Sweden 2013 – A Family Holiday

The last couple of years we headed south for our yearly summer holidays, to Croatia, Italy, Spain; looking for the sun and making sure a swimming pool is around. For 2013 we decided to head north, to Sweden.

Before presenting my little summary of every day and a mosaic with one picture a day, let me share some take-aways first that popped up in my head during our 2 weeks in Sweden, Småland:

Nice bread. Big trucks. Quiet Saturdays. Much green. No elks.

Diary

Day 1, Friday August.2: Antwerp-Bremen. A bit stressed (as always at the start). Some hotel swimming and an outside German dinner at Prüser’s Gasthof in Hellwege (near Bremen).
Day 2, Saturday August.3: Bremen-Malmö. Relaxed (totally, finally). Taking the boat from Germany to Denmark (just in time), and crossing the famous bridge from Copenhague to Malmö. What a fine hotel (after turning a couch into a bed for the boys). Enjoying the evening at a square with a lovely fountain and modern eating of famous chefs.
Day 3, Sunday August.4: Malmö-Öreryd. Even more relaxed. Morning market and first vintage purchase in Malmö before headinf further north. Lunch in Halmstad. Arriving following the GPS. Depressed by the house. Found a supermarket though (in Gislaved) and the lake in Öreryd.
Day 4, Monday August.5: Jönköping shopping. Most relaxed (BIG!) lunch ever including caffé frappé; the children lovelier than ever during a relaxed lunch. Noa noa sales shopping for the women!!!
Day 5, Tuesday August.6: Öreryd beach day. Morning reading (see Books chapter below), Gislaved supermarket and… Öreryd beach by the lake. Sun after rain. Hurting my knee in an overcourageous jump into the water an and overheated barbecue in the evening.
Day 6, Wednesday August.7: Country day. Pleasant surprise: quilt shopping in Tyger o Ting, and a vintage lunch in Smålandsstenar and more money well spent.
Day 7, Thursday August.8: Regensprookjesdag (rainy legend day). Going to Ljundby mainly for the ‘Sagomuseet’ (fairytale museum). Finding more country stuff. Passing via mount Isaberg and its handcraft exposition on the way home. Tired. Rain.
Day 8, Friday August.9: Götebörg. A long, terrific day of shopping, eating and relaxing in a neat and soothing city. A tapas ending near the river. Little rabbit’s asleep.
Day 9, Saturday August.10: Lazy day Saturday. Morning reading, supermarket and… Öreryd beach by the lake. Swimming in the rain. Followed by a refreshing evening walk.
Day 10, Sunday August.11: Short day out to Gislaved. Eating in Smålandia, an ancient looking truck restaurant.
Day 11, Monday August.12: Astrid Lindgren day. Early up to be immersed all day, a long day, in the world of Astrid Lindgren. Little houses, big houses, little stories and big stories told, played and depicted. Presents for all! A fantastic highlight.
Day 12, Tuesday August.13: Rain. Escaped to tiny sun beams and a vintage lunch in Gränna, city of candy.
Day 13, Wednesday August.14: Rain. Escape to the swimming pool. Evening dinner in Jönköping.
Day 14, Thursday August.15: Garden day. Visiting the Gunilla gardens in Swedish Småland by Danish artist Tage Andersen. We celebrate mother’s day. The Swedish don’t. And we end with an expected sunny stay at an unexpected beach near lake Vättern Evening dinner at a Jönköping pier.
Day 15, Friday August.16: Lazy day of awakening slowly, starting to clean the house and going for another vintage afternoon lunch in Smålandsstenar, and vintage sales hunting in the connected shop. Nienke entering the Lega värld, with her first Lego Friends set.
Day 16, Saturday August.17: Last day. In search of the second hand super market of Gnosjö. Found. It’s still there. We closed the vacation with a tapas dinner by the water in Jönköping.
Day 17, Sunday August.18: Öreryd-Bremen. Back on the boat. Germany is definitely a terrible driving country. Same hotel, same swimming pool in Hellwege. Relaxed.
Day 18, Monday August.19: Bremen-Ekeren. Home. It’s been F A N T A S T I C. Only disappointment was the house we stayed in. But we explored the region, had great excursion and the kids never before were so at ease with our habit of irregular meal times and unexpected lunches.

Sweden 2013

Books

I have read following books on this holiday: Nightwing 2 (‘New 52’ series by DC Comics), Superman Earth One vol. 2, Quarks, chaos and christianity by John Polkinghorne, Mike Scott – Adventures of a Waterboy, De Maagd Marino by Yves Petry. The Polkinghorne book was meager, but the other ones were great. I particularly enjoyed Mike Scott’s lively tales of his various adventures!

I have an endless stock of books I still have to read (in our private library), but keep a list of specific books I want to read next. For diverse reasons my holiday reading made me overwrite my short term list and replace it with Rimbaud (Illuminations and Une saison en enfer), Nabokov (Lolita), Nietzsche (re-reading some works and consuming new wisdom), Stephen Hawking and Ludwig Wittgenstein.

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