Every Nordophile will have that first defining moment when they realised their passion for all things Nordic. For me it was finding the Wallander books, written by Swedish great, Henning Mankell. An interesting man in himself, he seemed to be able to create a character who was multifaceted but likeable at the same time. Could his personality and how he communicated with those around him be put down to a cultural difference? Was this how all Swedes were? I was curious, but I was also hooked. Not just by the characters and story lines but by the Swedish backdrop, the food that was mentioned, the traditions and hearing the language. So when these books were suddenly put onto our TV screens I was excited to see if this character could work in 3D and if the descriptions of a small town in Sweden called Ystad was true.
I wasn’t disappointed! The yellow houses, the frosty landscapes, the hot summer haze across the fields (granted slightly muddied by a man who had just been slayed) but that added to it…. Was this what Nordic Noir was all about? Stunning backdrops setting the stage for dark murders.
I have a lot to thanks the 3 Swedish greats, as I have called them in a previous article. Henning Mankell, Kristen Henrikkson and Kurt Wallander.
Of course my chances of meeting any of them are quite slim, but….. I can do the next best thing and walk behind Wallander’s footsteps as VisitSweden tells me that I can walk in his footsteps on one of the guided tours.
As a Nordophile you can indulge whilst on holiday with a trip to Mariagatan in Ystad, go and see Kåseberga, a village that features in ‘Before the Frost’ and ‘Faceless Killers’, you can visit Svarte, where Wallander retires to and spends many a nights sitting out contemplating a case. In fact they tell you about 67 different areas of interest to the Wallander series, that you can visit.
The best thing about following in his footsteps is that even if you aren’t a Wallander fan, any Nordophile will just love surrounding themselves with the beauty of this region in Sweden.
photo credit: florianplag