Thursday, 17 July 2014

Halland's Väderö & Bjäre peninsula


A Maritime Museum in Torekov, Bjäre Peninsula.

Bjäre Peninsula is in the northwestern corner of Skåne - rich in both potatoes and natural beauty. Seventyfive percent of the seasonal fresh potato is said to come from this area but this was not the reason for our excursion to the area. Our friend Inger advised us earlier to visit the small island of Halland's Väderö and one must drive through Bjäre to get to the village of Torekov where you catch the ferry to the island. Despite its name, the island belongs to Skåne and not Halland. The area of Bjäre attracts 1,2 million tourists annually and it offers something for everyone; adventure and activity as well as natural beauty and a restful environment depending on your preference. The ridge of Halland stretches into Bjäre and forms a colorful elevation with many Nature Reserves. The City of Båstad is beautifully located on the coast and stretches up towards the ridge. 

Time was really scarce for this trip but I allowed for two stops; one at Norrviken Gardens and the other at Hov's Hallar. There was also some time to photograph Torekov. 

Norrviken's Gardens

Entrance to Norrviken (botanical) Gardens.

To reach Bjäre Peninsula from Hässleholm take route 24 to Våxtorp and 115 from there to Båstad. I then choose to follow the coastal route to Kattvik where large signs about Norrviken's Gardens tempted me to stop for a quick familiarization. The garden was very well kept, but I am afraid more of my short visit this time was used up by an exhibition of British veteran cars in front of the main building. In addition to its themed gardens like the Barock and Water Gardens they organize special events like veteran cars,  talk shows and concerts during the summer season. Check their website, would you. 

Hardware amongst the natural beauty of Norrviken's Gardens.

Hov's Hallar

From the Gardens I had to rush to Hov's Hallar, the famous place where the rocks meet the sea. I had done a bit of homework before my departure but the beautiful scenery nevertheless took me by complete surprise. This dramatic landscape with its rock formations have inspired film directors like Ingemar Bergman and Jan Troell. My plan was to walk, as is recommended, along the shore to find the caves and picture the rocks upwards, but there was not enough time which was upsetting. The problem was I needed to be on time in Torekov to reach the ferry at 13.00 hours. 

View looking at an easterly direction....

....and a westerly direction. Busy yachting out on the sea that day.


Torekov - a very busy village this time of the year.

Torekov for me was the departure point of the ferry Nanny that was going to take me and other visitors to the island of Halland's Väderö. But I learned that Torekov also has a lot to offer; fishing, golfing, hiking, art & culture, excellent dining, shopping and cycling. It also has an interesting maritime museum and can attract with its passed history, too. Some 300 years ago a Danish pirate used to "pay visits" to this area. Visit  to learn more.

Halland's Väderö

What can be so exciting for the children if not Crab-finding.

Halland's Väderö (or simply Väderö) is a small island out in the Kattegat waters. Due to its unique nature and cultural values it has been declared a Nature Reserve and a Natura 2000-EU area. Indeed this island has such a variety of natural areas; both sandy and pebbled beaches, woodlands, wetlands or small swamps, meadows, fields with tight (juniper) bushes and rock fields. This allows a variety of animal species to thrive. I spotted a a viper which I first took for a large lizard, a common crane and I tried to see some of the seals living on the small islets nearby, but never saw any. What I DID SEE was domestic animals, especially the LARGE BULLS in the open fields near the lighthouse. I had my FERRARI RED shirt on me and decided not to take it off or make ANY OTHER MATADOR-LIKE GESTURES that might upset the bulls  ;)  Anyway, they seemed more interested in the cows so I let them go by their "duties" and continued towards the lighthouse (to add on to my lighthouse picture collection). On the return trip I followed the advice of some youngsters as to the right way for seal-spotting. I followed the blue-marked trail. Around the corner ........  walked ANOTHER COW. She was moving in the same direction, but not on a seal-spotting mission, I presume. She was a bit slow so I made some oral sounds that made her move faster.....more oral sounds and we where doing really well.....UNTIL WE HIT WOODEN PLANKS ON THE PATH that the cow did not want to walk on. FULLSTOP AND WHAT NOW????? Well, I decided to take a step to the left and climb on some stones. She noticed that and politely took a right side step, made a 180 degree swing while I moved sideways to pass her. It all looked like an old fashioned square dance that made us swirl around. As a result the cow ended up returning the same way she came and I could continue on my seal-spotting mission. We separated as good friends in complete mutual understanding that cows do not walk on wooden planks.  

One of the rocky beaches on the island.

The ferrie NANNY transports people back and forth to the island.

Above, different sections of the island that is a paradise for sunbathers and hikers. The average temperature on the island is said to be higher than in the mainland. If you do not bring your own picnic basket the café will provide with drinks and sandwiches. Top, right-hand side picnickers have a view across to mainland Skåne with Hov's Hallar not far away. 

The lighthouse is 13 meters high. How tall is then the flagpole?   "OpenSkies" offer no limit.

Some readers may not be familiar with my term "OpenSkies". I introduced this in Skåne because the region has an open sky while the skies in Andalucia tends to be "filled with mountains". Photographically this offers interesting opportunities. I have started an "OpenSkies" series on my homepage  

But the island is not entirely OPEN. There are also forrest sections with oak and beech. Alder, nevertheless, is most common. Interestingly, being administered by the church, the forests have not been fell for 800 years ( In addition very strong autumn winds have knocked down large trees many of which have been left in the woods as they are. All this adds to a magical feeling when you walk in these forests. All in all, having lived in southwestern part of Finland with a large archipelago I have never experienced such an island before - nowhere in the world. 

Lighter section of the forrest.

The forests can be rather dense allowing for a limited amount of light.

This is Halland's Väderö

And this is the beginning of the end of today's blog post. I only want to point out that Mrs. T has been with me all the time - electronically via our APP "What's Up". She received a number of pictures during my journey. In the end her message was "Let's move there". Some readers may remember that one of her hobbies is "house watching" which has led to the fact that we tend to move every third year (my version). Now she knows of vipers and narrow, stony pathways with cow dung so I am not so sure anymore......but I know that she is full of surprises. Hope you have enjoyed today's trip and do not be surprised if we come back with more images from Hov's Hallar.

Across the water for mainland Skåne, Torekov and Östra Göinge. The speed limit on route 24 is 80 km's per hour!

The Baltic Herring Market in Skanör - Sunday Next.


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