The Red Roofs of Old Town Kalmar

Sometimes, I’m a tourist, although it has to be said, there are places in the world that make being a tourist easy.

Kalmar is popular with tourists for a reason—it’s very pretty, and represents an era in Sweden that has faded from other cities, or never existed and can only be seen in this one place. Aside from Kalmarslotts, one of the few medieval-era castles in Europe that has been preserved and conserved, there are streets of old Hansa-league German style houses that remain in Kalmar; other than Kalmar, this style of housing, with the red-orange tile roofs in particular, are generally not seen in Sweden.

Politics over the centuries between countries have meant that any vestiges of other cultures Sweden has gone to war with, or been in a volatile political relationship with, are eradicated. However, in Kalmar, there is a quiet street or two that lies behind what was once the town’s fortified gate, and you can wander along this street and appreciate the charming old houses and their red-orange roofs, while you stumble over the large, randomly-placed cobblestones. 

This past week, lilacs came into bloom, and the houses were awash in purples and white, cream and gold, lilac and pink. Extremely pretty, and everywhere I went in Kalmar Gamla Stan (old town) smelled sweet. I stopped at gourmet Gröna Stugan (‘green cabin’ or house) for a dinner of lamb sausage and herbed mashed potatoes. Best to make reservations ahead of time if you want to dine on a Saturday, it turns out, which I hadn’t, but I promised to be in and out. The restaurant, looking out over Kalmar harbour and less exotically, the train station, is very popular, and deservedly so.


2 thoughts on “The Red Roofs of Old Town Kalmar

    1. I was gone over the weekend to Göteborg, also known as Gothenburg, alternate English spelling. Anyway, I took 542 pictures. It took me hours yesterday and Sunday to wade through them all. HOURS. I can’t stop myself; I’m obsessed, I think. I don’t know if I told you this, but my big ambition, such as it is, is to take pictures I can sell for wallpapers. That is my current goal. One guy I read about made $17,000 from one stock photo of Hawaii, just from repeat sales. And the world of photos and images is very important in an online environment, so goes my rationale.

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