Review of “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien

Title: The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Series: The Lord of the Rings #0
Illustrator: Alan Lee
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 289
Published: 1997, HarperCollins Publishers (originally published 1937)
My Grade: 5 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit met with instant critical acclaim when it was first published in 1937. Now recognized as a timeless classic, this introduction to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins, the wizard Gandalf, Gollum, and the spectacular world of Middle-earth recounts of the adventures of a reluctant hero, a powerful and dangerous ring, and the cruel dragon Smaug the Magnificent.

 

MY REVIEW

I was thirteen the first time I read this book. At that time, I was devouring books like I can’t even imagine today. But I do remember not thinking that this was a children’s book. Probably because I was a child and The Lord of the Rings as a whole is marked as adult fantasy. This time I could tell. Focus only lay on where the action was, the journey was not described in words at all (which I remember the first two of the trilogy had lots of (I was too young to be able to even begin the third)). The dialogue was also very easy. Well, short and old-fashioned maybe. Fitting for the age in which it takes place. But sometimes, because of the dialogue, it didn’t feel like a children’s book at all.

The reason I wanted to read Tolkien’s works again is because I don’t feel like I was mature enough to appreciate it when I was thirteen. And also, I’ve seen the movies countless times and want to know more. And since I have many of them illustrated now, I figured it was time.

I kinda don’t want to bring in the movies in this review, but I have to say, the full story of the book is represented in the movies. With a lot more of course! But it’s all there. I remember being initially disappointed over this relatively short book being turned into a trilogy on screen. But adding Gandalf’s part of finding out about the Necromancer and his council with the white wizards was great.

Anyway, the movies are great because they are adapted from a great book. 5 out of 5.

Review of “The Fires of Heaven” by Robert Jordan

Title: The Shadows Rising
Author: Robert Jordan
Series: Wheel of Time #4
Narrator: Michael Kramer and Kate Reading
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 36 hours 27 minutes
Published: 2004, MacMillan Audio (originally published 1994)
My Grade: 4 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The bonds and wards that hold the Great Lord of the Dark are slowly failing, but still his fragile prison holds. The Forsaken, immortal servants of the shadow, weave their snares and tighten their grip upon the realms of men, sure in the knowledge that their master will soon break free…

Rand al’ Thor, the Dragon Reborn, knows that he must strike at the Enemy, but his forces are divided by treachery and by ambition. Even the Aes Sedai, ancient guardians of the Light, are riven by civil war. Betrayed by his allies, pursued by his enemies and beset by the madness that comes to the male wielders of the One Power, Rand rides out to meet the foe.

 

MY REVIEW

The story goes on and I’m so surprised at how intricate it is. This was book 5 out of 14 and it feels like so much has happend so far and I can’t believe I’m not even half done with the series. The work Jordan has put into this series is ridiculous!

The Fires of heaven basically follows two two storylines. That of Rand, Mat, Egwene and the other one of Elayne and Nyneave which is later intertwined with the Amyrlin Seat and Min. Perrin is barely even mentioned in this book. The storyline of Rand was a bit complicated, lots of politics, many fighting scenes and schemes. It progressed a lot though and many things happened. Especially in the end. Wow!

It was much easier following the adventure of Elayne and Nyneave. Even if a lot of the story takes place in the world of dreams. Pretty cool!

It was a long book, many events, lots of traveling, many places were visited. And so many characters! It’s hard to keep track of them all. It was a good continuation of the story and with that ending, I’m very eager to continue to listen! The Fires of Heaven gets a 4.

Review of “The Shadow Rising” by Robert Jordan

Title: The Shadow Rising
Author: Robert Jordan
Series: Wheel of Time #4
Narrator: Michael Kramer and Kate Reading
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 41 hours 13 minutes
Published: 2003, MacMillan Audio (originally published 1992)
My Grade: 4 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The seals of Shayol Ghul are weak now, and the Dark One reaches out. The Shadow is rising to cover humankind.

In Tar Valon, Min sees portents of hideous doom. Will the White Tower itself be broken?

In the Two Rivers, the Whitecloaks ride in pursuit of a man with golden eyes, and in pursuit of the Dragon Reborn.

In Cantorin, among the Sea Folk, High Lady Suroth plans the return of the Seanchan armies to the mainland.

In the Stone of Tear, the Lord Dragon considers his next move. It will be something no one expects, not the Black Ajah, not Tairen nobles, not Aes Sedai, not Egwene or Elayne or Nynaeve.

Against the Shadow rising stands the Dragon Reborn…..

 

MY REVIEW

Forty hours of audiobook is a long listen. It took me a long while to get through it, because I had lots going on at work at the time. But in the end it was worth it! I had to do some research after finishing the listen though to be honest and I’m disappointed that I was not able to follow along as well as I can while listening to a book. Compared to the two previous books, this one did not feel like a journey, just waiting for something to happen. In The Shadow Rising, A LOT happened! I do remember thinking that in the very beginning and was already then impressed with the new speed of the story. A lot of focus on Perrin in this book and it was great “seeing” the old places and people from the first book again. But his story felt a bit dragged out. Battle after battle after battle on different fronts. In the beginning of this one, all the main characters are divided into groups and create their own storylines, some more interesting than others. I think Nyneave and Elayne’s was the best. And I also really enjoyed following Rand a bit more this time.

The worldbuilding, like the previous books as well obviously, is still incredible. And I think this is sometimes what makes it hard to focus while listening to it. But honestly, I don’t think I have the time to read these bricks page by page anyway. Priorities, I know. Something that also makes it hard to follow along sometimes are the many new characters that are introduced all the time. And especially when there’s only one chapter with them.

There are many different storylines to keep track of. But all in all, I’m getting more and more intrigued by the story and I can’t wait to find out what will happen next. It feels like the story has just begun. I mean, this was book 4 out of 14. It will get a strong 4 from me!

Review of “The Dragon Reborn” by Robert Jordan

Title: The Dragon Reborn
Author: Robert Jordan
Series: Wheel of Time #3
Narrator: Michael Kramer and Kate Reading
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 24 hours 51 minutes
Published: 2004, MacMillan Audio (originally published 1991)
My Grade: 4 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The Dragon Reborn—the leader long prophesied who will save the world, but in the saving destroy it; the savior who will run mad and kill all those dearest to him—is on the run from his destiny.

Able to touch the One Power, but unable to control it, and with no one to teach him how—for no man has done it in three thousand years—Rand al’Thor knows only that he must face the Dark One. But how?

Winter has stopped the war—almost—yet men are dying, calling out for the Dragon. But where is he?

Perrin Aybara is in pursuit with Moiraine Sedai, her Warder Lan, and Loial the Ogier. Bedeviled by dreams, Perrin is grappling with another deadly problem—how is he to escape the loss of his own humanity?

Egwene, Elayne and Nynaeve are approaching Tar Valon, where Mat will be healed—if he lives until they arrive. But who will tell the Amyrlin their news—that the Black Ajah, long thought only a hideous rumor, is all too real? They cannot know that in Tar Valon far worse awaits…

Ahead, for all of them, in the Heart of the Stone, lies the next great test of the Dragon reborn….

 

MY REVIEW

The third book in the Wheel of Time felt like an in-between-story while listening. But now, after finishing it and thinking back on everything the characters went through, it was full of action. What was funny though, was that the title felt off. The Dragon was lost and there was only a handful of chapters following him. Although, I guess it was all about him in the end anyway with everyone trying to find him.

I have to admit, that listening to all of these books back to back makes me unable to tell them apart. The stories flows into each other gracefully and after three books and 80 hours now, I definitely see the charm in the series. It’s the world building. It feels so real and even if it is a fantasy world full of magic and so on, it feels plausible. Many fantasy books are unrealistic in the sense that the hero is unaware of their power in the beginning but then masters it in a matter of minutes and becomes the most powerful ever. That’s fun and all, but this is another type of fantasy. Definitely a more adult type of fantasy. And I like the contrasts to what I usually read.

I enjoyed following Egwene, Nyneave, and Elaine in their pursuit of the black Ajah and it was great to see Mat from another perspective than half-dead (sorry for the small spoiler).

