Inspiration

Foto Nils-Erik Pettersson

<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs
<br />Ricard Estay
<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs
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<br />Studio Ghibli
<br />Norsteds Förlag

Astrid Lindgren - ever popular

What is it that makes Astrid Lindgren ever popular? The simple answer is of course – her books and films! This year, for example, Pippi Longstocking celebrates seventy years, and we are of course celebrating that. Japan's biggest TV channel is rolling out a new animated manga version of Ronja the Robber's Daughter, and here in Sweden a brand new book of previously unpublished texts by Astrid Lindgren is coming out. Read this interesting article about Astrid Lindgren on our homepage.

The books, stories and films live on and continue to attract new readers and viewers – quite simply because they are so good.But there is more to Astrid Lindgren. It has to do with her as a person, her life story and her clear stand on a range of issues.

This summer, the exhibition ‘Hela världen brinner!’ (The whole world is on fire) opens at Astrid Lindgren’s Näs in Vimmerby, the place where Astrid was born and grew up. The exhibition is based on Astrid Lindgren’s war diaries and the Second World War in Sweden and poses the question: who dares to take a stand today as Astrid did then?

At the end of last year, a new big biography was published about Astrid Lindgren, first in Denmark and then in Sweden, and this year also in Norway and Germany. The author Jens Andersen writes about Astrid’s life, her anguish and difficulties as well as joyful subjects and the bases of her fantastic storytelling. 

In the end, it is Astrid Lindgren the person that we meet, also in her own books. And the way she sees the world, people and nature has had a greater impact on our time and society than we may realise. 

Astrid was a spirited woman who fought for the rights of children and animals, for nature, culture and reading, for justice and peace and for non-violence. Astrid is still admired and loved for that. That is of course why she has her portrait on the new 20 krona note, the most common and child-friendly of all the notes! The note will be released in October this year.

A few months before, on Friday 8 May, seventy years after the end of the Second World War, a new book by Astrid Lindgren will be published: Krigsdagböcker 1939-1945 (War diaries 1939-1945). It is a unique event. In the diaries, which have not been published before, Astrid describes her everyday life in Stockholm, what is happening in the world and Sweden’s part in the war. It is a very personal portrayal of how dramatic world events affect us all, and the texts are filled with sorrow and horror. The diaries give a warm and vivid insight into Astrid Lindgren’s life in the years before she broke through as a world-famous author.

Moreover, many have probably noticed that the Astrid year started already last year. Over the Christmas and New Year holiday, Sveriges Television (the Swedish public service broadcaster, SVT) aired its big documentary venture ‘Astrid’ in three hour-long instalments at peak viewing time, but there had in fact been an exclusive sneak preview of the film in Vimmerby already before Lucia Day (13 December). 

“It seemed only natural that the Vimmerby inhabitants should be the first to see it. Everything did, after all, start in Vimmerby. And the old film from Vimmerby in 1920 plays an important role in my documentary,” says the film’s producer Kristina Lindström at SVT.

Further films, in cinema format, are on the way. The script is ready and waiting for the big film The Brothers Lionheart, which is planned for this year. Planning is also under way for a Danish feature film that is said to be about Astrid Lindgren as a young woman.

And so it continues – Astrid Lindgren is ever popular, and Astrid and her stories are forever in our hearts.

Text: Kjell Åke Hansson, VD Astrid Lindgrens Näs Kjell Åke Hansson

Svenska German

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Foto Vimmerby Turistbyrå

<br />Foto: Vimmerby Turistbyrå
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<br />Foto: Nils-Erik Pettersson
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Shopping as and when you can and want like Emil

When Emil went to the auction in Backhorva, he wanted to spend some of the money he had earned, but his father thought he was just being wasteful. Then Emil put his foot down and said "When I don't have money I can't buy lemonade, and when I do have money I'm not allowed to buy lemonade. When am I supposed to drink lemonade?”

“When I don’t have money I can’t buy lemonade, and when I do have money I’m not allowed to buy lemonade,” as Emil said to his father, and our children have their own versions of this saying. Just like Emil, when we have money, we want to shop, whether we are at home or on holiday. And we have good shopping, a result of the people, choice and availability, thanks to Astrid Lindgren and all our visitors. Where would we be without them?

Together, we turn all meetings into experiences and memories: meetings in shops, at our accommodation and at sights. After all, it is often the memories that we buy when we travel – what we take home after we stay somewhere different. Whether it is lemonade, a jumper or some other memento, taking something back makes the experience.

Treats for everyone
If Pippi had been in the square, I’m sure she would have treated all the children to sweets. We won’t treat you to sweets, but we can treat you to good shopping, a traditional town setting and the experience of a small town with a big welcome. So, take back as many memories and experiences you can.

Text: Beathe Skaate Beathe

 

Svenska German

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Foto Astrid Lindgrens Näs

<br />Sabina Sakari
<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs
<br />Astrid Lindgrens Näs
<br />Annelie Karlsson

Gardens for work and pleasure – to visit and admire

People have always had gardens, usually for work but sometimes just for pleasure. And, not least, as a status symbol, a way to show off power and wealth.

