I have heard so much about the outstanding beauty of Swedish summer. As soon as the snow starts to melt it’s all the Swedes can talk about. At the beginning of the summer I wondered whether or not it would actually live up to these standards or if it was just the Swedes romanticizing summer after a horrific winter.
After my first summer in Sweden it is without a doubt that I will be joining the majority at the end of the winter talking endlessly about the summer to come. Long days of sunshine, hiking through the forest, hanging out by the beach, and grilling with friends are just some of the benefits besides higher temperatures.
From what I have learned in the last few months, summer needs to be spent outdoors as much as possible; soaking in the sun while it is still in the sky.
However, what is most often left out when stories are told of sweet summer memories is the crazy weather that comes with it. It can be sunny and beautiful one minute, it could start pouring rain the next and then, all of a sudden, clear skies. But, when the sun does peak through the clouds, it is without a doubt, beautiful.
What I have learned over the course of the summer is that it is impossible to get anything done. The big cities seem to empty and most businesses and offices shut down for some period during late June to mid-August. Most Swedes spend the summer months at cottages or summer houses near lakes or the coast.
So, if everyone else is on vacation there is not much you can do but sit back, relax, and enjoy the summer. While in Sweden might as well do as the Swedes do.
A nice and relaxing Swedish summer must include:
- Many barbecues with friends
- Camping in the Swedish wild
- Hanging out at the beach
- Picking berries in the forest
- Playing Kubb(A popular Swedish game mixed between bowling and horseshoes)
- Late night bonfires
- Hopping on a train to explore a new city
- Catching yourself some fish
- Canoeing or Kayaking through the picturesque lakes
- Fikas in the sun
- Dancing around a maypole
- Drinking lots of snaps
- Jumping into the coast
- And of course, eating crayfish
If you can complete at least a few of the things on this list, then it is without a doubt that you will have a Swedish summer to remember. For me, I only have one more week before school starts, so I’ll be fitting a few more of these in!
As summer comes to an end, the skies start to get darker, and the temperature begins to drop, everyone starts dreading the coming winter and darkness. But, at least we all have lots of summer memories to keep going until the next one.