I’m mostly listening while I ride my bike or going somewhere and it feels like this world of Robert Jordan’s is where I spend my traveling time. It’s there in the background and I don’t really focus on it too much. I enjoy spending my time riding my bike to practice in this world, but I can’t really say it’s the best I’ve ever read, probably because of not actively reading. Maybe I will physically read it one day. The Dragon Reborn gets a solid 4 because of the immense and realistic world building.

Review of “Winterkeep” by Kristin Cashore

Title: Winterkeep
Author: Kristin Cashore
Series: Graceling Realm #4
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 528
Published: 2021, Dial Books for Young Readers
My Grade: 3 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Four years after Bitterblue left off, a new land has been discovered to the east: Torla; and the closest nation to Monsea is Winterkeep. Winterkeep is a land of miracles, a democratic republic run by people who like each other, where people speak to telepathic sea creatures, adopt telepathic foxes as pets, and fly across the sky in ships attached to balloons.

But when Bitterblue’s envoys to Winterkeep drown under suspicious circumstances, she and Giddon and her half sister, Hava, set off to discover the truth–putting both Bitterblue’s life and Giddon’s heart to the test when Bitterbue is kidnapped. Giddon believes she has drowned, leaving him and Hava to solve the mystery of what’s wrong in Winterkeep.

Lovisa Cavenda is the teenage daughter of a powerful Scholar and Industrialist (the opposing governing parties) with a fire inside her that is always hungry, always just nearly about to make something happen. She is the key to everything, but only if she can figure out what’s going on before anyone else, and only if she’s willing to transcend the person she’s been all her life.

 

MY REVIEW

It wasn’t that long ago that I read the first three books from Kristin Cashore. No, wait, it’s already been 7 years. In any case, I’ve since then thought that the Graceling Realm was one of my favorite series. I absolutely loved it. All the colors and vibrancy of the story. I especially loved Fire, the second novel. It was beautiful!

With that said, I had high expectations on this fourth instalment in the series. And I have to admit that it did not live up to them. Not even close. It was still a good read at the end, but it took me about half of it to really get into it and actually wanting to continue to read.

At first, I couldn’t sympathize with the characters. They didn’t feel real and alive and Lovisa’s behavior was unrealistic and erratic. It felt like she did things that didn’t quite follow a red thread. Or maybe that was the character, just acting strange and irregular. She became more real at the end though. Something changed in the middle of the book with lots of things. The same things goes with natural conversations that felt more real at the end.

The pacing was different throughout as well. Sometimes the story flowed really well, like the last half of the book. The first half on the other hand sometimes felt like a stutter, the flow just wasn’t there.

I know that it is a young adult fantasy story, but this one, I got the impression that it was aimed for a younger crowd than the previous three, even if Bitterblue had grown even more. That wouldn’t have been a problem, if it weren’t for the fact that there was a lot of sex. Not A Court of Thorns and Roses much, and no details, butstill, sex in many different scenes. It was a bit contradictory.

And the last thing, the names. All of the names were aligned with the previous story, all made up. And then comes the main character, Lovisa. Maybe it’s not a common name outside of Sweden, but for me it was super weird reading all of these fantasy names, and right in the middle of it all, was the basic Svensson-Swede Lovisa.

In any case, the story wrapped up nicely and got really exciting at the end and my general thought when finishing it was that it was a good read, even if I did struggle a bit in the beginning. But that was probably because of the disappointment from my high expectations. Maybe, the first three are similar, just that I forgot since it was so long ago I read them. I remember them being amazing without being able to tell exactly why, it’s just the general feeling. Like with His Golden Compass. I don’t think I want to reread any of the series just in case I will change my mind about them. Winterkeep will get a 3, no time was wasted while reading it. I’m not sure I will pick up the next one (unnamed at the time of writing this review) right away at release. Depends on my TBR-pile at that moment.

Review of “The Great Hunt” by Robert Jordan

Title: The Great Hunt
Author: Robert Jordan
Series: Wheel of Time #2
Narrator: Michael Kramer and Kate Reading
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 26 hours 34 minutes
Published: 2003, MacMillan Audio (originally published 1990)
My Grade: 4 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

For centuries, gleemen have told the tales of The Great Hunt of the Horn. So many tales about each of th Hunters, and so many Hunters to tell of…Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages. And it is stolen.

