We were very sad to say goodbye to Viveka today, she’s such a lovely lady. We have had a relaxing stay at her ställplats and we’ve seen so much wildlife during our stay.
I’m amazed there weren’t far more people staying there, they’re missing out on a lot.
We travelled to the South of the island, we had a few stops mapped out on our way off the island to Kalmar.
Our first stop was the ruins of St Knuts Kappel and the walls of the fortified village.
We parked in the coach park because we weren’t sure how busy St Knuts Kappel would be, not very, as it turned out!
It was a very pretty ruin, I took photos of a bird perched on the stone wall of the church until Darren walked up and scared it away!
There were some thick stone walls around the area with wildflowers dotted around and bees buzzing away, it was very peaceful, there was a forge at the entrance to the hamlet which had been kitted out as it would have looked when it was in use.
On the way in we’d seen a field full of wild flowers so Darren kindly stopped the van so I could take some photographs but I couldn’t do it justice.
We started looking out for somewhere to have lunch, we shot past a café and carried on up the road to look for somewhere to turn round so we could go back but missing the café was very fortunate for us because we came to a restaurant called Eksgården.
It looked very pretty from the outside and it turned out that both the decor and the food were wonderful.
There were only a few items on the menu and they were all made from local produce, the owner said that they buy their produce from local farmers and then decide on the menu for that day and that there’s a different menu in the evening. He told us it makes it more interesting for the chefs to prepare the food and they do a barbeque one evening a week to ring the changes.
We were given a tray with our drinks, side plates and a neatly folded paper bag with slices of tasty homemade bread and a pot of butter on it.
He told us there were three seating areas, inside, on the patio at the front of the restaurant or in a little garden round the back of the restaurant.
We walked round the side and there was a lovely little garden surrounded by pretty buildings which he later told us were holiday time share properties.
When the food arrived and we started eating it my mouth thought I’d died and gone to heaven, the flavours of the food were out of this world. There was Jerusalem artichoke in the salad which I’ve never had before, the way the chef had prepared it made it extremely tasty. I took my time eating because I was enjoying it so much I didn’t want the meal to finish.
We ordered desert and coffee, the owner came out with a wicker basket which had a little chequered cloth lining it and placed inside were a silver flask of coffee, a little bottle of milk and a jar of posh looking brown sugar cubes. The desert was gorgeous too.
When I finished eating my dessert I felt quite sad to know that I would never get to experience that taste again.
The owner was charming, he was friendly and made us feel very welcome. He said the restaurant had only been open four weeks. We were very lucky to have been able to eat at this wonderful restaurant.
He told us he was a chef and he enjoyed great tasting food. He’d worked as a chef in California and Spain and as Head Chef in a hotel on the island of Gotland in Sweden.
He recommended we try the little dishes that you can get at pubs if we travel to Spain. I hope that his restaurant does very well, the food was outstanding and the owner seems to thoroughly enjoy his job.
We reluctantly left Eksgården and drove to the southern lighthouse, Långe Jan, we’d hoped to wild camp like we had up at Långe Erik but it wasn’t the same at all. It was pouring down with rain by the time we got there.
The area was a nature reserve and there were signs saying ‘No Overnight Stays’. We weren’t really sure what was here so we drove into a car park, which was fortuitous because a couple of red deer were walking around it.
When we realised that wasn’t the car park we drove down to the lighthouse hoping we could camp there but again the signs said ‘No Overnight Stays’.
Långe Jan is far more commercial than Långe Erik, probably because there are more holiday makers popping over from the mainland.
There was a coffee shop, which was handy, so we went in there to wait for the rain to ease and had coffee and cake and then when the sun came out we wandered around looking at the birds and the lighthouse.
There was an interesting Visitors Centre which told us about the area and the creatures there, we looked around that until they rang the bell for closing time.
I was disappointed to find that the seals weren’t by the beach, there was a sign warning people not to disturb them. Huh! Chance would be a fine thing, as usual the wildlife we had hoped to see had gone somewhere else.
We did see some cute sheep who were huddled together, they gave Darren a very strange look as he walked past but they were too lazy to run away, I’m pleased to say, creating a great photo opportunity.
There were also lots of interesting birds in the area and a brilliant metal sculpture of a cormorant by the lighthouse too which was eye catching.
The sun was starting to dip as we drove out of the nature reserve and Darren pulled over so I could take a photo of the Celtic cross beside the water then we drove back to the car park where we’d seen the red deer. We had a stroke of luck, they were still there and I got some nice photos of them.
Our luck changed after that, we drove down a narrow bumpy little lane to the first ställplats on our list and we were thrilled when a hare ran down the middle of the lane and then tried to hide in a field beside the road.
His camouflage was extremely good.
We got to the end of the lane to see another hare in the car park which sat and watched us for a while before making his escape.
We were looking forward to staying there until we saw a sign that said No Camping! D’oh!!! So we bumped back down the lane to the only place we could find to camp which was what looked like a very over priced cricket field with some ablutions huts that badly needed a coat of paint.
It was a huge field though and there were only four other vans in the field so being anti social we parked right over the far side of the field next to the moorland.
I was hoping we might see some wildlife but we only saw a couple of oyster catchers wandering around the middle of the site.
We took the opportunity to phone our son Austyn who was leaving to go travelling in Australia the next morning. It will be strange to think he’ll be on the other side of the world in a couple of days time.
Click on the link below for Eksgården: