We are now in Småland, Sweden's "glass kingdom". Lakes, forests, small homesteads and glassworks are the main elements of this region. In the last half of the 19th century, poverty, hunger and other hardships were especially prominent in Småland and, therefore, countless Swedes emigrated to "God's own country", the US of A.
Hence, we began our Smålandish adventure by visiting Småland's House of Emigrants (Utvandrarnes Hus) and the adjacent Glass Museum in downtown Växjö.
|Ellis Island in New York was the port-of-entry for almost all Swedes.|
The House of Emigrants is full of very interesting facts about the massive flux of Swedes into the United States, primarily between 1860s and 1910s.
These newly-arrived Swedish gentlemen got "tagged" by Ellis Island's immigration inspector and were subjected to a test to ascertain whether their mental capacity and IQ were sufficient. Only the very best folks were allowed into the States.
This was the American dream for all Swedish farmers heading to the New World,
... but most had to be content with driving a wagon like this in the cobbled lanes of Chicago in 1910.
BTW, my Danish (maternal) grand-dad, Andreas Schultz, was a happy driver of a water wagon in the Swedish quarters of Chicago, also in 1910.
The Glass Museum sported a wealth of three centuries' beauties created by the extremely skilled glass blowers and glass artists in the region's glassworks.
Both classical glass art ...
... and modern glassy installations ...
... made visiting the Glass Museum a very recommendable experience.
Outside again, we ventured towards the neighbouring lake promenade
... where young locals promenaded
... while the old luminary, Carl von Linné, looked approvingly on his boyhood town and his manhood university next door.
|The cathedral in Växjö|
We spent a long, sunny and pleasant afternoon exploring Växjö and are now accommodated in a rather humble hotel in the outskirts of town. – Tomorrow, we will begin biking southwards on the Sydostleden heading for the village of Tingsryd.
Stay tuned !