Europe’s rulers created magnificent gardens with avenues, fountains and enormous plantations to impress their contemporaries. The French Versailles is unthinkable without its magnificent park as are Sanssouci in Potsdam without its imposing terrace and the Dutch Het Loo without its kilometre-long hedges.

In Sweden, we have been a little more modest. For us, the garden has been a place of work and purpose, cultivation and harvests, maybe because it started out as a cabbage patch for the kitchen with cabbage and beans and the odd herb.

At the turn of the last century, allotments came to the towns to give people somewhere to grow their potatoes and plant fruit trees. The idea behind allotments came from Germany and Denmark but quickly caught on in Sweden. In the towns, allotments were annexed and, quite simply, planted for people’s survival. Today, the allotment areas are small oases in the centres of towns, perfect for walks and inspiring for those who want new ideas for their own garden or balcony.

In time, gardens have come to be expected. When the first council estates were built, fruit trees and berry bushes were of course included. And in the 60s when the welfare state began to become established and people had more holiday, the Sunday excursions went to Norrviken’s gardens in Båstad and the flower garden in Blekinge’s Eringsboda.

In Helsingborg, King Gustav VI Adolf, together with his first wife, the English Crown Princess Margaret, put Sofiero on the map thanks to its designed flower borders and rhododendron plantations, and in the 90s a garden party started there that attracted many followers.

Today, the towns and cities in Sweden compete to redesign their old parks, maybe thanks to Enköping, which was the first, attracting the Dutch Piet Oudolf to create beautiful perennial plantations in the centre of the town. Enköping has become world-famous and has gained followers, including Sölvesborg and Skärholmen. Thanks to its year as Culture Capital, Umeå has a new park designed by the city’s son, Ulf Nordfjell. Gardens make a difference and have come to be expected.

Today, an increasing number of private individuals also open their own gardens. Every other year, the event A Thousand Gardens is held when all kinds of gardens are shown in a single day, and many other events around Sweden inspire us to show our own green worlds – to create desire and give inspiration. “This is how I do it, welcome in and have a look!” When A Thousand Gardens was last organised, almost 700 gardens opened. Skåne and Småland are the provinces with most open private gardens.

It is of course particularly nice when there are new public gardens that want to be on show. In summer 2014, Karin and Carl Larsson’s garden in Sundborn in Dalarna opened in a new guise. The garden has been recreated as it was 100 years ago with plants typical of the time. In June the same summer, the then Minister for Culture opened Astrid Lindgren’s Näs, a new open garden with space for culture and debate, seriousness and humour. The garden is an important part of our cultural heritage and emphasises the history and people. Gardens are important and involve everyone. As a tourist, you should be able to go anywhere in our long country and there should always be a garden to visit. Maybe a private one or an allotment area, a town or city park, a churchyard, a collection of trees or just a small green patch to sit on and enjoy the scents of the flowers.

Gardens have become a popular movement and a sort of general education. Through others, we learn more about our own green places on earth. That the garden is a place of relaxation and tranquillity is nothing new, but that there are now so many places to enjoy them is fantastic. And that the number continues to grow is even better, for the sake of people and the environment.

 

Text: Gunnel Carlson

Svenska German

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Foto Leif Niklasson

Motor personality - Leif Niklasson

Leif Niklasson comes from a small community called Södra Vi just outside the town of Vimmerby. Leif has been a professional motocross and supercross driver for 15 years with wins including gold in the Swedish Championships and two-time world champion.

My name is Leif Niklasson, I am 54 years old and I come from a small community called Södra Vi just outside the town of Vimmerby. I was a professional motocross and supercross rider for 15 years. My wins include gold at the Swedish Championships and two-time supercross world champion.

I have always been fascinated by motorcycles. When I was young I used to ride on my small motocross tracks at home, and it was clear to me already then that I was going to be the best in the world. There was a local talent called Roland Isaksson. When he trained on the motocross track in Gnagardalen I used to go with him.

When I was ten, I got my first own motocross bike. From then on, my favourite thing was to drive motocross, and I drove for the local club Vimmerby MS. Eventually, I got a trainer called Rein Soowik.

I had hardly any free time. All my time was taken up with training and competitions. My friends and I spent all our time at the track. I also remember when they used to try to drive like me. It often ended with a fall and a visit to the hospital.

Around 1976-77, I turned professional and went out into Europe. There I noticed the big contrasts. Everything was really tough, all the travel, all the big cities we went through. It was quite hard being away. There was a lot of pressure from the sponsors, and they demanded results all the time. In between, it was nice to go back home to the quite of Vimmerby.

Today, my sister and many friends still live in Vimmerby. I try to time my visits to friends with a motor race. Holiday races are always fun and the odd motocross of course.

