Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Vingåker

Lest you thought that yesterday's post was just a one-off of our Swedish trip, behold; I have a second post.

On our last full day in Sweden, we rented a car and drove out of Stockholm to my actual ancestral home, Vingåker. This was probably the least exciting day for Phil because, although he got to drive, the countryside between Stockholm and Vingåker is practically unchanging for the two hour trip. It should be noted that my mom and I loved it. We, along with my grandma, have always had a penchant for artwork depicting little, red houses against green pastoral backdrops. I guess we were just channeling our homeland.

Vingåker is small, and farmy. There is a nice city center, with the train station where my great-grandmother left for America in the early 1900s. There isn't a lot of touristy stuff to see, but it is a beautiful area. We ate at Joan's Cafe and Bistro, and wandered up to an old, old Lutheran church before driving even further into the country to the area where my ancestors lived.

One thing that really stuck out about Vingåker, aside from the insanely picturesque scenery, is the amount of diversity we saw in its residents. We obviously weren't there for very long, but it seemed like Vingåker houses a lot of people who have immigrated to Sweden, or have been resettled in Sweden. I wonder if that's true. I'd like to talk to my grandma's Swedish cousin about it. We weren't able to meet up with her on this trip, and I'm still bummed about it. Hej, Kristina!

Here's what we saw:

I took this picture of Phil and The Kid at the train station, but then Phil was like, "This is stupid, I'm not even from here," so my mom took a picture of me, with Phil and The Kid.

Here's the picture my mom took. Phil didn't really say my picture was stupid. He did suggest a photo that included me.

Here's that old, old Lutheran church.

It was built in the Middle Ages, expanded it the 1700s, and updated a few years ago. It is beautiful inside. It's not very ornate, though there is some gold. They seem to do a lot of outreach to asylum seekers.

This is the area where my family lived. The house is representative.


My great-grandmother used to wash the family's laundry in the river, and this was the only river we saw in the immediate area. I don't know if this is my actual ancestral washing machine. We didn't have a reliable source with us, and Sweden is waterlogged. So, this is either the river, or it's also representative.

Vingåker was beautiful. I loved it. It was hard to leave. I had to force myself to think of winter, so that I could get back in the car, back on the airplane, and back to Athens.

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