It has become fashionable to go out into the silence - To find a quiet sanctuary with plenty of time for contemplation.
The Croft in Sweden is the sanctuary for our family - Where we can "hide" during the year from a hectic everyday life, and get the mental batteries recharged.
Here there are fresh air, silence and nature ad libitum, as well as plenty of water for canooing and fishing ...
Geographically, the Croft are located 1 km south of the town of Mårdaklev, the southernmost part of the Väster Götaland County, between Lake Storsjön and the river Ätran.
The croft are located on the south-facing slope of the river valley, and consists of this house, as well as another older cottage in our ownership.
The other cottage is reportedly the oldest house in the parish, and originally originated as an retiring cottage (Backa stuga) to a soldiers' croft. This can be dated back to the end of the 1700s.
The two crofts are located on the same piece of land, but the oldest cottage is for private use.
In addition, there is a good distance between the houses in the area, so the cottages are quite undisturbed. The valley is located in the most sparsely populated municipality in southern Sweden.
There is about 1 km as the crow flies to Storsjön. And below the hut, just cross the road and a meadow,you will stand on the banks of the river Ätran just over 200 meters away.
We have a canoe for the use of our visitors, located at the end of Storsjøen approx. 3 km away. See directions.
Within a distance of 8 km from the cottage are two excellent lakes. Both with good bathing spots.
"Kalv sø" lake is good for everyone, but quite well known by the locals. There are rocks and a sand beach, and good swimming conditions Map Kalv sjø
"Vita sjø" lake are a shallow lake, and thus good for the little ones. There are a småll sandy beach. It is also best suited if you want to go on a picnic. Map Vita sjø
But in our family, it's all just "the cabin", and then we knows what it's about ...
S50042 are the house on the right
The thing about "ødegård", "Torp" and "Backa stuga"...
As a visitor in Sweden you may meet these expressions about the vacation cottages that You live in.
Ødegård: Could be directly translated as an remote house.
Most people think that it is the geographical expression "remote" that lay behind the term, but we have to look back to the Nordic languages , where "øde" means both remote and abondoned.
When a house in a period has been abandoned, or rather been standing without habitants and its normal farming operation has gone, the sorrounding population often calls it abandoned even through new habitants are mowing in later on.
In Sweden this expression has been normal since the great emigration to America in the 18th century, where about 1/3 of the population emigrated.
So "ødegård" means thereby a "has been abandoned" but yet again populated house.
Torp: Has typically originated in the small dwellings in the past, as a place where the habitant lived or rather survived by cultivating a small piece of land, and supplemented the food by working for the farms in the valley.
This name clings to these small dwellings, and can best be translated into the English Croft.
Backa stuga: When the inhabitants of the croft became too old to run it, they could be fortunate enough to have a hut on uncultivated land, in their old age.
This was typically on the valley side, where it was often dug in so that the earth formed one of the walls. It was not the best conditions, but better than the farm designated the poor people.
"Backa" means hill, and stuga means a small hut. It was a logical name as many of these small huts, mostly were located on the hillside.
Longitude: 57.234023 N
Latitude: 12.97006 E
A direct link to the German novasol portal. Redirect to your own country, and search for Cabin no. S50042.
Here you will find an ingenious strip of small sights of all kinds. More than 80 visits to do. Just drive out and have a look.
There are folders with cards in our House.
Sweden (and Norway) have a unique tradition (and law), that everyone can make a stay in the nature. Familiarize yourself with the simple rules, and maybe go on a raspberry or a mushroom hunt.
Pictures from the house
A small description of the house.
Here is 124 sqm living space,and a conservatory of about 20 sqm.
The house are electrified, and heated with a combination of heat-pump and electric radiators. There is water from our own well in the bath and kitchen.
The lower floor has a spacious entrance with washing machine. An hallway gives access to bathroom with toilet, and kitchen, as well as stairs to the upper floor.
The upper floor consists of a large common room with 2 single beds. A minor double bedroom, a children's room with a bunk bed, and passage to the large double bedroom.
There is a fully equipped kitchen with both electric stove and a wood stove. These include a coffee machine, kettle, kombined fridge & freezer and microwave. There is dining space for 4 in the kitchen.
The dining room is located in the crack of the house. Here are a real porcelain tiled stove that is only used in the wintertime. From here is the exit to the conservatory.
As we renovated the dining room, we found newspaper clippings from 1912, where the house is built by the wood shoemaker Birger Svensson and family. The dining room itself is set in logs of approx. 25x15 cm, and has previously been a cabin elsewhere in the County.
The cozy living room is newly renovated, and has a raw timber wall on one side. Here there are sofas for our guests, as well as a good chair to read in. From here there is access to the front of the house.
The conservatory makes the access to the garden space of the house. This is where we find the guest's of the house, in the summer. With cozy barred windows, free access to the terrace and lawn, it is the place you automatically gather during the day.
In the cozy garden there is of course a large barbecue, and a centrally located campfire site, as well as some small secret paths down between the trees.
A newly finished shelter in the garden gives the possibility to enjoy the night outside, or perhaps a small nap during daytime. Sleepingbags and mats are not included though.
A wiev off the House interior.
In the area where our cottage is located, there are generally a long way to major market towns and cultural sights.
On the other hand, there are good opportunities to use nature and experience the tranquility.
We can highly recommend visiting the many small local sights (called Eco-museums), which are found in large numbers in the Ätradalen. Look in the link "Eco museums in Ätradalen".
