As I said in my previous two posts on our vacation to Österlen last week, my intention was to reset my soul. To find + discover + soak up anything + everything that could inspire me. Turns out, Österlen + southeastern Sweden are packed full of all of the things that inspire me. Nature filled with trees, wide open fields, sky as far as you can see, and both rocky + sandy coastlines. Food + beer. Art + pottery. Old towns. Earth medicine. Ancient mystery. It’s a place that simply calls me to slow down, observe, listen, feel, and rest. And that call to purely being present is the sacred space where I find soul-filling inspiration.
It sounds too good to be true, I know. But, setting an intention to reset my soul + spirit, being open to letting inspiration come at me from everywhere, focusing staying slow + simple , and mindfully sharing all of this with my wife, allowed me to create a week that not only filled up my soul, but also prepared me to return home, ready to share + inspire + work for all that is most important to me.
With that said, this will be my last post. I’ll combine our last 2 days in Österlen here… not because they did not inspire me as much as the previous day, but because I have other posts for the upcoming changing of the season that I want to work on before I head back to work on Monday.
So, here we go!
Simrishamn: A little fishing village on the Baltic Sea
We started Tuesday by heading to a cozy little fishing village with a long history of sending out fishermen into the deep Baltic Sea + sailors off on adventures around the world. It was soooo windy, so we didn’t stay right by the water so long, but instead wandered up and down the cobblestone streets lined with cozy, old homes. Of course, before long , we came across the main church in the town. St. Nicolas Church. Built as a safe haven for the fisherman – where they prayed for safe returns + big catches.
Soon we were hungry (of course!) and wandered into a little backyard/courtyard place that looked fun. Turns out, it was a restaurant we’d seen mentioned on websites as a place to go! So, we put our names on the list + waited for delicious brick oven pizza. We were seated in a cozy little space under trees + twinkle lights and enjoyed a super good meal.
A rocky coast + an evening of rest
We hopped back into Luna + headed down the coastline, with no plans at all. Before long, we saw a little parking lot on the left beside the sea. So we parked + got out! There was a short little path, through a field with cows grazing, down to the rocky sea. It was so gorgeous + there wasn’t another person in sight.
We spent a little time there, just walking on the rocks, snapping photos, breathing in the sea air, watching boats in the distance, and enjoying the sun and each other. After a while, we were ready to move on and hopped in the car. Lina drove, I navigated, and we wound in + around so many backroads throughout Österlen that I feel simply must have ridden them all. Needing a pick me up, we stopped for coffee and to discuss our next move. We agreed that we just wanted to head back to our airbnb. It so beautiful + cozy there, why not spend time + soak up some rest there as well? On vacation, we don’t like to come home + feel like we need a vacation from our vacation. Know what I mean?
So, we went “home”, rested a bit, then took a long leisurely walk around the property + watched the sunset.
Hold up! Are we still in Sweden?!
We were up and out super early and headed to the beach! Specifically to Knäbäckshusen, a gorgeous strip of sandy beach along the Baltic Sea, just north of Simrishamn. The thing is, this is a super popular destination now. Once a hidden + remote spot I am sure, the secret has gotten out, and according to Lina, everyone wants to spend the day here to get a little feel of being out of the country + in a whole other, tropical place. And, this year, with no one really leaving the country due to Covid, it was most likely going to be packed with people. So, we left at 8:30 + arrive at 9! SO SMART OF US.
There were already some people there, but not too many. We found a spot, put down our blankets, poured some coffee, and just took it all in. I could not believe how incredible this place was. The sand, the trees, the water. It really was like being in another country. And it was the absolute perfect way to start our last full day in Österlen.
Kivik is known for its apples – but did it inspire me?
Well, it’s totally worth a visit. Especially if you like apples + cider! But more about that in a second…
After the beach, we walked through a little neighborhood just a short path up from the sand that is known for its old houses. Imagine living here in these cozy old homes so close to that beach?! After that, we drove to Kivik’s Musteri (Kivik’s cider brewery + orchard). I mean, who doesn’t want to visit an entire orchard + brewery dedicated to making cider?! Of course, we knew there would be tons of people here too, as Kivik’s cider is very, very popular in Sweden.
We stood in line for about 45 minutes to get into the boutique to buy some cider to bring home, but it was so worth it. First, I totally support how much attention they were giving to keeping everyone a safe distance from each other + keeping crowds down. So freaking amazing. They even walked around offering hand sanitizer while we were in line. Secondly, it was worth it because we seriously stocked up on some cider. It’s gonna be a cozy autumn at our place, ya’ll.
