On Thursday and Friday I went on a University-wide faculty retreat to discuss the recent re-organization of the faculties and departments at University of Gävle. It was in Tälleberg in Dalarna, widely considered Sweden’s heartland and home to the dalahäst, those little painted wooden horses. I had a bit of a cold and the meetings were mostly in Swedish, but the highlights were (cold) walks around the country village. Tälleberg is very traditional in many respects and only a few kilometres from Falun, where they have long made the ubiquitous red paint. Every structure in Dalarna seems to be made of logs, and some of the buildings are 200 or 300 years old. I guess it goes without saying that they don’t build them like they used to, but they don’t need to since the original buildings are still there. Everything was covered in snow, and the little hill of Tälleberg made for some great views of the beautiful lake Siljian and surrounding valley.
All the cute little cabins with thatch or sod roofs, and the cozy mini-cottages made me think of my brother David, he really likes snow adventures and quiet country side and I think this would be right up his alley. I think there is an untapped market for snowshoe tours and yoga, you should check it out!
This area is a very popular vacation spot, and although there are cows and horses and chickens, the main industry is tourism… there were 8 hotels in this town of 200 people! The houses, stugar (cabins) and barns have been in families for generations, so there is not really a real estate market in this area – property really only changes hands when someone dies. This has kept it very traditional, since city folk come here to visit but not to build a modern glass vacation house overlooking the lake. This would be a great movie set, you would just need people to turn out the electric lights and park their volvos inside the barns and it could be 400 years ago.