Nature is probably the biggest attraction in the area. There are many large lakes and forests. Even though we are in southern Sweden, Svenljunga municipality is the most sparsely populated municipality in this part of the country. However, it is not so deserted that you can drive in the woods, completely without encountering human settlements.
Finally, there is only 25 km to the shopping mecca GEKÅS in Ullared, if you need a little power shopping.
In the slightly larger periphery, a visit to one of the coastal market towns such as Falkenberg or Varberg will be a good day program. Varberg in particular has a number of cozy restaurants along the coast.
Perhaps you will be tempted by a visit to High Chaparel, which is a true Western town populated with both cowboys, Indians, and good common western citizens. The smell of dusty streets, sweaty horses and smoke from gunpowder are not far away in High Chaparel.
If you are into nature, both Hornborgasjön with its crane dance and Storemosssan kulturum, located in a raised bog of 10 km in diameter, are worth a drive. The latter also has some spectacular hiking trails beyond the bog.
Do you want a Fishing license for one of the areas:
Östra Frölunda-Mårdaklevs FVO (Storesøen og elven)
Kalv FVO (Kalv sø)
Fegen FVO (Fegen sø)
As Ätran and Lilleåen have their own salmon stock below the power plants, it is relevant with a little substance about salmon fishing
In Falkenberg just 50 km from the croft there is a fantastic shop with outdoor clothes, which can be well recommended.
If you want to go paddling, there are a few good canoe routes in the area. Be prepared for transfers.
Directions to the Canoe.
Follow the gravel road 3 km past the Croft "Åsebo".
The first road on the right then has a boom on, and the second road on the right hand leads down to the canoe.
The Canoe red and white with black tape in the dividing line.
The distance are about 3,5 km from the house.
NB: The key to the chain are in the grey box on the shed. You will find the code in the cabins information sheet. Please remember paddles and life jackets.
The position of the Canoe are 57.22061 12.91755 on Google maps.
Since we took over on the oldest cottage in the spring of 2008, the crofts have been undergoing a renovation to suit the needs of the family - no luxury, but lots of "originality".
Later, in 2016, we bougt the lower croft. The house described here.
The first winter was spent improving all the craftsmanship shortcomings in the croft. My skills as a carpenter were put to the test, and we had to do carpentry work, caulking gun, and painting equipment. 50 cartridges acrylic joint easily disappeared for cracks, crevices, and mouse protection.
Next, I had to look at the Elektricity plant. An exciting renovation where old equipment was preserved where it was safe. At the same time, the renovation meant a better balance of consumption in the house's installations.
In the spring 2017 the garden had a number of small secret trails laid out through the primeval forest. It makes you want to go on an adventure, and we see that the children among our guests are quickly on an expedition.
In 2017, the dining room was next in line. Behind the neglect, the most beautiful beam walls revealed themselves, and we could now put panels loosely on the lower part of the walls so that the air could circulate and remove old moisture. On the innermost layer, we found a 1912 newspaper clip about tuberculosis. Through that, we got to date the construction of the room. It got better than just good.
In the winter of 2019, we started renowating the living room. The wall facing the dining room appeared in the raw beams, and the last wall was in good enough condition so we could paint and wallpaper the 3 other walls.
The cardboard on the ceiling also had to be taken down, and acrylics joints were made between the rough-hewn boards so that painting could take place. We reached the finish line, only slightly challenged by Covid. It can clearly be felt, that it is no longer freezing footcold in the room during wintertime.
The summer of 2020 took place in the shadow of Covid. Fewer rentals meant that we had the opportunity to start building an shelter in the garden. Here we could reuse the old floorboards from the living room. Most of the timber comes from leftovers at other projects, so it has been a kind of a recycling of old materials.
We'll probably not get bored up here for the next few years...
In the early summertime thousands of Cranes gathers at the Hornborga lake. If you are lucky, it is possible to see them dance.
Store Mosse is a raised bog of 10 km in diameter. Here is a unique nature and beautiful hiking opportunities. As well as a wonderfull "Naturum" where you can enjoy the packed lunch
Just an hour's drive away you can meet the Wild West.
In Astrid Lindgreens story "Ronja the Robbers daughter", Borrås Skåra is the gorge that divided the Castle, in which the Mattis and Borka robbers lived.
Be aware that the Castle were part of the film set, and is not to be seen on the location, but the gorge are easily recogniseable..
A few webcams are placed to secure against both material damage and unwanted weather conditions, whenever the cottages are without guests. Eventhougt the cameras are lit, they are turned backwards, as soon as visitors are expected in the area.
You might as a visitor see that the webcam are facing the parking area on time of supposed arrival and departure, and else turned away. Please dont feel disturbed, as there are not any intentions of surveillance on our guest's.
Any questions can be send via email: Skovgaard@vildmarksbassen.dk
Loppis, or flea markets, are worth a visit in Sweden. One of our favorites are Pia & Lennart's loppis. Fortunately its only open on saturdays in odd weeks. Find their FB profile here.
At the ancient borderline between Denmark at Sweden (before 1789) lies the old border inn. Today representative for the nordic kitchen. Book a table via FB here.
In Älvsered lies an all american burger restaurant, oriented by the 50 & 60's
One of the good places to go.
In Ullared lies Gekås. A gigantic shopping & outlet center. There is nothing like it in entire Sweden. They extended their shop area with 10.000 square meters, by removing a rock lump of 450 tons of rock. They even have shopping flights, coming from northern Sweden to their own hotels in Ullared.