Cybercuisers - on their way to meet the Captain
– Meeting the Natives in a Norwegien shopping Paradise.
We went from Norway to Sweden on a Friday afternoon in July in the year of 2007.
Our purpose and goal was to meet a blogger friend and Captain at Faaroe in the Baltic Sea. A trip of about 7-9 hours – depending on the traffic – to the Car Ferries at the Mainland. ++ 3 hours on the Car-carrier to Gotland ++ n hours from Visby to Faaroe.
We left from Oslo (Norway about 4 pm) on E18 – or for US readers E18 - that might be similar to an Interstate-xx. Heading east for about 100 km (62 miles). 75 minutes. Lucky us. We were invited to non the less but Johs and Bettan. For dinner and stay overnight before our next leg in direction of Captain and Mr Lifecruiser.
Butt – where did we stop?
In Sweden. Only 10 km (6miles) from the border. In a tiny “village” named Töcksfors.
This is what met us
What the %#”%?&% is so interesting about such a place?
Going back in history a frontier settlement like this, the people that lived there, during centuries were trapped between the Kingdom of Sweden and /Denmark/Norway. They really did suffer. That’s from these period the name Toecksfors is originated ( popular translation: Put down place). They suffered because of the wars and hostility between the the two neighbouring countries for centuries. In reality, it was a question of power between Kings - not people in general.
Some hundred years ago. Iron was discovered, and the place blossomed, but it was suddenly time out for iron mining. Then it was timber, and the channel- Dalslands Kanal were opened in the early 1800. Bancrupcies and new industries came and left over the years. People moved away from the area.
To day it is very popular to sail/boating on this Channel (Dalslands kanal)during the summer. You can go for days at the channel and lakes. And cross the border in to Norway. It's also interesting to know that the local radio station do cooperate with local Norwegian radio stations. And that the sport club together with a sport club at the other side of the frontier has build a cross country ski track - ligthened in the evenings - that goes on both sides of the border. No customs or passports needed. And no security control.
We were served crab shells and shrimps and white wine
Johs and Bettan. They live in Töckfors. That’s their home. In Sweden. Natives so to speak. Butt they are Norwegians. 75 minutes drive to Oslo. Where they work. Crazy? Not at all. House prizes is about 40% of what it is in the Oslo area – and when only a few years from retiring; Very wise.
Having dinner outside in the evening Sun
Here are some pictures from their home and the food we had. Please enjoy. It was a very pleasant evening and stay. Excellent food. A mild, sunny summer evening. After the meal we went to the river and Lock. There is 2 Locks in Töcksfors and total height difference is 9 meters.
You want an egg? Not far to go here.
Back to the Village. Number of habitants were decreasing year after year. Until the Norwegian currency suddenly became more valuable than the Swedish. When I was young we in Norway had to pay NOK 1,20 for oneSEK,. Today we pay NOK 0.84. That has led to a blooming in Toecksfors. Serving Norwegians hunting for cheaper Meat, Pasta, Wine, Tobacco, Chicken and even light beer and sodas. And sweets.
They live close to the channel and river (just behind the trees)
Butt, the Swedes have neglected this small village. It’s so far from Stockholm (400 km - 250 miles). The Capital at the border of the Baltic Sea. So what do you think have happened?
Norwegian retailers have build a large Shopping Mall. 30000 square meters. It's expected 3 million customers a year. Also new housing has been buildt. In that tiny village, last year the number of citiziens grew by 50 – to 1692. That’s much to be declared as a “non-place”. But this is only the beginning. In a short time new shopping Malls (60000 sq meters) will pop up. New houses (100 villas). And new hotels. Thanks to the strong Norwegian currency and relative low food prices in Sweden. Tobacco and Wine is also half price. For Norwegians it’s a shopping paradise. Only 6 miles from the frontier. Special busses goes from Oslo directly to the Shopping mall. All thanks to the Oil and Gas found in the North Sea, which have made Norway a very rich country - and the people too.
For us, it’s a canoeists paradise. On the Lakes and rivers. And Johs and Bettan.