After talking about this trip for far too long, three Hungarian friends and I went to the southern Swedish town of Ystad and the nearby Swedish cultural site of Ale Stenar or ‘Ale’s Stones’. To get to the site we first had to take the train for about an hour, and then catch a bus out to the little seaside town of Kåsaberga, which only runs 3-4 times a day. While we waited for the bus we checked out Ystad which was a really adorable little town with a beautiful medieval Lutheran church off one of the two main squares.
A fun fact about the church in Ystad, it has maintained a tradition of a night watchman for over 300 years! The night watchman hangs out in the tower, and blows a horn between 9pm and 1am to tell the whole town that Ystad is safe and sound. You can learn a little more about the practice in the video below!
After bopping around Ystad for a while, we went down to the central station to catch the bus to Kåsaberga… However, when we arrived there was no bus, and the station attendant told us that because the two ‘regulars’ that usually take the bus from Ystad to Kåsaberga had already showed up and the bus left five minutes early. While we had not expected to have the bus leave completely without us, Rahel had thought that we might need to hitchhike at some point and so we were prepared. We made a sign for Kåsaberga and had a ride in a very flustered-looking dad’s minivan within 5 minutes! He was super nice, and had a million kids’ toys and car seats in his very classic minivan, but he gave a ride all the way to the cultural site!
We climbed up a little hill and through a sheep pasture to the stones, which were not very big, but still pretty spooky. The stones indicate the solstices and are set in the shape of a ship, because Vikings.
After we bopped around and chased some sheep (sorry!) we sat down to a lunch of some of the yummiest fish I’ve ever eaten! The case in the fish shop was full of smoked fishes, eel, and all kinds of fresh seafood. It was SO tasty. I highly recommend the fish smoke house if you ever find yourself out there.
We were also able to hitchhike back from Kåsaberga to Ystad really easily with a young man who did not speak great English, but seemed willing enough to take us because it was on his way — or maybe he was being nice? It was very cold, but I am so happy we went because Kåsaberga is so beautiful and the it is so cool that the stone ship is set so perfectly near the water, on probably the tallest hill in Skåne.