Monday, May 3, 2010

Early spring in the south of Sweden

Sorry, I am outside the subject of Aquitaine, but I just wanted to show you a couple of photos from my trip back home to Sweden. The snow has just melted away, we even saw a heap of snow still there in the shadows, and the trees are getting that tiny first bit of green but overall the colours of the landscape are grey and wintery. Above you see a friend`s house where the Swedish flag decorates the house. This is very common in Sweden. Flags everywhere, in the gardens, on the house, inside on the tables... and I have never seen any French flags in France at anyone`s home.  Read on if you want to see some bits and pieces from a week in Sweden.

This shows how much gravel they use to make the roads and walking paths possible to use when it snows. The snow melts and here comes the gravel, a typical spring sign!

Clara was surprised to see the tiny pine cones. Nothing like the big ones we have in Landes.

A house with children is not complete unless you add a trampoline. Impressive to see how common they are!

Nature lovers but stuck with a difficult climate, a greenhouse is the solution. Look at how cosy this one is, more a spot to be alone and read than to really focus on the plants.. but we are early in the season too.

Can`t have a garden without growing something... like fruit trees and berry bushes. Here you see plums in Amaretto. Heaven.

Many thousands of years ago, Sweden was caught under a thick layer of ice. As it moved over the country, it brought huge stones with it and they fell down at various places when the ice melted. Like this stone, the same as I used to climb when I was a child.

Clara in front of the enormous heap of branches that are lit up in a great fire to celebrate the arrival of spring on the 30th of April, Valborg. This night is a big party night for the young Swedes.

One Swede out of seven has a boat. Can be a small one or a big sailboat, but the long coasts give us plenty of occasions to enjoy the sea. In France having a boat is a thing for the rich, not here. 

Another spring sign! He is preparing for summer by putting back the mast. All the boats are taken out of the water for winter and the masts are taken off. I remember the excitement of going with my parents to do this - then I knew that summer was getting close.

This is the main icecream brand mascot. Might surprise you to know that only the Americans eat more icecream than the Swedes in the world! We eat icecream all year around, with a huge peak in summer. I remember being a child and eating icecream every day in summertime! There is a company specialized in icecream that roam the residential areas with an icecream truck. A special melody announced its arrival - a melody I loved to hear as a child.

If you go to Sweden, don`t forget to look out for the beautiful china from Höganäs eller Rörstrand. Here an example of Swedish Grace from Rörstrand.

Some of the friends I met up with during my stay. These girls rock!

My mum enjoying the sun. Always chic, still as beautiful as ever at 76.

A view over the suburb just outside Norrköping where my parents live. Maybe you can't see much details, but most houses are made of wood, not stone. Many use geotermal installations to heat their houses and they all sort their garbage. Ecology is not just a word, it has an impact on how people live here.  

If you want to see beautiful photos from a traditional home in Sweden, check Mitt liv på landet, a blog about living on the countryside.

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