In Nora looking back through time

July 1, 2010 in SWEDEN | Comments (1)

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Thursday – In Nora (3 hours drive from Stockholm) looking back through time…

Nora 100 years ago - we found this exact spot

We went into Nora and discovered the past – at least we found Nora of a century ago – and a charming hotel that has rave reviews in Lonely Planet. This is how we found it.

On the corner of the quant cobbled square is a café that breathes an earlier Swedish era when Nora was a prosperous town at the centre of the independent mining industry. It is a charming café enhanced by flowery porcelain, aged cottagey furniture and effects. On one wall is a huge blowup of a black and white photo from the early 1900s. After drinking café latte in front of the poster, we were inspired to go searching for the very same view of Rådstugagatan – the road where the café is situated. Carrying my little Panosonic camera with a picture of the cafe poster we found ourselves in the exact same position. The wooden buildings in that street had hardly changed, and the church still rises up telling the time with no sign of the century.

The difference between then and now is that the tall building on the right now bears the sign Lilla Hotellet and has bay windows added; and no people strolling down the cobbled street in old fashioned gear, instead the gleaming car.

Now surely we should ask to see Lilla Hotellet.

Rådhusgatan 2010 - and Lilla Hotellet

A women with the relaxed ways of Swedish country people met me as I entered the courtyard and invited us in with enthusiasm and smiles. It is a cosy hotel, with plenty of authentic charme (a luxury that is in shorter supply than marble lobbies).  There are only 10 rooms, all completely different, and some do not have private bathrooms. The style is a mix of fifties or sixties wallpaper and Jugend (art nouveau) furniture – put together with flair and sensibility.  In the living room the wallpaper was recently printed by hand from old designs. The hotel was built in 1912.

The owner Cecilia Lundquist says her guests come most of all from Switzerland and Italy – with a few Dutch – all brought to Lilla Hotellet by Lonely Planet’s warm recommendations. Breakfast buffet with yoghurt, home made muesli, home baked bread, fruit, eggs and more is offered daily.  The hotel  can now also offer a conference centre (phone 46 587 154 00).

Hand printed wallpaper at Lilla Hotellet