Monday, August 20, 2007

A Swedish "Sommar" (and a few summer visitors)

"Sweden’s summer is the best day of the year.” –Anonymous Swede

Though this quote is not meteorologically accurate, it may seem so to a Swede, especially after this year’s summer in Sweden, but we’ll get to that.

As we delve into our fourth and final Swedish season of the year on Linköpinglivin', summer has already been referenced multiple times, usually in the form of wild anticipation, because the summer in Sweden is everything summer is dreamed about in legend and myth: Warm, but not hot. Cooler at night, but not cold. Waterfront festivities. A countryside in bloom. Rest for the weary. Fun for the family. Setting aside worries and cares (which for a Swede says a lot about the power of summer!). There is so much light, and at all times of day, some inexperienced foreigners may actually tend to forget the always-looming dark days just around the corner. Average temperature ranges from 18 – 26 degrees Celsius (68 – 78 Fareinheit) with usually a nice and soft water-driven breeze coming from any number of lakes, rivers, seas or canals running throughout this beautiful country.

Pick any one of your overused-but-always-appropriate adjectives for this country: charming, delightful, playful, enchanting, captivating, magical. Summer is Sweden at its very best. A Swede knows better than to take for granted any days of summer. This summer, especially.

Upon my return from what was, admittedly, a perfect three weeks of weather on the west coast of the United States, my conversations with various Swedes around here always included some allusion to the fact that - while summer vacation is always good - this year’s weather has been really bad. Rain has a tendency to dampen, but never totally ruin, a Swedish summer and storms have been ever-present throughout the country the past few months. Only in the last week has the wet weather let up enough, and the warm air returned enough, for Swedes to begin to feel that their summer didn’t turn out too bad after all.

One of the original promises made to all of my visitors, ones who have usually gone way out of their way to make it to Scandinavia, is to be forever acknowledged and remembered in the blogosphere, or “blog lore” as I like to call it. My Dad (John) and cousin (Ashley) made the trip to Sweden in late July for about 10 days. Stockholm during the Tall Ships Celebration, Linköping for some Valla Minigolf and Öland/Kalmar were their highlights. In addition, this past weekend, Mike, Tom and Jenne (three former students, now friends) from Seattle were in town to enjoy the elegance and grandeur of a Stockholm summer weekend, then Jenne even made it down to Linköping where the party always is! The pictures above capture not only the brilliance of a Swedish summer (on a good day), but the enjoyment of friends and family re-united in a truly unexpected part of the world.

As Sweden’s summer comes to a slow, but inevitable close, as school begins again (Welcome to all 175 new Coloniaborna!), as vacations cease and responsibilities return, another academic and agricultural year in Sweden commences.

And keep those comments on the new look blog coming. See you next week.
Pictures above:
1. Linköpings Trädgårdsföreningen (a.k.a., "The Park") welcomes summertime revelry.
2. Ashley and Dad join me on a cannon at Skansen overlooking Stockholm's old city.
3. Tom, Mike, Jenne and I across from Stadshuset on Riddarholmen.
4. A late-July sun sets over Kungsträdgården in Stockholm.
5. The heart of Stockholm's inner-city, taken from the top of Fritt-Fall at Gröna Lund (this is a "free fall" tower at an amusement park in Stockholm) just before a 10-story plummet back to earth. Taking this picture was a thrill, to say the least.


Judith said...

so you really did it. took a picture up there. unbelievable!
but it´s so nice. and i love the pic at kungsträdgarden.

i started lokking for my new home but its kind of difficult.
will report any success!

Thanks for every little bit Sweden you bring to me.

Ang said...

Glad you had a wonderful visit with John & Ashley ... unforgetable memories I am sure. Miss you tons!

Coornet aka Hillevi said...

Glad to have you back! Missed your blog over the summer :)

Welcome back to Linköping :)

Todd said...

Wait...Summer is only one day in Sweden....

Just when I was starting to consider a visit you drop this bomb.

Sarah said...

I can believe that nice weather in summer is much looked forward to in such northern latitudes; but a break from "worries and cares"? Here I thought that the national days-off were enough to aleviate any and all worries or cares your new countrymen could possibly have...

=D Hope you enjoy your "one day of summer;" as for the Northwest, we're enjoying 78 degrees Farenheit and not a cloud in sight!