I don’t even know where to start with this post. This area of Sweden was unlike anything I have ever seen, and I likely will not see anything like it again. A few days before we were to depart for our mini adventure south, Derek had dinner with his cousins. One of them told him about a “local known” spot within the Kullaberg Reserve that had caused a lot of controversy over the years.
Naturally this was intriguing, and this was the main motivator behind Derek suggesting we abort our plan to go all the way south on one of our days and instead go visit the Kullaberg Reserve. I just wanted to see the coastal waters, so anything else for me was a bonus. I saw a photo of Nimis, where we planned to go after the lighthouse, but I didn’t quite grasp the magnitude of this place until I was standing in front of it.
Nimis, which is fittingly Latin for “too much“, is a maze like structure of driftwood built by a Swedish artist named Lars Vilks, and it is not easily reached. I had assumed this was something right off the trail, and while half of our mile long walk to Nimis from the car was on a man made trail, the other half split off the path and we had to follow yellow “N’s” painted onto trees.
This was not a dainty walk, it was a relatively steep drop down off the path.
I started off in good spirits. Google Maps told us it was a short walk and after the previous days of non stop activity my body was hopeful for a quick jaunt. My brain thought this was going to be one tower of driftwood, which would be cool to see, but nothing to bat my eyes at. Boy was I wrong. The trail starts off passing beautiful red and white buildings, and heads into the forest where the wind in the trees brought life to my soul.
The uncertainty of where we were going took the wind out of my sails pretty quickly. As I mentioned, this is not a well known area and it certainly is not advertised within the reserve. In fact, the construction of this maze structure began in 1980, was discovered by authorities in 1982, and was in a legal battle until 2004. The authorities wanted to tear down the structure (understandably so, it is within a nature reserve after all), but somehow Lars won the legal battle.
I don’t quite understand how this is possible, but there was a loophole of sorts where Lars was able to turn this plot of land into an independent nation named “Ladonia.” Today the structure is somewhat of a historic piece, and it seems to be one of those places people aren’t quite sure what to do with. The structure is made with 70 tons of driftwood, and while it was incredibly sturdy, there are certainly areas I can see to be unsafe.
Of course that did not stop us from walking inside.
Vilks is no longer alive, he was in a car accident in 2021 (the backstory on this is also controversial, and I fell down a Google rabbit hole), making Nimis all the more sought after by those who know of its existence. I’m glad I continued on the trail after loosing interest, because this was one of, if not the most unique things I have ever seen. This guy has a cool four minute video walking through the structure, with a little more history.
This day with the lighthouse (my previous post) and Nimis ended up being a wonderful introduction to the Kullaberg Reserve.
After gallivanting through Ladonia we made our way north a bit to Jönköping (another word that took me a bit to master, but I am now proficient), a city on the shores of Lake Vättern. This was our “halfway point” for our drive back to Dereks aunt and uncle’s place in Täby. For dinner I had salmon and potatoes (again), but I purchased sushi grade salmon from Norway and it was the best salmon I have ever had in my life.
I will forever dream about that salmon.
I had the most magical nights sleep in the Jönköping tiny house, and the following morning we walked along the lake for a while to shake out the legs before our drive back “home.” Our three day adventure south came and went quickly, as most adventures do, and I am thankful everything went smoothly.
Our Swedish escapade had a few days left, and our last few days were spent relaxing with family, walking around locally, and eating delectable Swedish waffles within the presence of beautiful cows. Next Up: Small Town Sweden.
Q: Would you walk through Nimis?