Family of dalahäster

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.

A view of Lake Siljian, complete with little Swedish banner.
Lots of hotels in this town, which runs almost entirely on tourism
Lots of hotels in this little town!

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!

A nice cabin for David. You can tell it is ‘modern’ because of the window and tall door. This one might only be as old as nana and pop’s cabin.

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.

Mini-cottage-turned-craft shop.
A private log cabin on the hill.
This is an oldie. I think I could stand up inside in the middle, but the small door would keep more of the heat in when people went in and out in the winter.


  1. I love the snow. I love how quiet the blanket makes everything. Sometimes in gridlock traffic I will open the back of my truck up and pull out all my extra blankets. I stand on my roof and throw them onto the neighbouring cars. It does not have the same effect but I do learn new words. That was a joke for those tranlating this to another language. I think it is funny even if you do not. So that makes it a joke even if you don’t think so. Anyway. I really love snow and how clean everything looks. I like how things are all like a black and white picture. The feeling of places really comes out because I am not distracted by all the colours normally visible. I associate snow with remote locations even though lots of folks live in snow all the time and it is a normal part of some city life. I like the remote snow and I like these pictures you took…I think of hot drinks, playing card or board games and a hot fire. I like the cold but I am not so fond of being cold. I love cross country skiing and snowshoeing the best as my body works best with those two winter sports. Mom was telling me that there is a place in Quebec that has park trails they flood in the winter to make miles and miles of walkway into skating adventure. Winter is important. Winter makes the most normal and easy tasks difficult and I find myself reminded that we have the technology (andthe gear) to survive the elements and also have fun. This all is so romantic as long as there is not a commute or a time line involved because then people just use bad words. Like when I share my blankets.

    Lots of love from North Vancouver, Canada where we have to use dump trucks to transport snow because of the really cool sporting event between 2009-2011.


    powered by WP hashcash? dude.

  2. just wondering, is there an edit function for the esl learners who forget certain rules regarding plural nouns and spelling errrors? i’m just asking.

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