacks) in the forest and then wandered on between the birch, beech, oak and fir trees, still lush in their summer finery. Crossing back into the gardens of the house we found ourselves in the wonderful herb garden (inspiring me to grow basil and rosemary and thyme in our backyard in Brickebacken!), and finally made our way back to the bus and to town.

You can read more about Karlslund here and see some pictures.

The weather has kept its promise and yesterday was sunny and warm. We cycled to church in town, Filadelfia again – Isak in our new cycle trailer. After church we spent some hours in Stadsparken – the City Park in the middle of Örebro. There is an island in the middle of the river called Stora Holmen with a little train that chugs around from time to time. We have been on the train many times before, so this time the kids just had fun driving peddle cars around the little streets of a miniature town that has been built there. We had icecream and headed home. The ride back was harder work – Brickebacken is on the top of a hill and there is a tiring hill to peddle up on the way home. But it was such a lovely day so being out was a treat.

The river, Svartån, has been a recurrent theme in our weekend. Örebro is called the “River Town” on the website of Destination Örebro. It is a dark river – the water has that tea-colour typical of so many rivers in Sweden, like the streams and rivers I have seen in South West Tasmania, from tannin in the grass roots of the hills where the river arises. Svartån can be translated as the “Black River” and Örebro means gravel bridge. The town is here because the river was shallow enough to be easily crossed back in the middle ages when the river formed a barrier to travelling across central Sweden. So it has always been a strategic place in Swedish history and development.

Maria and I were married in a church close to Karlslund called Längbrokyrkan. Our reception was held in Örebro Castle, which stands in the middle of the river in town. We spent the first few days of our married life staying at a manor house called Svartå Herrgård – further upstream from Örebro on the same river. Svartån has had a place in our life from the very beginning. There is a canoeing route down the river from Svartå Herrgård. Maybe next summer when we are more settled we can do that journey from the hills in the west back down to town.

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