Sunday, September 9, 2012

Starting our 4th year in Sweden

On the first of September we celebrated the end of our 3rd year in Sweden. That week we also welcomed our friend form SA (see previous post) with particularly Swedish style food (see below). 

Very typical Swedish food to welcome Christoff - Prinskorv (small sausages) and köttbullar (meatballs)

Very typical Swedish food to welcome Christoff - Godis (assorted candy) and knäkebröd (crackers/hard bread) 

Showing Christoff all the sights was a nice break from a very busy time workwise. With all the people now back from their summer holidays and the new year starting for schools and universities, September is always a very busy time with lots of things happening. It is also the start of autumn and more and more yellow leaves began to appear everywhere. We had a very wet and rainy summer (with even one thunder shower! – very unusual here, the fifth time I heard thunder in Sweden), but a few weeks of nice weather towards the end of August. The last week or two however, became noticeably colder and autumn arrived in its full glory. 

Double rainbow after a very rare thundershower

When I was younger I disliked autumn and preferred the new beginnings and happy floweriness of spring. Nowadays I kind of like the sweet melancholy of autumn. I started to notice the usual signs associated with autumn here in Sweden; the cidery smell of apples rotting under the apple trees, the chestnuts ripening on the trees, lots of bugs flying around trying to stock up and procreate before winter starts, stalls selling chanterelle mushrooms and blueberries from the surrounding forests, bushes full of fat ripe bright-red rosehips complemented by red hawthorne bushes and trees everywhere. I really like the colorful autumn with the anticipation of the approaching winter. We hope for a nice, cold and snowy winter. Our first two winters here were ideal with lots of snow and sub-zero temperatures during the whole winter (people from SA- yes - this means that the temperatures did not go above 0 for the whole winter- not even in the days). The last winter here was not as nice, however, the continuous snowing and melting caused a lot of sludge and the lack of permanent snow made the days much darker and dreary. This year, some weather experts predict a cold winter due to sunspot activity and the lack of ice in the arctic (ironically), so we really hope that the predictions are accurate and our fourth winter will be a white one. Here’s to three years in the land of snow and ice! Skål!  


Christoff in Sweden

At the end of August we had visit from a South African friend, Christoff (seen below).

This is the second time we hosted people from the south (the first being my parents in September 2010). It was very nice and to have him here and since he worked in both groups where Carina and I worked he had some nice gossip to share :)

We had less time to spend with him than with my parents but managed to do many of the same things we did with them. Below are a few pictures of the time we spent with him.

The first few days were very rainy.

Dala Horse at Skansen. 

We cycled quite a lot. The photo below is of Christoff with the "easyrider" we borrowed for the week (we clocked 30 km for this day).

On the way to the lake we often stopped to look at the river. One of us three tried and failed to walk on water :) 

At the Viking museum at Gamla Uppsala

Both Christoff and I wore the chain mail. For some reason Carina declined...

View of city hall in Stockholm

This was a very nice holiday and we enjoyed Christoff's company. We hope to see him (and other visitors from the south) here again.


p.s we also recently celebrated our 3 year in Sweden and Carina will write more about this later...