Tag archives for Swedish weather

Bright!

The end is nigh! Sadly :( But there is still one small, slight hurdle! That of my thesis defense! It takes place on Friday so currently most things are taking second priority. However, whilst taking a break I thought it would be nice to share with you the recent fun things I’ve been up to!

It’s bright! So bright!
With glorious May, the weather has changed from fiercely cold only a couple of months ago to blissfully sunny! The days are so long that light has been streaming in at 3am! If you’re not a fan of light rooms when you’re sleeping you might not be so keen on Swedish rooms during the night!

3.18am Wednesday 29th May 2013.

Walking outside whilst the sun is shining so bright, is essential!
The long days make me eager to take a walk out early on in the day. But more often than not I’m distracted by some other fun thing especially on weekend mornings whether it be making/eating a full English breakfast (the vege version) or lying on the sofa reading a book! So by afternoon I force myself to venture out. Last Saturday I did just that and was rewarded with stunning views across the various bridges of Stockholm. The canals, boats, various flora and fauna, not to mention the numerous keen sunbathers all out basking in the sun!

One of the many waterways in Stockholm!

I’m hoping the future’s bright 
Walking outside and waking up early only make you think more, wonder more both about the good and the bad! How good it has been to live here in Stockholm for just under a year but how bad it is, how sad it is that this time is coming to an end! All I can hope is that the future will bring me back very soon so I can enjoy this beautiful city again soon!

The future’s bright! I hope!

Swedes love their Summer! And now I know why!

The sun’s out! The skies blue! And Swedes are outside! Anywhere and everywhere!

This weekend I made another trip to the countryside! Here’s how the last few days have gone…

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The Swedish countryside: perfect in all seasons

Before I first came to Sweden I associated the country with blue and yellow Ikea, the world famous Eurovision sensation ABBA, meatballs (even as a vegetarian I know these are good homey Swedish food); I associated Sweden with Phoebe in the American sitcom “Friends” playing a Swedish masseuse but maybe more serious and something I aspire to win one day: the Nobel Prizes (yes I intend to win them all :) . However, during my first trip here I experienced a side of Sweden that for me is one of the best aspects of Sweden.

Sweden has a population of around 10 million people. The main cities are Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo. However, a large part of Sweden is the countryside, the rural aspects that are not only people but deer, moose, fox, hares, owls and all sorts of other fascinating creatures. To me the Swedish countryside could easily be a place I could call home!

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There’s never a bad time for a history lesson

Saturdays, ah glorious beautiful Saturdays! A day for lie ins, for cooked breakfasts, for doing nothing (or doing everything), for simply watching the world pass by or for learning about bygone days.

I love the cold! Really I do! Photo: Oscar Eriksson.

Yesterday Oscar and I walked out to Djurgården, one of the fourteen islands making up Stockholm, that homes amongst several famous museums, the Royal Hunting Grounds! I love to walk! I love nature! I love being out in the cold! I love looking at glistening snow! I love pin drop silence! And I love to talk (a lot)! Our walk through the hunting grounds was just that! I’m always curious about what I see! The number of times I asked “Who is that statue of?” “What’s that building over there?” “Where did that come from?”…I’m sure, Oscar, if he wasn’t the nicest person I know, would have asked me to stop talking! Thankfully he didn’t and so I continued asking question after question! What we ended up with was a bit of a history lesson…

What’s that building over there? Well I learnt that it is called Kaknästornet – a sort of television tower. Photo: Oscar Eriksson.

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Winter is not coming…it’s here…

Blanketed in snow, Stockholm is a beautiful sight.

It all began around a month ago when we had our first snow fall. Suddenly snow not only fell but it became the subject of every conversation, everywhere you looked there was some mention of snow: newspaper  headlines, classroom natter, simple chat on public transport and of course facebook was swarmed with snowy updates! Since then the temperature has been steadily dropping, much to the fear of us that have never experienced double digit minus figures…I have been told that in the past the local temperature has even dropped to a staggering -37C, yikes!

The first blanket of snow in the Swedish countryside.

Last week things took a turn. I woke up to a mystical sight: at the level of my apartment the air was cloudy, for a moment I stood and wondered, why is there fog at this level and then like a light speck of snow it struck me, this isn’t fog, this is very fast falling snow, a snow blizzard of sorts. Unlike other ferocious weather conditions, a snow blizzard can seem serenely quite, what you see from the inside is somewhat deceiving for as I walked out in this slight Armageddon I was faced with a hill of snow (which of course I walked straight into), wind was whooshing this way and that and I could barely see ahead one metre let alone any further. But oh what fun it was…I felt like a little child fascinated by the simple things in life…snow!

The fountain outside the Nobel Forum as snow continues to fall.

Nightfall sets over Stockholm and the mountains of snow reflect shadows….this one is of a tree.

With the snow comes many changes,the landscape looks cotton wool white, people indulge in heartwarming food and drink, including the famous glögg (mulled wine) and everyone looks two or three sizes bigger wearing all sorts of winter clothing, many donning a pair of traditional Lovika mittens!

With all things I write I like to tell you a little about them, so:

Glögg is a delicious pre-bedtime warmer. When glögg season arrived I decided to buy a bottle of glögg from a local supermarket, I rushed back home eager to try my first serving of the season. I poured some into a tea mug, much to the dismay of my Swedish friend – aghast by what I was doing he exclaimed “Naieya, what ARE you doing?” I was slightly startled and began to explain what I was doing. “No! You don’t have that much glögg, you drink glögg in a small cup and not a whole mugful!” And so I learnt, in Sweden, glögg is served in special small cups, to which people add almonds and raisins and enjoy with a ginger snap or two.

Glögg brewing over a candle with small cups ready and waiting.

Lovikka mittens, during my first winter in Sweden I was given a pair of these mittens as a present and told that these were traditional mittens and to look after my pair well. I never learnt where the name Lovikka comes from. However having done a bit of reading I can share with you my knowledge: Lovikka is a Swedish town where one day in the 1800s Erika Aittama knitted a pair of mittens for a local woodsman, the man was unimpressed and returned the mittens to Erika; Erika clearly eager to rectify this, washed and brushed the mittens to create the Lovikka mittens you might see on the hands of those in Sweden today! (Thanks to Heart of Lovikka for this history lesson: http://www.heartoflovikka.se/shop/about-heart-lovikka-i-9.html?language=en).

My very own Lovikka mittens. Photo: Oscar Eriksson.

And now a final word on the landscape. The carpet of snow is a welcome change to the dark and short days. It brightens up the day and things look and feel a lot more fun! Christmas feels closer especially with fir trees covered with thick layers of snow, haphazardly balancing on the branches,and if you’re lucky and trek into the countryside you might even catch a glimpse of a deer (Rudolph as I like to say).

I think I might start singing: “Rudolph the red nose reindeer….”

And with all this: glögg, mittens, christmas trees, deers and SNOW, I think I’m well and truly ready for the festive season…let the christmas songs and present wrapping/unwrapping begin…

Let it be Christmas eve so I can imagine Santa Claus gliding on his sleigh through the night sky. Photo: Oscar Eriksson.