And so the winter rolled by and then spring finally arrived, lasted for all of a week, and then summer was here! Summer arrived so quickly that the leaves didn’t have time to unroll on the trees before it was officially summer. As I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, the seasons are strictly defined in Sweden by the temperature, and summer has officially arrived when it has been above 10 degrees C for 5 consecutive days, with overnight temperatures no lower than 0 (?? the last half of that definition may need some correcting). So almost overnight we left winter and hit “summer” (I added quote marks because while that might be the official Swedish definition of summer, my definition of summer is somewhat different – able to wear a t-shirt all day, can get my summer dresses out and wear them AND be warm, might get a slight tan, can consider swimming outside… so in my books, summer arrived a few weeks later).
There are many events that occur throughout the spring, most notably Valborg on April 30th/May 1st (aka Walpurgis). It basically celebrates the arrival of spring and the most dominant feature is the burning of bonfires (and/or the consumption of copious alcohol by certain factions). In all the years I lived in Sweden, I never once made it to a Valborgs bonfire, although I did see them from afar once. However, as burning stuff just lets off loads of dioxins (umm.. what??? click here to find out more) and other yukky environmental pollutants,(occupational hazard, you work with it, you think about it) and drunk people let off other vapours/fluids, I didn’t ever feel I was missing much. So sorry, no photos to share on this one.
But a nice trip I took with M and two of my friends was out to Fjäderholmarnas Krog one (late) winter/(early) spring day. It was a clear crisp day and the sun was shining, so we boarded the boat from Slussen bound for the small island of Fjäderholmarna. I have mentioned Fjäderholmarna before, because some of us had julbord there (Christmas lunch) – see that post here. So I won’t bore you with the details of go here, take this boat, etc etc… you can read all about that if you like on the other post.
We arrived and sat out in the sun on the wooden decking, where small boats can pull up and dock while people take a meal. After a while it was time to go into the restaurant for lunch. We were lucky enough to get seats outside so we could continue enjoying the sunshine. The food was (once again) delicious, and accompanied by a couple of lazy glasses of wine and fabulous company, it made for a truly wonderful Sunday outing.
After lunch we took a short walk around the island. Short because the island is pretty small, and you can’t really go further than “short”. This time, as oppposed to at Christmas time, the small shops and craft stores were open. We got to look in on a museum, art gallery, a little shop for a whiskey brewery, a glass blowing workshop and a number of other cute little places along the way. I’d recommend making the trip there if you get the chance. But if you plan to sit out on the rocks opposite the restaurant, beware – when large boats/cruisers go past, the wash creates quite some waves. We watched a few people caught unawares, and get their clothing and bags wet and some things got swept away.