Monday, November 29, 2010

Interesting (weather) times...

We had quite eventful November weather. While, last year, the first snow (that stayed) was just before Christmas, this year it started early. We started to experience some very cold weather about two weeks ago. One day was especially beautiful with ice crystals forming on everything outside. This happens on cold nights when the mist / haze crystallize on objects outside. Below are a few of these beautiful sightings.


We also had a couple of days of heavy snow last week, which transformed our world to a black-and-white world again.

Therefore, the Christmas market, that marks the beginning of advent, was a beautiful white night. There were many interesting people selling all kinds of gifts for Christmas. A wonderful firework display ended the night. 


Food Filled Fridays: Anniversary edition

For our fifth wedding anniversary we went to Stockholm to eat at the Gondolen restaurant. We left Uppsala in the early afternoon and arrived in Stockholm just before the sunset (at 15h00). It was a bit chilly and we spent most of the afternoon warming ourselves in curious and other shops between our excursions in the snow filled Gamla Stan. The snow however lends an extra charm to the city.

The restaurant itself has a beautiful view of the city. It is located in a skywalk overlooking the Stockholm harbour (see below). This was also one of the best meals we had while in Sweden. The highlight of the meal was probably the lobster soup starter that Carina had.

We enjoyed this Friday very much. We will end with the important saying for anyone who wants to go out during winter in Sweden:
"There are no bad weather, only bad clothing"
In other words - nice formal jackets bought in South Africa does not work in Swedish winters - even though you have many other layers of clothes underneath.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ljus i Uppsala (Light in Uppsala)

To light up the November darkness, Uppsala municipality (Uppsala kommun) arranged a light festival in Uppsala. It consists of a 3 km walk with 16 sites (sights) to visit. These sites are creative showcases of new energy efficient lighting technologies. The light show is on the whole of November from 4 pm (yes it is pitch dark already at 4) until late night. We did the route this past weekend and it was especially beautiful with the snow that we got the previous week. Below are some of the pictures we took (Click on the images for a bigger picture).


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Första snö !

The fist snow came! In the form of a huge snow storm. Quite exiting, with wind blowing and snow drifts everywhere. Stay tuned....


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pakkie van Suid Afrika.

There is nothing to instill a sense of patriotism like moving abroad. This means that anything related to your home country is appreciated more than before leaving. We were therefore very excited this week when we received a parcel from South Africa. We were expecting it and knew it contained hand made scarfs and hats from my mother. However, once we got the package with hundreds of South African stamps we could not wait to get home and open it.

Wearing this specific brand of winter gear often requires an explanation of where we got it and many times leads to disappointment that it is not for sale. Included in the package were also biltong. This of course is a real treat for any South African, especially if he/she is now living in Sweden and even more so when you were raised on a farm in the Freestate.

Thank you very much for all the goodies.

Alla helgons dag (All saints day)

Yesterday was "Alla helgons dag" in Sweden. This holiday is celebrated on the first Saturday in November. In Sweden the tradition is to light candles and visit the graves of relatives. Thus, Friday was a half work-day and as dusk fell on Saturday, many people visited graveyards with candles, wreaths and flowers for the graves of their loved ones. We went to the graveyard in the centre of Uppsala and were not disappointed. Everywhere candles adorned the graves and at the wall of remembrance a whole pathway was filled with lighted candles. Families walked through the hundreds of lighted graves to go and light their special candle. The shadows of sadness on the older faces were lightened by the laughter of the youngest generation enjoying the wonder of the rows of burning candles. It was indeed a special night.