Two weeks ago I had got my first visit. Finally I got to unwind, have a beer, just talk shit and goof around. I’ve missed that a lot:)

We even got the chance to explore Dalarna as my co-worker, teammate and friend, Ankan, volunteered to drive us around.

We drove through scenic roads along lake Siljan. Our first stop was Tällberg. A little, fairy tale like village of ginger bread like houses that is a very popular holiday destination among Swedes. Unfortunately the weather was preventing us to see it in all its glory…next time. Fun fact: the village has 606 inhabitants and 8 hotels!

Next stop was Dalhalla, an old limestone query, that nowadays serves as an open-air theatre. During summer months it hosts quite a lot of concerts. We were a little disappointed when we found that the whole thing is surrounded with a high wooden fence that prevents curious glimpses, but we did manage to find man made easy access structures that helped us take a peek inside. To see how it looks like on a sunny day and with no fence interfering with the view click here.

Slowly we made our way through the forest following a scenic road to Styggforsen waterfall. The central attraction of the park is the waterfall but my imagination was sparked upon coming across rocks displaying evidence of the meteor impact that helped shape the region. Slippery snowy stairs added to the fun and adventure part. Grega even managed to squeeze in some involuntary sliding drills.

In Dalarna everything is about Dalahäst, iconic, carved wooden horses, painted in bright colours and decorated with folk-art flowers. The horses are everywhere…on caps, scarfs, windows, doorsteps, in front of buildings…everywhere….and to a lot of people they rightfully represent the essence of Sweden. Nowadays it is a gift for any occasion…and of course one of the most popular souvenirs.

We visited one of the Dalahäst workshops in Nusnäs, where we got the full tour of the process. Fun fact: They are also owners of an unofficial worlds smallest wooden horse…it cost too much to get it Guinness approved. I agree:)

At this point also the weather cleared up and we were hungry for more. Our next stop was Mora. The town is mostly known for Vasaloppet – worlds biggest, oldest and longest cross-country ski race. The race commemorates Gustav Vasas skiing escapade towards Norway, before the Mora/Dalarna people changed their minds, went after him, brought him back and helped him fight the Danish crown in order to gain Sweden its independence. I’ll visit Vasaloppet the museum next time I’m in town…

On our way around lake Siljan we stopped on the island of Sollerőn and walked a beautiful 3km trail that offers an insight into the life of Vikings. Along the path you can admire Viking burial mounds (pile of rocks), sacrificial well that apparently never runs dry or freezes, silver mine and a popular mating site for frogs:)

Next day was all about a stroll in the nature park of Siljansnäs. Unfortunately the Naturrum was closed for the weekend but we did enjoy the forest learning trail. I spotted a lot of potential picnic spots and now I can’t wait for the spring to really start:) Apparently they have moth-eaten collection of over 50 stuffed animals. The biggest attraction is the tower that is unfortunately closed at the moment due to its poor condition but that didn’t stop us from climbing all the way to the top (Mom, don’t worry. We did examine the structure and it seemed sturdy). The view was all worth it:)