Monday, April 02, 2007
A Linköping Spring: Unlike Any Other!
As hinted at in previous blog entries, and as experienced throughout much of the Northern Hemisphere at this point, spring has arrived. And with spring (Swedish "vår") comes longer days, increasing temperatures, cloudless skies, blossoming flowers, romantic ideals and dreams of upcoming vacations to ocean and lakeside locales as the summer approaches. The month of snow in Sweden has melted and as the seasons change, my heart always skips a beat, and once again, experiencing a change of season in Europe has been just a little extra special than normal.
While Linköping too, experiences the above rites of spring, though the blossoming is not quite underway, there are two uniquely Linköping spring experiences that you don't have unless you are here.
First, there is a subtle, but all-too-clear tradition in Linköping that all Linköpingites wait upon and yet are still caught surprised by, and joyfully so. No one should be shocked that this first unique spring rite is a simple thing. Indeed, it wouldn't be truly Swedish if it was grand, a spectacle or too far out of the ordinary. This is something you stumble upon as you are doing errands, sitting for a Saturday afternoon fika or merely walking across Stora Torget after lunch heading to your workplace. As one contemplates the next task or says "Hej" to a familiar face while walking around Linköping Centrum, this spring tradition hits you seemingly out of nowhere. As you pass by one of many Swedes strolling about town taking in the sunshine and warmth, you notice something:
"What was that?"
"I think they had...."
"No. Could it be?"
"Is it open?"
"Bosse? Bosse, are you back?"
"Is Bosses open again?"
From what I've been told, and experienced multiple times for almost two weeks now, a time-honored tradition and one of Linköping's favorite parts of spring and summer is Bosse. Bosse is our friend because Bosse has a "glassbar" or "ice cream shop."
Bosses Glassbar is just off of Stora Torget and never fails to keep Linköpings snack and dessert dreams coming true, but closes down between October and March. When Bosse returns, it means much more than simple ice cream indulgences to finish off that great Swedish meal. It means that Swedes have survived the winter and that glorious days of sunshine, warm temperatures, never-ending Swedish vacation (relatively speaking) and the beloved Swedish outdoors are on the horizon. The picture below is usually the only obstacle between you and a refreshing reminder of the renewal of spring. Here's to Bosse!
The second sign of spring that you don't have where you live is the Linköping Hockey Club taking the Eliteserien by storm and finding themselves, for the very first time, in the championship series, "Finalen." The championship series starts this week at the Cloetta Center.
This season, LHC finished a mediocre fourth in the world's highest rated hockey league outside of the NHL, but when the playoffs arrived, they kicked it up about 12 notches and have blown away their first two opponents, including the defending champion, a team that finished the season in first and had reached the championship series for the past six years, Färjestads BK. Read all about it, in English no less:
"We" Linköpingites look forward to the day when LHC reaching Finalen is as traditional a spring rite as Bosse returning to warm our hearts with his cold delicacy.
Trevlig Vår! Happy Spring.