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Published: June 24th 2011
If you were previously unaware, I am currently in Sweden where Adina and I are spending the summer visiting her friends and family after another wonderful year on Kauai. Like last summer, we are living in Lue-Lisa, the small cottage in the backyard of Adina's family's house, here in Halmstad, on the west coast of Sweden. While the focus of this trip is to spend time with Adina's friends and family, we have what I think will be a fun summer planned ahead. We will visit Copenhagen next week and I will be making a road trip to the fjord lands of Norway in early July. At some point or two we will visit Stockholm as well, and hopefully, we will have some yet unplanned travels out of the country.
En route to Sweden, I spent one week visiting my parents and siblings in New Jersey, so after a pleasant week with the fam and NJ friends, my travels to Sweden took me from Newark to Copenhagen via Reykjavik, Iceland. My trip began with a laugh before I even got off the ground in Newark. As I waited for the plane for my already delayed flight to arrive at the
I ordered this for dinner one night in Smogen. it is a piece of toast with locally caught shrimp, not-locally caught crayfish, salmon roe, smoked salmon, and shrimp salad.
gate, I was more than a little confused when I looked out the window to see a plane, with the tail painted with a giant alien-like creature, pull up at my departure gate. With a closer befuddled stare, I saw that the side of the plane read "The Final Frontier World Tour 2011: Iron Maiden" and "Ed Force One" was written under the nose. Frustrated that my plane still wasn't there, I asked the Iceland Express attendant at the gate when our plane was expected to arrive. "That's it," they told me. My understanding of the rest of the conversation was that Iceland Express occasionally rents Iron Maiden's plane when they are not on tour and that one of the band members is a pilot for the airline. Huh, who knew?
Iron Maiden's Ed Force One got me safely to Iceland and the rest of my transit went as smooth as can be, ending with Adina and her mother waiting for me as I stepped off the train that took me to Halmstad from Copenhagen. I emerged into perfect summer weather - 80 degrees, no humidity, light breeze, sunshine. Outside the city, everything is so green. Flowers are blooming
everywhere and apple trees are budding fruit in every yard. Strawberry harvest is in full swing and strawberries sell by the basket for just a few dollars. It really felt great to be back in Halmstad.
After a whirlwind 24 hours reconnecting with many of Adina's friends I met last summer and revisiting the city center and Tylosand (the main beach in town and for all of Sweden for that matter), we hopped in the car with Adina's parents and her dog, Snobben, and set off North. After a few hours drive, we reached our destination of Smögen, a summer town on one of thousands of islands that comprise the Bohuslän province, also on the west coast. I suspect this stony archipelago was carved and then smoothed over by glacial activity in past ice ages. At some points, islands are separated by only a few meters of sea, and the landscape is most distinctively characterized by extremely smooth rock surfaces. In years past, this archipelago was home to local commercial fisherman and few else. While the area is still famous for its shrimping and fishing, the strictly fishing villages of the past are now summer homes for Scandinavia's wealthiest
and an extremely popular summer tourist spot. The waterfronts of these villages are lined with piers and docks, with seemingly more boats than homes in each town. Mostly beautiful sailboats and small yachts... rarely a fishing boat. We spent two and half days in Bohuslän, spending the days island hopping by car, stopping for fika's (coffee breaks), picnics, ice cream and photo ops. At night, we dined on local seafood and then bunked up in the very cozy cabin we rented at a campground called Solvik, just a 2 minute walk from the ocean.
Bohuslän is a unique and very beautiful place. It was a fantastic way to begin my summer in Sweden. An adventure right off the bat. But there is more in store! Today, June 24th, we will celebrate Midsommar, a national holiday celebrating the arrival of summer (and my brother's birthday - Happy Birthday Cary). A few days later, Adina and I will hop a train to Copenhagen to explore a city I've only yet passed through. In the meantime, I'm helping out with a few projects around the house... first and foremost, painting the garage!
Much aloha from Sweden! Make sure to check out
all the photos.
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