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Published: October 30th 2017
I'm lucky to have friends from many places across the globe, and there is one particular friend who had always told me about her Swedish Crayfish parties! At first I thought it was something unique to her and something she did with her friends, until I later realised it is a national event celebrated all over Sweden! Ten years on, I made it to one of these feasts!
Landing in Copenhagen, it was very easy to take a train across to Kristianstaad in Sweden, where I was reunited with buddies from my Hong Kong days. A drive further south took us to Maglehelem near the coast, and to Hanna's holiday farm house where she spent many summers growing up. It's brilliant to be able to travel to remote parts of Sweden quite easily from London where it is crowded and bustling! I quickly found myself under blue skies, with few people around and no background noise at all!
I spent two nights in Maglehelem at the farm house, with the most delicious smoked fish for dinner on the first evening and the much anticipated crayfish party on the second. Two of Hanna's school friends had come over and we
prepared the festivities along with Pär, Hanna's father. Crayfish plates, crayfish party hats, crayfish napkins, crayfish bunting - this is a real thing!
We ate salads and bread and cheese, and a giant bowl of whole crayfish. It was a messy, get-stuck-in kind of dinner! I had an education in how to crack into one and how to eat it! Worth the effort, and messy!
Tradition also requires some singing and some schnapps - to toast the party. I can't say I learnt that as well but it sounded something like "hell..an..gore..."! Schnapps, singing and crayfish! My first crayfish party complete and it was well worth the trip to Sweden to enjoy it with friends. I'm grateful to have such friends as I'm not sure I'd know about crayfish parties or have a chance to experience them otherwise!
As is typical in Swedish holiday homes, the sauna was a delight at the end of the evening, along with the warm fire.
Other adventures over the weekend included a swim in the Baltic sea (which was quite baltic!) - luckily it was a sunny day! A trip to the next village for coffee and waffles was also
a success - we saw the running water mill, and the cute "waffler" for our fresh treats!
A short drive along the coast took us to Häveng and Chivic where we walked along the sea front - yet more delicious seafood (there is a theme here) by the coast.
Crayfish or no crayfish - it's a beautiful place to visit, and there is a long hiking trail around the Skäne coastline which is well worth investigating from what I saw of the region. The map depicted a very long coastal walk with huts to stay in along the way...there's an idea to bank for another time!
Tak Sverige! (Thank you Sweden!)
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