travels

My recent trip to Sweden was a little bit different than the two previous. First off, I flew out of Saint John this time — Gerry has driven me to Halifax before. It’s a short trip in a small plane that only takes eighteen passengers.  I had my iPhone last year too, but only as wifi — this time I’d managed to get it «unlocked» so I could use my prepaid, Swedish, SIM-card once I got there. The ‘unlocking’ part is material for a whole short story in itself. The system here is quite complicated! This time I also had the iPad, which turned out to be great. I carried it in my purse, so I had easy access to it during the flight. I read a book and played games — the flight time was hardly noticeable. It was the usual route via Iceland.

I stayed with my sister-in-law, who really is my EX sister-in-law but they are good friends so I refer to her as SIL anyways. They … she and my brother … live in the same house, in different apartments.

the obligatory wing photo
the obligatory wing photo

I took many pictures, both with the regular camera and the iPhone. Tonight, as I was thinking about writing this post, I realised I hadn’t really processed the pictures from the phone except a few.

Had sufficient time in Keflavik … the airport in Iceland … for coffee, smoke and a little shopping. Same thing in Stockholm, Arlanda. From there I took the train up north to my home town, Härnösand. The train station is within the airport — you just take the escalator down a few levels.

I’d planned to read on my iPad, but met a young, American girl on the train and we had such a wonderfully interesting talk … she was really fascinating! We chatted like magpies all the way to Söderhamn, which is only two towns away from my own. Her name was Zephora and she lived in Manchester, U.K.

raising of the Maypole
raising of the Maypole

When I planned my trip, I tried to get it to span over both 6th of June [Sweden’s national day] and 23rd of June [Midsummer], didn’t get that together so I went for Midsummer. My SIL’s sister visited for that weekend and we decided to go to the big, outdoor museum to watch traditional, Swedish Midsummer celebration. It was nice.

DSC_4990.NEF-001I guess you could say that Midsummer is celebrated in two parts nowadays. In the daytime it’s this … the Maypole, the folk music, the children and all that … whereas later, at night, there’s the partying. It’s one of the worst … if not THE worst holiday for booze related deaths and accidents. The nicer the weather — the more drownings, stabbings and general fights. All of this takes place out in the countryside.

DSC_4967-001Everyone who owns, or knows, someone who owns, a summer camp goes there. You never feel so alone as in a Swedish city on Midsummer! The three of us were going to eat out somewhere after the celebrations, but there was NOTHING open! We drove around everywhere and checked every pizzeria — and they are numerous — but ended up having a hot dog with mashed potatoes in a gas station LOL.

This was part I … there’s more to come 🙂

16 Replies to “travels”

  1. Lol. Mashed potatoes in a gas station? What will they think of next!

    It sounds like a wonderful day,and trip! I’m looking forward to hearing more about Sweden. I’m fascinated with that culture.

  2. In Finland I am told everyone goes into the countryside and dances waltzes and other slow dances – not in traditional costume but in a kind of 50s nostalgia. Is it like that in Sweden?

    1. Yes! LOL That’s not a Midsummer thing …it’s all summer. Little villages can become quite ‘famous’ because their dance place is popular. They don’t necessarily dress like in the 50’s, but you’re right … it has something of that era attached to it. The music is very particular — it’s something like Sweden’s answer to C&W! It’s a phenomenon and I didn’t know that Finland had it … don’t know about Norway either.

  3. Hi Rebby: Love the obligatory ‘wing’ photo!!!! Sounds like you had a good flight & festival albeit a bit unique…I too wondered mashed potatoes at the gas station??? I think that is very progressive!!!!
    I can hardly wait for your next installment…
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue (who misses her obligatory picture of McDuff…….)

    1. Hot dog, mashed potatoes and SHRIMP SALAD! Yummm! LOL That’s SO common there… apart from McDonald’s this is the most common fast food.

      Very progressive … loved that LOL! His Nibs will be going for his pedicure on Friday!

    2. Oh, and the wing photo — thanks to David, in the previous comment, I knew how to do it … to press the phone up against the glass, then it works … with any window that’s reasonably clean 😀

      1. MMMM I think your meal was yummy!!!
        Thank you David for that tip; your pic was great!!!
        Nylablue sends her purrs to her beloved McDuff. Hope his Pedicure goes well!!!! 😉
        Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue xo

  4. Lovely pictures. We often talk about these Swedes who are so drunk that they can hardly stand on their legs lol, I dont think Danes are better. The rumours about your drinking at Midsommar has reached our coasts anyway- the same about kräftkalas.
    We celebrate midsommer the 23. of June, Sct.Has evening, where we burn pyres and wiches, we say they are flying to Bloksbjerg ( in Germany). People get drunk here too, its a part of it I think ( for many people)

    1. Yeah, it’s a huge problem — a lot bigger than what you can see in the streets/public places. They all seem to want to go out and show themselves too. There must a a lot of boozers here too, but they’re never out?!

  5. I love how important Midsommar is to Swedes. I remember my partner’s sadness at missing quite a few in a row. It’s one of those uniquely, special days 🙂

    1. Yeah, I know many people really love that holiday … for various reasons. What I miss most, myself, is the light … the midnight sun…

  6. I remember the train station in Arlanda. Unique! I took the train to Bollnäs. They were working on the tracks so I was supposed to catch a bus there but my family picked me up. They live in Järvsö. How I miss being there. AWesome place and such nice family.

    I always wanted to be in Sweden for Midsommarsdag and for Christmas. Maybe someday.

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