 

MY REVIEW

I’ve now seen the whole first season of the TV series which contains most of book 1 and some from book 2 and 3. I think I do understand why they mixed the TV series up a bit. Like with The Eye of the World, Robert Jordan really took his time to tell the vivid story that is Wheel of Time. 26 hours went by pretty fast this time when I had really gotten used to the narrators. But when I think about the story now, after finishing it, what happened really? Yes, the great hunt. But that’s it. It was a long journey. Exciting and things kept happening, but I can’t really say exactly what.

New people were introduced, and once again, I won’t give you the satisfaction of trying to spell the names that I now can pronounce, and it took me a while to understand what they were and what role they played in the story.

The ending was wow! And I can’t wait to pick up the next one, but I still kind of feel like this is still just the beginning. Which is amazing, big things have already happened, but what else is there still? I like the character development. They feel real and not everyone behaves strong and heroic like fantasy heroes usually does.

The Great Hunt receives a 4, it’s either because it actually steps up a notch, or it’s because I’m more familiar with the world, not sure. A great listen in whichever case.

Review of “Järnulven” by Siri Pettersen

Title: Järnulven (~The Iron Wolf)
Author: Siri Pettersen
Translator (Swedish): Ylva Kempe
Series: Vardari #1
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 500
Published: 2020 (translated 2021), B. Wahlströms
My Grade: 5 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION (translated to English by me)

A young girl is forced to forget that she has seen the devil. A young man betrays his lover to gain eternal life. A mystical clockwork starts ticking again after 600 years of silence. A secret that’s been guarded for generations is about to be revealed.

Juva hates bloodreaders. They are praised because they can see the future, but in reality, they are swindlers who take advantage of people’s fears. Juva’s heritage is of a bloodreader’s family, but she has sworn to never become one of them. But when her family is threatened, she is forced to join the hunt for the bloodreaders’ legacy; a dark secret that once changed the world and will do it again. To survive, she must confront her childhood memory that she has been struggling her whole life to forget – that time when she saw the devil.

The Iron Wolf is a captivating story about blood, desire and obsession. It is the first book of the Vardari trilogy, which takes place in the same universe as the praised series The Raven Rings.

MY REVIEW

After absolutely loving The Raven Rings trilogy, Siri’s debut trilogy, there was no doubt that I would read this as soon as opportunity arose. I try not to read several books at the same time, and with lots of work and other things going on, my reading has been lacking this past year. But I finally finished it and I, as I expected, CAN’T WAIT FOR THE NEXT. I think I read somewhere that it will be released in spring 2022 in Norway. So maybe fall 2022 in Swedish?

I’m sure authors don’t like it when a reader compare her new book with her old ones. But I’ve also realized that that is what makes readers pick up the next book without even knowing what it is about, because they know what to expect. And this was just like that. A new setting, absolutely, a little bit more modern, but kind of hard to tell exactly when in time as well. It’s set in another dimension of the same universe as Odin’s Child and that is perfectly clear at the end of the book. Without spoiling anything, I feel like there is a strong connection between a character in this book and a race of people in Odin’s Child. I even think they might be the same? It might be clearer in the next installment.

What makes it so brilliant? My gut tells me it’s a solid five. But also, the pacing is good, things are always happening. The story starts a little bit quicker this time. I love it when it is not crystal clear who the antagonist is. I feel like we’ve been led to believe it is one through the whole story, but at the end. I’m still not sure if that’s really the case. It’s hard to put the book down. I unfortunately had to almost every night after only a few pages because I fell asleep with it in my hand after too long days at work. But wow, you always want to find out what’s next. And that leaves me to the ending. Yes, it was an ending to this story. But it left so many questions! An ending done right. A new series done right!

I can’t wait for the second book, which hasn’t even gotten a name yet. And I highly recommend people to read this very original fantasy book with roots in the North. I would also recommend reading The Raven Rings before. Even if they are completely stand alone, it’s great to understand certain words and expressions that aren’t explained here, but are in her other series. A solid 5 out of 5 possible.