For visitors to Vimmerby, I would like to recommend the MX-World Collection. It is quite incredible what Magnus Frodig has achieved – just finding all these special cross bikes that really ought to be impossible to find. You have to take your hat off to him and to Vimmerby for their success with this. I also want to mention a small hotel called Villa Gulekul in the Småland village. It is definitely a fun experience for all ages. I also usually visit Åbro to eat a tasty dinner at the nice restaurant.

One of Leif’s competition bikes can now be found at the newly built MX museum. Leif explains that it is a completely unique cycle from Maico that Magnus managed to put together. I think he must have travelled all over Europe to manage that.

Text: Leif Niklasson

Svenska German

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Foto: Emma Jansson

Motor events 2015:

3 April
Påskracet, folkrace

16-17 maj
Vårracet folkrace

30 juni-6 juli
VM offshore Race (Oskarshamn)

7-11 Juli
Semesterracet. folkrace

25 Juli
Speedway Grand Prix (Målilla)

20 Sep
Folkrace sprint

3-4 Okt
Höstracet, folkrace

 

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Foto Västerviks Turistbyrå

<br />Västerviks Turistbyrå
<br />Västerviks Turistbyrå
<br />Västerviks Turistbyrå
<br />Västerviks Turistbyrå

Have you heard about the archipelago town of Västervik?

Västervik is a near neighbour located by the coast just east of Vimmerby. Many come here to visit the beautiful archipelago and to enjoy sun, sea and shopping, the Song Festival and other exciting activities. Read this interesting article about Västervik on our homepage.

As a visitor to Vimmerby you would also enjoy our neighbouring town. The towns have much in common but, at the same time, they complement each other perfectly. A visit to Västervik is a way for you and your family to extend your visit and experience a bit more of our beautiful Småland.

Västervik is 45 minutes away by car. Once there, you’ll be enveloped by a summer town feeling. There are promenades by the beach, shopping streets and cosy outdoor restaurants, all with a fresh breeze from the nearby sea. Västervik is an excellent place to relax in and ‘just be’.

Gränsö Peninsula, which is five kilometres from the town centre, is popular with locals and visitors alike. It has a hotel, spa, café, swimming and a scenic footpath. Gränsö Castle’s candle maker, with traditions that remain to this day, is located on the way there. Visitors are welcome to watch the candle making close up.

Västervik is known as the archipelago town. The reason for this is obvious. The archipelago is always visible in the corner of the eye and you can feel its freshness in everything you do. It is made up of about 5000 islands and skerries; some even say it is one of Sweden’s most beautiful towns. In the summer, there are daily tours to the two archipelago islands Idö and Hasselö. Out on the islands you can enjoy food and drink at one of the restaurants with sea views. Ferry tickets are available to buy from Västervik Tourist Office.

Just as in Vimmerby, families with children are especially welcome in Västervik, often attracted by Lysingsbadet. Lysingsbadet is a five-star facility right by the sea with camping pitches, cottages, a water park and many fun activities for the whole family.

Every year during week 28, one of Västervik’s best known events, the Song Festival, is arranged in the ruined castle of Stegeholm. It is a popular festival. The place and the atmosphere attract young and old, visitors and locals to listen to Sweden’s top performers sing well-known songs.

In Västervik and the surrounding area, adventure lovers, experienced as well as beginners, can try activities such as kayaking, climbing, angling and riding. Or how about an eagle or seal safari? From the jetty in the guest harbour, take a boat out into the archipelago for a day to look for grey seal and the majestic sea eagle.

There is of course more to discover in Västervik than we have mentioned, so why not visit our neighbouring town to see what is on offer? Plan a day trip to Västervik or extend your visit to Vimmerby with a few days on the coast. We think you would like it!

Svenska German

See also

More about Västervik

http://www.vastervik.com/en

Foto

Discover Vimmerby by bike

Do you like to exercise? Would you like to explore new parts of our surroundings? Are you interested in enjoying more of the nature in Småland?
If so, we would like to encourage you to experience Vimmerby by bike. Vimmerby is a beautiful treasure if you are that person who likes to explore new things from the saddle of your bike.

The scenery of Vimmerby offers a lot of things that are characteristic for Småland. You will pass deep forests and pasturelands and go on snaky roads past lakes and red houses. You will also notice that the landscape is partly hilly which will break your sweat and make your leg muscles hurt on your conquest to climb some of the hills. You will then get your reward when you reach the top and can just relax and roll through the beautiful scenery.

The roads are many and both the destination and distance are up to you. During the summer season there are also several opportunities to make a pit stop at one of the cafés, bathing places, sights or attractions in the area. In other words, there are a lot of reasons why you should experience Vimmerby by bike.

Together with Sweden by Bike we have created a couple of charming routs we believe are worth exploring. You will find these on the map linked below together with information about what is worth seeing and experiencing along the way. You will also find examples of bike rentals and two of the hotels that offer packages for bikers.

We wish you a nice tour in Astrid Lindgrens Vimmerby, and remember that we are always here for you if you have any questions.

 

Here is a link where you find our suggested routs!

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