Vendel to Tegelsmora
The last part of the Maria trail takes us north from Vendel further into the depths of Tiundaland, passing the modern church in Örbyhus and then ending at the medieval church in Tegelsmora. Along the way there is ample opportunities to experience a pivotal part of Swedish history at the Örbyhus castle, which is just a few kilometres off the path south of Örbyhus. In a coup against king Erik XiV, his brother Johan with the support of the nobleshad the king imprisoned, and then later very likely murdered. The story goes that he was fed arsenic poisoned pea soup.
The trail itself winds along gravel roads, some trails, and along a scenic bird lake before ending in Tegelsmora. The best bird viewing is across on the other side of the narrow lake though, but those areas are easily reachable after finishing the trail.
The trail is completely unmarked from Vendel to Tegelsmora, but it’s easy enough to follow the instructions provided. The forests north of Vendel are teeming with birds, butterflies and smaller country animals if you take your time to look.
The pilgrim stamp in Örbyhus is in a mailbox on the south end of the church building on top of the small hill. The stamp in Tegelsmora is in a mailbox on the stone wall next to the south entrance to the church, which is a bit odd as you’ll be arriving from the north rounding the Tegelsmora lake.
This is a bit of a mixed bag again, as far as scenery goes. Vendel church was covered in the last post, but if you start walking here don’t miss out on the Vendel musem. Örbyhus castle is a must-see stop along the way, not only because of its historical importance but also for the beautiful gardens, the orangery (one of the first in Sweden), and the castle building itself. The trail north of the castle before entering Örbyhus town is almost dangerous though as you’ll be walking along a highly trafficked country road with little to no shoulder or verge. From Örbyhus to Tegelsmora you’ll be on tiny gravel roads again for most of the stretch.