Ales Stenar is one of the biggest mysteries of Swedish history. So far, it is not known what was the purpose of the stone circle, reminiscent of known to all English Stonehenge. At the end of 2013, when I was preparing for Erasmus in Lund, I was browsing the Internet to find places worth visiting. This is how I’ve discovered Ales Stenar. Same year I visited Stonehenge, so my enthusiasm to visit the next mysterious stones was huge! Luckily, it turned out that Ales Stenar are not so far from Lund and even public transport goes there. For a student who, hasn’t had a driving license, such information was just fantastic! 😀 However, not everything came out beautifully and smoothly. 😛 And seriously, before you go there by bus, let me give you some advice! 😀
How to get to Ales Stenar?
In my case, the journey started in Lund, where I was on my first Erasmus. I had a direct train from Lund to Ystad. The journey takes about an hour. In Ystad, you have to change to bus number 392 and get off at the stop on demand -> Kaseberga C. ATTENTION !! Buses from Ystad goes always, but the other way is not working as smoothly as it may seem. If you want the bus to take you back to Ystad, you must go to the tourist information before leaving Ystad and tell them that you will be coming back from Kaseberga by bus! Otherwise, the bus will not come!! You can also call the bus by yourself, but I recommend you to speak Swedish and do it an hour before the scheduled departure of the bus. We didn’t do it and then we had expensive consequences (below explanation)! 😀 Here you will find the bus schedule. From big cities, you also have easy connection from Malmo. 🙂
The bus journey takes about 20 minutes. We got off in a total secluded place, and with us a group of students from Lund, whom we associated. The road to Ales Stenar is marked at the bus stop, so we knew which way to go. It was already mid-May, but the weather was still not the best one. A quite heavy downpour has just passed, but fortunately the sun was slowly coming out! 🙂
After a short hike, we reached stone circle. Ales Stenar consists of 59 boulders and is 67 meters long and 19 meters wide. From a bird’s eye view, it resembles a boat, so the two largest 3.5-meter stones are called „stern” and „bow”. In fact, it is not known who built them and for what purpose. Carbon research indicates that the stone circle could be established in the range from IV to X century. Some scholars suggest that this may be the grave of an important person, but no remains have been found here. More people are inclined to the theory that, like Stonehenge, it was an astronomical observatory. The two largest stones are directed towards the sunrise at the summer solstice and the west at the winter solstice.
Like Stonehenge, Ales Stenar made a staggering impression on me. In the end, they are not randomly arranged ordinary stones, but set with great precision. It is really fascinating considering what approach we have to our ancestors from a few hundred years ago! Maybe we still can not simply appreciate their achievements and technologies and we unfairly call these years dark ages…
Ignorance does not pay …
While taking pictures, a group of students (namely one boy) approached us to discuss an important issue … At first, the boy asked if my name was Karolina and if I was a swimmer. Very surprised, I replied yes. He quickly explained that he knew my friend, with whom I went to the swimming pool and she showed him our photos. 😀 But believe me, not every day guys come up to me with such a question, so I was very surprised! 😀
Coming to the point, our new friend asked if we called the bus. At that moment, we were even more surprised when we found out that we had to call it. Although this information was mentioned in the online bus schedule, unfortunately we didn’t notice. I was the only one who had a money on the phone, I gave it our new colleague to call the Swedish helpline for this bus. Fortunately, he knew Swedish, because when I tried in English, it didn’t work at all. Unfortunately, the bus didn’t come, because we called too late. We even asked a school trip that arrived, if they had 5 free places on the bus. 😀
Fortunately, we managed to get a taxi number. Our colleague (German) again called and ordered a taxi to Kaseberga. Ufff … it’s good that someone finally agreed to picked us up. We took some pictures on the cliff and went down again towards the bus stop. Taxi to Ystad cost us 250 SEK, which is 50 SEK per head (13 EUR). That’s why I recommend to visit tourist information before departure!! 😀
However, this was not the end of adventures today. After returning to Ystad, we we said goodbye to our new friends because they came back to Lund an we went to the pier. When the ship started to enter the harbor and I wanted to take a picture of it, I discovered that I didn’t have a camera. I almost started crying, because I thought that I already lost the photos from one of the biggest (for me) attractions in Sweden! I figured out, that I had to leave it in a taxi, because there was no other option. Luckily, Darek took the phone from me and rang on the helpline. Somehow he got along in English. I was right – my camera stayed in the car and a taxi driver confirmed it. Taxi waited for me where we got off. I thanked this woman with tears in my eyes and then I watched my camera like an eye in my head … 😀
Even so, the trip to Ales Stenar was one of the coolest trips I’ve been to in Sweden. That day, I experienced almost every kind of emotion: from excitement to almost black despair because of camera loss. The only thing that I regret is the fact that we spent very little time on Ales Stenar…
What about you? Have you seen Swedish Stonehenge? Let me know!
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