After that, we were hungry, so we skipped tours + such so we could head into the harbor town of Kivik for lunch. Ummm… where was everything?! We parked near the harbor, but all there was were some boats, boathouses, a fancy seafood restaurant, and a residential neighborhood. We walked through the neighborhood + ended up at a bus stop and the local corner pizzeria. So, we sat down + ordered some food, which turned out to be delicious actually. So, score us!
Going on a hunt for pottery!
Back to the car again and now we had a mission. We had passed a sign a few times to a place that seemed to have art + stuff, and I just felt called to go there. So I navigated us back towards the area, we turned at the sign, and discovered a funky little artsy oasis. Exactly the kind of place we were looking for.
We got out, wandered around, chatted with the owner, and perused her outside funky flea market space. She invited us to go in what looked like a house, so we did. There I saw a sign that explained that opening this place was her dream. She finds things + resells them, recycling + upcycling + sharing beauty with others. I climbed the stairs to the loft + felt like I’d come home. This really was my kind of place. So funky. So beautiful. All of the items she was selling + the physical space. I had mentioned during the trip that I wanted to find some clogs + use them as inside shoes at work. What did I see first as I ascended the stairs?! Clogs!! There were all random sizes, but I wanted the classic light brown ones. And, what do you know? She had one pair in my size. So we both scored some amazing Swedish clogs. And we filled our artsy, funky souls as well.
But, no pottery. So, I guided us through the fields + plains of Österlen once again, choosing random pottery-marked places on Apple maps. We went to a few places, but one was closed, one was not our style, and one only had a mug that I liked. Still, that place was super cute + cozy. A woman had turned a backyard area into a little cafe + a house into a shop with pottery from the Mediterranean. Sooooo cute. I bought a mug, but Lina didn’t.
Oh, mugs is what we were after, by the way. But, we needed to find mugs to inspire us + fit our style. I navigated us onward and finally we pulled up into the driveway of someone’s home in a village, rang the doorbell, and waited. Soon, the artist/potter appeared + let us in. Lina found a mug she liked, well a few, so after some discussion because I wanted one too (hehe), we purchased two!
Feeling very filled in our souls + inspired by the day, we decided to head back to our airbnb for one last cozy night. We took showers, packed things up, drank wine, and watched the sunset – which just happened to be the most beautiful one of our entire trip to Österlen.
Thursday morning, we woke, made coffee, and then said our goodbyes to the house cat, Måns, and our most lovely host. We were all sad to part ways, but I do believe that I see a trip back to Österlen + this airbnb in our future. I simply have to explore it in another season!
We drove 5 hours + stopped for the night at Lina’s parents’ place, who were in our apartment in Uppsala taking care of Zola the cat + visiting with our little niece + nephew. We spent the afternoon/evening at Lina’s sister’s place with bubbles, wine, a bbq, swimming, and a warm summer evening together.
Well, I do believe that I have now documented + shared most of our trip to beautiful, simple Österlen. It really was the perfect week of rest, adventure, but, most importantly: inspiration.
Now, that my soul has been filled with nature, history, beauty, art, wine, food, and time with my beloved wife, my only intention is let all of these memories, feelings, and moments inspire me to inspire others.
And, as I bring my summer vacation to a close, I am spending this last week at home reimagining just how I can use my own soul’s medicine to inspire the world. What is my soul calling me to next? What do I have to offer? How do I want to live? This last week of vacation, I am letting all that has inspired me during this sacred month + throughout this chaotic year so far, come together into new ways of living + thinking + being. This is my call forward. It is time, during this one last slow week of summer for me, to reimagine the future. Not only for myself, for but for the world.
Summer may be ending, but I am, right now, still settled in the slow + simple ways of this July. My intention is to stay right here for just a few days more. Letting it all swirl around me , letting it fill my soul, letting it speak to me of my calling forward, and letting it inspire me to reimagine + prepare for the rest of 2020.
Time to transition back to being home now. And wishing you well as the weekend begins wherever you are. xoxo. liz.
Inspiring places in this post
- Kiviks musteri
- Catus Home Address: Mellby stora väg 12, Södra Mellby (near Kivik)
- Annika Äikäs pottery
Read all of my posts from Österlen –> here