Review of “The Eye of the World” by Robert Jordan

Title: The Eye of the World
Author: Robert Jordan
Series: Wheel of Time #1
Narrator: Michael Kramer and Kate Reading
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 29 hours 57 minutes
Published: 2006, MacMillan Audio (originally published 1990)
My Grade: 3,5 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and pass. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

Let the Dragon ride again on the winds of time.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.

 

MY REVIEW

The night before the Wheel of Time TV series premiered, I finished the first book in the 15 book long series by Robert Jordan. I honestly don’t know why I never picked it up. It’s been on my to-read-list (the unofficial one in my head, not on Goodreads) for ages but I guess I was afraid of picking it up because of the enormity of it. 15 books, each several hundred pages long. A kick in the butt from the TV industry is a good way to get me to start reading at least, haha!

Since I started listening to audiobooks a year and a half ago, I’ve mostly listened to science books and children’s books. The last one I listened to was Paolini’s sci-fi novel, which had such an amazing narrator who made it rather easy to follow the story. After Jennifer Hales interpretation of To Sleep in a Sea of Stars, I was spoiled and was not prepared for Michael Kramer reading an epic fantasy story, heavy with world building. At first I honestly didn’t think I would get through it. How much of the first few chapters did I really hear and understand? Fortunately, I got used to it, and the rest of the 30 hours total was not too bad. I almost feel bad for saying it about an award winning narrator, but his voice just didn’t seem inviting to me. I’ve come to realize that when listening to audiobooks, this bond with the narrator is very important. It can change the whole book. Or at least, I think it does. I don’t really feel like I have the time to compare reading and listening to books as long as these are, but one day that would be fascinating to do.

In any case, according to my grade system, I feel like this first installment reaches a steady 3,5. If that is because of the story or narrator or anything else, I’m honestly not sure. I do appreciate the immense world building, the magic system seems believable, even if I don’t quite understand it yet. There are several characters but not too many, but I have to admit that sometimes it was hard to know who was who. And also, all the names. They are great, but wow, they are so hard to relate to because they are so far away from our reality. And just hearing them (I won’t give you the satisfaction of spelling them, because I honestly wouldn’t even know where to begin guessing), and not seeing them in front of me was hard. It took me probably 25 hours of the 30 hours total, to know how to pronounce Nynaeve (yes, I did just Google it), even if I had heard it countless of times. The names are complicated and maybe that’s a small thing that drags the whole grade down a bit.

Another thing might be the pace? I can’t really say what I mean, but it feels a bit dragged out. Until the very end which is rushed. A solid 3.5 feels like the correct grade! If what I’ve heard is correct, then the series will be better and better. And I’m really excited to listen to the next!

 

A side note, I’ve of course already seen the first three episodes of the Amazon Prime show that came out on November 19th and I it is amazing so far! Several things are different from the book, of course. But since I didn’t really make out any details while listening, it didn’t bother me at all while watching. Maybe Michael Kramer gave me the story as a whole, and Rafe Judkins (producer) visualized it for me. I’m glad I did it in that order!

Review of “To Sleep in a Sea of Stars” by Christopher Paolini

Title: To Sleep in a Sea of Stars
Author: Christopher Paolini
Narrator: Jennifer Hale
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 32 hours 28 minutes
Published: 2020, Tor
My Grade: 4 out of 5

GOODREADS’ DESCRIPTION

Kira Navárez dreamed of life on new worlds. Now she’s awakened a nightmare. During a routine survey mission on an uncolonized planet, Kira finds an alien relic. At first she’s delighted, but elation turns to terror when the ancient dust around her begins to move.

As war erupts among the stars, Kira is launched into a galaxy-spanning odyssey of discovery and transformation. First contact isn’t at all what she imagined, and events push her to the very limits of what it means to be human.

While Kira faces her own horrors, Earth and its colonies stand upon the brink of annihilation. Now, Kira might be humanity’s greatest and final hope…

 

MY REVIEW

I’m really glad I listened to this book rather than worked my muscles out while holding this brick of a book for countless of hours. I’m not sure how I would have perceived the story, had Jennifer Hale not narrated it. She was brilliant with her many different voices for all the characters. They really came alive.

