Grebbestad, almost a tableau vivant

Getting near Grebbestad you have the impression of entering a picture, between fields where horses graze, then in little time you are on the coast of Bohuslan.


Getting near Grebbestad you have the impression of entering a picture, between fields where horses graze,going by train you don’t arrive soon, the train stops at Tanum municipality, between fields where horses graze, the bus passes here and in little time you are on the coast of Bohustan. Once arrived you can choose between two ways to find yourself in front of the village that has two thousand inhabitants in winter. You can arrive at the clearing in front of the port and the promenade in front of which a row of particular small red houses, as well as boats, stands out or enter from the main street the small village that in June appears almost empty at night. A little later you understand that a good part of the Swedish holidaymakers, Norwegians, Danes are flocking the premises that fill the narrow streets and roads on the quayside : in Sweden this is the second place for number of restaurants in relation to the population, after Visby in the isle of Götaland.

We meet Jon Larsen , the manager and owner of Qskar: “I am Norwegian, I’ve bought this restaurant three years ago, but it already existed six years before, I can tell something about Grebbestad ,this town was an harbour for sail boats, transport, fishing, herrings, anchovies,: then these products were stocked in the blue building that you can see just here. I was here for ten years as a tourist ad fishing before to start this job in the summer. People lived here for hundreds of years, with boating houses and later the baths with natural waters began– says Jon Larsen – in the last twenty years many tourists have started to arrive , mostly Swedes, Norwegians, Danes, like the people you have known these days, but in August many Dutch and Germans come.

On this coast fishing has retained its importance: lobster, shrimp, between 65,000 and 70,000 oysters each year, that is confirmed by the inhabitants of the territory. “Restaurants like this serve especially oysters, shrimp, lobster, cod. Some of the dishes served here are Torskrygg med smorsas (fish in white wine), Janson fraskelse (anchovies, potatoes, cream, spices), fish soup (cod, salmon, shrimp) – says Jon Larsen – in spring we have live music: famous songs like Swedish singers such as Evert Taube, Cornelius Wresuijck and Carl m. Beckmann, all gone now, their sons still sing. You know, the municipality that includes Grebbestad, Tanum municipality, is twinned with the Italian Capodimonte ”

Thorsten Klevsater ,owner of the little ship Donalda Thorsten also knows something of the country :he works on boats since when he was a little boy, but he returned here twenty-five years ago, after living in California for six years. “This boat was built in 1926, I bought in 1986 – says – four years later I met my wife, Lisbeth Stensson, who comes from the small town of Fjallbacka, where Camilla Larsson has set his famous novels. At one point I suggested to the tourist resort, that you see over there looking for someone interested to go to sea in summer, we’ve organized laps to go to see seals, trips to festivals, many marriages.

There are from 5000 to 10,000 people who climb on this boat every year! We organize many trips with school children and from June 1 to August 10th sailing daily from 16.30 to 20.30: Monday is the tour to go to see seals, Tuesday, Wednesday, the fishing party, Thursday, Friday, is still fishing back around to see marine animals and Sunday still parties. And every day we go to places good for swimming, from 10.30 to 16.00. Visitors on the boat are mostly Swedes and Norwegians, Germans, Dutch, English and Danish. ” Thorsten and Lisbeth takes many hours to keep the boat in good condition, but in summer, when the Donalda Thorsten travels with eighty people, take some help to work. The boat along a route that goes from Bohustan comes up to the Norwegian border, with travel from three to six hours.

Aldo Ciummo

Foto © Aldo Ciummo