Lake Malern 2021
It was mid September by the time we got True East back to her winter home a few miles below Stockholm. What we called ‘Indian Summer’ in New England came in late September and October, in Sweden it comes on August 15th and might last a month. We had planned to cruise Lake Malern in True East, a plan to be reconsidered given the weather.
Lake Malern is Sweden’s third largest lake and lies west of Stockholm. While it is only about 100 miles long, the shoreline is enormous and much of it undeveloped. At the turn of the century, the wealthiest families in Sweden building mansions or castles around the lake, more than 60 of these huge estates.
Our goal was to circle around the lake, and visit as many as possible. This turned out to be a 300 mile trip over 9 days. As a guide, we decided to follow the map of the major castles open to the public…..on season. We quickly learned the season was OVER. Nevertheless, we could at least take the grand tour and see the exterior of the buildings and the grounds.
First stop was Gripsholms, one of royal residences. While it was open, we decided that we would return here on the boat in the spring. We proceeded on to Sundbyholms Castle where we had a reservation for the night…oops, not in the castle but a small cottage. The next day we passed Stora Castle or what we call the calendar castle….4 towers, 12 turrets, 52 rooms and 365 windows. This has been in the same family for generations.
We stayed in one of Swedens former industrial cities, Eskilistuna, for two days. A charming town with many of the old mills converted to museums. At dinner, our hostess revealed that she grew up near Stora and used to play in the castle with the children of the owners.
After a few more castle views, we arrived in Vasteras, a delightful city build along the river with a park running the length of the river. It was then on to Uppsala with a few more castle views along the way. This is Swedens fourth largest city with a little over 100,000 people. It is a university town filled with all the life that brings.
Our plan was to stay at Rosenberg Castle, arriving we discovered that it is always closed on Sunday night….enough, on to a hotel at the airport only 10 miles away. From our base at the airport hotel, we visited a few more castles including the Royal Palace at Drottingham, magnificent. The train from the airport into Stockholm is only 20 minutes so we spent a couple more days exploring the city before returning to Barcelona.