Bean’s Trip to Europe – Part 2

Click here for part one all about Stockholm.

From Stockholm, our next stop was:

Motala

I’m assuming that most of you have never heard of Motala – I hadn’t either until I learned that was where Mr. Bean’s Grandpa was born and grew up before coming to Canada. It’s really quite a cute city – especially by the river and lake:

Motala's Shoreline on Lake Vattern

Mr. Bean in the City Park

Motala is known for a couple of things: it is the location of a long-wave radio transmitter built in the 1920’s and it’s on the Göta Canal. Oddly enough, both were used to transmit something between Stockholm and Gothenberg.

The radio transmitter used to consist of two towers (unfortunately not the Lord of the Rings kind) with an antennae strung between them.Personally, I would hate to be the person who had to climb to the top to take the antennae off when they stopped using it in the 1960s.

One of the really neat things about the Göta Canal is the widespread use of locks, which are used to compensate for elevation changes. The engineer in me and the physicist in Mr. Bean were quite impressed and happy to visit and marvel at the locks.

Try and figure out what is weird with the following picture:

That’s right, the Göta Canal runs over top of the highway. Not something you see everyday.

Motala is also famous for being the start and finish location of the Vätternrundan, a 300 km bike race that up to 20,000 people participate in every year in June. We weren’t there at the right time, but we pretended to be in the race anyways.

One of the highlights of our trip was meeting up with our newly found Swedish relations – it’s actually Mr. Bean’s dad’s second cousin’s family. We knew of them as she wrote to FIL Bean when they were kids to practise her English and then would send a Christmas card every year. He only wrote back once (find a 12 year old boy who would write back more than once) until he wrote back this spring announcing that we were coming to Sweden and would like to meet them. Fortunately for us, she wrote back!

As well as inviting us over for dinner, lending us some bicycles and letting us use their laundry facilities (hey, it’s important!) they took us on a tour to see some of the neat stuff in the area, like a ruin of a monastery that was built in the 1100s. It was pretty cool!

Mr. Bean and the Toilet

We also went to a hill and cliffs that overlooked Lake Vattern.

View of Lake Vattern at the longest inland sand beach in Scandinavia

They also took us to see a St. Birgitta’s Abbey built in the 1300s and a castle at Vadstena from the 1500s.

Apparently people were much shorter back then...

Of course, it wouldn’t be a worthwhile stop on our trip without some fun and ridiculousness!

"Stand Back, I'm about to try Science"

I tourist?

Watch Out Below! (Mr. Bean from our hotel room window)

Next up: Gothenburg (or Göteborg in Swedish)!

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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Bean’s Trip to Europe – Part 2

  1. Pingback: World Travel Tours » Trip to Europe 2012???

  2. Amazing!! 🙂 And thanks so much for the sweet card – those polka dots brightened my day!

  3. What beautiful pictures! I want to go there immediately. I love those quaint towns – reminds me of Germany when I was a kid (dad in Army).!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today!!

    http://lbddiaries.com/blog/?p=143

  4. Looks like you are having (had?) a great time on your vacation. It looks kind of cold so maybe this is a recap. Love that you hooked up with distant relatives. I also looked at your recipes to try. Those Mexican wedding cookies are so easy and delicious. I make those all the time : ) Stopping by from SITS Saturday. um, yeah, I know it is Sunday.

  5. Donna

    I’m really enjoying all of the pictures! What a beautiful place! You must have had a wonderful time.

  6. Beautiful pictures! Ah…sometimes I wish I could just get up and travel overseas… perhaps someday in the near distant future!? But for now, I can just live vicariously through blogger/travelers like yourself ;^)

    Thanks for stopping by my blog this weekend! Have a great week!

  7. Rae

    I’ve just got to say that you two look like you’d be a lot of fun to hang out with.

  8. Pingback: Happy New Year! | Without Adornment

  9. Pingback: Bean’s Trip to Europe – Part 3 | Without Adornment

  10. La.

    Those pictures are so amazing…you really do have a gift! I sorta feel like I’m there! What a fab vacay!

  11. Pingback: Bean’s Trip to Europe – Part 4 | Without Adornment

  12. Pingback: Bean’s Trip to Europe – Part 5 | Without Adornment

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