But of course, she’s not the only one who needs to get credit for this incredible story. I have to admit that I haven’t read too many science fiction books yet, but this one felt original. And it felt legit. Paolini’s take on futuristic science felt realistic, he addressed the question of speeds faster than light and how that didn’t mean you could travel in time. Like with any magic system, he put the limitations on science and did it really well. I really enjoyed that nothing seemed exaggerated. It just was.

The book contained so many characters and they were all interesting and contributed to the story. I felt sympathy for all of them because they all felt real. They had their backstories and stayed true to their goals.

Even if Jennifer Hale was a very good narrator, I sometimes had difficulties following. But I think that has more to do with the fact that I’m not very used to listening to fiction. Last summer, when I started listening to books, I only listened to facts, mostly science but some economic and psychology books. I hope I get used to it soon. I really enjoy listening to someone tell me the story. Also, I just got a bike and can’t really read a physical book while riding, haha!

It was a long book, and maybe it could have been a bit shorter, but I can’t really say which scenes felt unnecessary. But my overall impression was good. And listening to Paolini himself read the after words, I could really feel his relief after the struggles that were this novel. It was inspiring. I wouldn’t put it among my favorites, but it was definitely a four out of five.

Three days in Sala

Time never flies as fast as in the summer. We’ve been out and about all the time except this last of our four weeks vacation. Three of those days last week was spent with my grandma in Sala and we had such a great time there. Mikael have met her once before, but now it was more personal with just the three of us.

July 19th

We arrived, had lunch and went to an incredible limestone quarry. 80m deep and we were completely alone there. I was afraid the water would be cold because it’s so deep and not as warm air temperature as three years ago, but it was amazing! Mikael and I were swimming for quite a while. Grandma couldn’t get in unfortunately. We had some friends in the form of a duck family with very curious spring babies. They actually nibbled on grandma’s toes.

July 20th

The full day we had in Sala was first spent in Helgonmossen, a bog north of Sala. Me and my brother spent a lot of time there both riding a bike and walking with grandma and grandpa when we were kids. Grandma and I were walking for a bit and Mikael rode his MTB. I tried out my new phone camera and I’m super satisfied with everything so far. I few weeks ago I got a OnePlus 9 with a Hasselblad’s camera and it’s out of this world!

In the afternoon we went to the silver mine. I think I’ve only been down to the 29m depth before. The children’s depth. You can also go down to 60m with stairs but we were badass and went all the way down to 155m below ground. Fortunately, they had elevators so we didn’t have to walk all that way. I think grandma said she hadn’t been down there either. Which is weird, she’s been living in Sala since the mid 70’s. It was a great experience, and they had adjusted it really well to the covid-19 pandemic. Here’s a link to a 360-picture I took down in the mine.

Inside Victoria’s hall, one of the women working there sang us a miner’s song, and wow. I’m not kidding about those goosebumps. The acoustic in there was amazing! They told us what it was like working in the mine back in the day and I’m glad I didn’t have to risk my life every day, jumping onto the swinging big basket that transported tools down into the mine, and silver up to the surface. They were hanging on on the outside of it. Insane. Mikael had never heard of the silver mine in Sala so I bet he thought it was super interesting. It has an important part of the Swedish history.

In the afternoon/evening, we took a swim in the lake where grandma lives. Which is not a lake, it’s a built dam for the silver mine.
The camera even takes great pictures facing the sun! I LOVE it!

Inside this big man, there’s a small farmer boy I think, haha ;).

Stens Botten (Rock’s Bottom, except that his name was Sten, which means rock, it’s funny). I remember this hole being open to the public when I was a kid. My dad brought me down there all the time. But a few years ago, there was a horrible accident and they closed it off to the public.

The lake underneath Queen Christina’s shaft. This was super cool! You see that snake-thing on the wall? That’s volcanic ash! We had volcano’s here in Sweden some years ago.

 

July 21st

Our last day consisted of another swim in a limestone quarry, this time in Finntorpsbrottet, where I’ve been several times before. Grandma was smart and brought swim shoes. The rocks were not merciful.

A fun thing about this trip is that we did almost the exact same trip three years ago when grandma turned 80. On the exact same dates, we visited the limestone quarries and went swimming. What are the odds?

Thank you, grandma, for having us!