Saturday, August 7, 2010

Of Vodka, Ice Cream and Fika

Åhus is home to the Absolut Vodka distillery where a half a million bottles of vodka are produced daily.

On to Åhus!

Half a million? Making 500,000 of anything impresses me greatly much less in one day. I had to see this and it became much easier thanks to Uffe Palmbrink.

Elin had to work all weekend so since Uffe had to play the role of Mr. Mom. He graciously offered to let us use his Chrysler minivan on Saturday and Sunday. We jumped at he opportunity to have some extra freedom and were off to Åhus.


Snidaregatan is the street on which we entered Åhus. It ran right next to the Absolut factory and ended at the marina. It was a good idea to make a full stop before proceeding to turn right or left on Gamla Skeppsbron.


Not one of the 500,000 bottles

This is actually a ceramic oven which had been on display in Berlin as a promotional tool. I'm not sure what its function was in the distilling process.

The factory is closed on the weekends, so we just strolled around the Absolut complex.

The Absolut Factory

Where do they store half a million bottles at the end of each day?

I had visions of work place incidents a la Lucy working on the production line at the candy factory back in the 1950s.

His trucks have their own delivery bay?

An interesting sculpture
at the factory's entrance

What are those little people doing on this distilling chamber?

Oh, some were in Quality Control

After surveying the factory, it was time to explore the quaint seaside village that is Åhus.

S:ta Maria Kyrka

The placement of the colon in the middle is a punctuation mark unique to the Swedish language. This was a very nice church but people were arriving outside for a wedding that was to take place within 45 minutes I surmised, so we had to be quick.

Paint does wonders

Paint and a good design artist that is

Weather Beaten

On a nearby, easy to read headstone we read of a man who had died in 1780. How old were these two?

The Åhus Marina

There is just something about wooden boats

Probably the incredible maintenance.

Åhus is also famous for its Glass

Glass is Swedish for ice cream. Since we were shut out of Åhus' main industry, we had to try their other claim to fame.

Here Laurie, a.k.a. Låry in Swedish, is seen finishing a purple fruity flavor called "Viol."

I went with a safer choice, Rom Russin, i.e., Rum Raisin. We were both happy, satisfied customers and enjoyed our time out by the peaceful marina before heading back to Hässleholm.

A favorite country church

This one is located where the main road in Hässleholm meets the highway to Kristianstad. We always speed by it as it stands in blissful solitude. Today I finally took this photo op's bait.

I'm satisfied.

I love my camera!

In the evening we joined Johan Persson to go for a nature/dog walk in the woods near Hovdala Castle. We wanted Ryan Bolland to join us but he did not answer his phone or respond to text messages. Hopefully we'll hook up with him on Sunday for a drive in the country.

Yet another ancient stone wall

Laurie, Dexter and Casper

Dexter is Johan's two year old tiger-striped boxer, a great dog with a still way too happy tail!

The marker is dedicated to Casper, the oldest son and heir of the Lord who ruled Hovdala. In 1887, at the tender age of 17, Casper died in a hunting accident at this very spot.

The forest was a perfect spot to experiment, with Johan's help, on both the nature setting and shutter speeds on my new Nikon D3000 camera.

A Wild Raspberry

The basis for Viol glass?


A Coven?

We were not alone. Dexter sensed the danger first, alerted us and we quietly slipped away undetected.

The Ehrenborg Library Ruins

In 1773, Mikael Ehrenborg of Hovdala retired from military life to devote his time to "study and useful institutions."

In order to pursue his studies in peace, he commissioned the building of this octagonal shaped stone library deep in the forest very far from the castle grounds. He died in 1795 and nobody else had the desire to finish it.

Local gossip hints that it was really being built as a place for him to have uninterrupted trysts with his mistress.

I'll go with the less exciting traditional version on this one.

Still . . .


We parked the car and walked a short distance to this table for some homemade fika.

Fika and a View!

A great view of Hovdala's grounds and the Finjasjön. Hässleholm is in the far distance on the right of the lake.


She could not join us for the walk, but Mariana's raspberry filled crumb cake was simply AWESOME!

Especially the second serving.

Sacrificial Altar Stone

Humans, animals, food . . . you name it and experts believe that the ancients offered it as tribute to the gods. This altar stone dates from circa 700 B.C.

I can't believe that these forefathers of the Vikings sacrificied food.

Another great day in Skåne!!!


Ryan Bolland said...

Sorry! We made it to Hovdala and the Treehouse ourselves for Fika and a little walk and I left the phone at the house. My bad.

George said...

You never have to apologize for eating fika!