Steve and I went adventurekking again yesterday. We were supposed to get up early and do yard work. But instead, we decided to go out and explore the Kansas around us. And this time, we picked the picturesque little town of Lindsborg.
This post marks a first for me. It is the first where I captured all of the images with my phone instead of my camera. I wish I had taken my camera, but I was not thinking of posting this adventurekking trip until we got there. Everything was so special that I decided it needed sharing, so I made do with the tools at hand. I encourage everyone to go to Lindsborg, KS. It’s a beautiful and magical little town that will inspire you as well.
Lindsborg, KS is described like this on the town’s official website:
The City of Lindsborg was settled in the spring of 1869 by a group of Swedish immigrants from the Värmland province of Sweden led by Pastor Olof Olsson. They envisioned a community rich in culture, learning, religion, business and farming. These values remain strong today as evidenced by a city that is rich in the performing and visual arts; home to Smoky Valley School District and Bethany College; Baptist, Catholic, Covenant, Lutheran and Methodist churches thrive; a place where retail, industry and business thrives; and agricultural (sic) continues to play an important role in the community.
It took us just under an hour to get to Lindsborg, which sits 50 miles north and west of our house. It was a gorgeous day, with no clouds, a light breeze, and not too hot, with temps in the mid 80s. Given that we tend to leave late morning for our adventurekking trips, it was lunch time when we arrived. We had already decided to have lunch in the town’s popular Swedish restaurant, The Swedish Crown, so we went straight there first.
When in Rome, or Sweden in this case, go for the traditional. This was my plate. Swedish meatballs, potato sausage, with dill potatoes, pickled cucumbers, beets, boiled egg, and of course, lingonberry.
Accompanied by a delicious lingonberry margarita. I sincerely doubt this is an authentic Swedish beverage. But it should be. It was REALLY tasty!
Steve chose the smoked salmon with capers, pickled cucumbers, dill cream sauce and cracker bread.
We were both happy with our choices, although Steve tasted my plate and said he likes my Swedish meatballs better. I make mine my own way, but my recipe tries to taste like the one my Swedish brother-in-law, Ronnie, made for us when he and my sister visited us in Texas. They live in Sweden. I kinda agreed with Steve, but I still very much enjoyed my meal at the Swedish Crown.
let me show you some of Lindsborg
After lunch, Steve and walked up and down both sides of the main street in the center of town where the local businesses proudly show off their Swedish flair.
We stopped at a local shop that sold boutique wines from the local Smoky Hill Vineyards and Winery, named after the Smoky Hill River that runs through this part of Kansas. We did pick up a bottle after tasting some of their offerings.
Every so often as you walk along the sidewalk, you encounter these beautifully painted concrete replicas of traditional Swedish Dala horses. They are SO pretty!
And this one, which is the feature image on this post, is a much bigger one outside Hemslöjd, a local gift store full of beautiful little souvenirs and funny t-shirts. As a matter of fact, they are the self-proclaimed largest makers of Dala horses in the world, outside of Sweden.
They truly provide an homage to all things Swedish.
Like these beautiful Christmas decorations. I was very good and resisted buying something. Which was HARD! I love all things Christmas!
I just loved these t-shirts. They had me cracking up.
One favorite read: Viking World Tour, then listed the “tour stops and dates”; England 793, Russia 826, Iceland 860… you get the gist.
Another one of my favorites; It Takes a Viking To Raze a Village. Get it? Raze instead of raise? Ok, corny, I know, but so am I and I loved these t-shirts.
We stopped at this lovely gallery bakery combo called the Courtyard Gallery. It smelled heavenly of coffee, cinnamon, and other baked goods. Luckily we had already eaten, so I was not tempted to indulge.
At this gallery, we found the cutest little Swedish-inspired hand-carved chess set.
And this beautiful painting by a local artist. This one REALLY tempted me. It is just stunning to me. I love the play of light, and the virga in the sky, vividly depicting the rains that can come and go so suddenly around here. The colors and the composition really spoke to me.
We walked into a local imported goods store, where we bought a jar of lingonberry jam and a bag of Daim candy.
The Daim was for sentimental reasons. I will keep them until Matt and Sam come to visit. See, in 2004, we took a family trip to visit my sister Karen and her husband Ronnie in Sweden. The boys were 16 and 12 respectively. We took a train from Eskistulna where she lived to the west coast. To pass the time during the trip, Steve, Ronnie and the boys played poker on the train, using Daim candies as their poker chips. Many of the boys’ winnings were consumed with much enjoyment.
This beautiful mural of a Santa Lucia celebration was painted on the side of a local building.
We saw this lovely sign outside of a beautiful and unique art gallery, called Hands of Time. I liked it so much I decided to include it in today’s story.
Along with this very large framed piece that was inside.
Isn’t this stunning? The bottom reads “Time is to (sic) precious to waste. Begin the journey. Open the gates”.
This was SO clever and creative. I just loved it!
And finally, this whimsical clock that reads : “May each new day be the start of something beautiful!”.
If you ever make it to Lindsborg, you have to stop at the Hands of Time. It is worth the visit!
just outside of lindsborg
At the winery store, we were given some brochures of the local attractions. Although we did not have time to see them all, we chose two that we thought we would really enjoy. One was just outside of town, just over the county line.
We drove by field after field of stubble from the recent wheat harvest. They have their own golden beauty, don’t they?
We were on our way to Coronado Heights which is a landmark in the Smoky Hill River valley, and is listed on the National and Kansas Registries of Historic Places. It was also voted as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas Geography by members of the Kansas Sampler Foundation.
A brochure on the landmark reads:
The Swedish pioneers originally settled at the base of the bluff (on which Coronado Heights sits), but eventually moved the community to the floor of the valley. Anna Olsson, daughter of one of Lindborg’s founders, Rev. Olof Olsson, wrote in her memoir “Child of the Prairie” that looking from the top of the Heights, when homesick, one imagined seeing all the way to Sweden.
Legend has it the summit is where Francisco Vásquez de Coronado surveyed the rich valley before he abandoned his search for the legendary Land of Quivera and its seven cities of gold.
In 1936, the Lindborg Historical Society built this castle at the top of the Heights, along with cooking and picnic areas, to allow visitors to enjoy the historical area.
It’s a stunning place, with beautiful views of the farmlands that stretch for miles to the horizons.
We left Coronado Heights to find Bethany College.
Bethany College is a small liberal arts college located in Lindsborg and is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It is also the college where Birger Sandzén, a famous Swedish artist, educator and promoter of the arts and humanities taught.
Birger Sandzén lived a long and rich life. One that I could not possibly do justice in retelling in this blog post. I encourage you to look him up and read about his extraordinary accomplishments. What I will share are the pictures of some of his work, and that of others, that Steve and I saw at the Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery, situated on the Bethany College campus grounds.
The following are several of his works that hang in the gallery.
His style was unique and bold, with very compelling colors.
Also displayed were some acrylic paintings by Robert Gatriot, a guest artist from Denver, CO.
The light and detail on these are stunning. I thought I was seeing photographs instead of paintings. Aren’t they amazing?
I was also intrigued by these paintings made from carved wooden stamps. The detail and workmanship it takes to create these is mind boggling.
The Birger Sandzén Memorial Gallery was our last stop.
When we left Bethany College, Steve drove us down several of the town’s side streets, where we saw this lovely iron pedestrian bridge spanning the Smoky Hill River.
We drove by the town public pool and tennis courts, where Steve recalled his tournament win in High School, competing for the Newton Railers tennis team.
And we saw beautifully maintained older homes, much like the Rosberg House which is now a bed and breakfast.
And then it was time to go home.
On the drive back, Steve and I discussed how much we enjoyed our day in Lindsborg, and what a rich heritage there is in that little town. I was impressed with everything we did and saw. And although over a century removed from the original settlers, it was nice to reconnect with some of my love of all things Swedish.
If you are ever in South Central Kansas, I wholeheartedly recommend that Lindsborg be a stop on your journey. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as we did.