Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sweden in the Summer

Here I am in Sweden again. I got here last Monday and will leave this Monday. It's not a long visit, but getting to see Sweden in the summer was worth it! And, I gotta say, I really like living in a place where I can just pack up and go to Europe for a week and it not be a big deal. Flying all the way from California to Europe for only a week is kind of a waste and it causes a lot of sleep issues.

I'm sure you new readers out there (there are a few of you aren't there?) will wonder why I'm in Sweden again. Well, my brother lives here. One of my favourite things to do when I'm flying from Aberdeen to Sweden is to look at the face of the TSA agents as I tell them why I'm coming to Sweden. A typical conversation goes something like this;

Agent: Where are you travelling from?
Me: Aberdeen, Scotland
Agent: And why are you entering Denmark (I fly into Copenhagen since my brother lives in South Sweden) today?
Me: I'm visiting my brother.
Agent: *looks again at the American Passport with a confused look* ...
Me: Yes, we're both American, but I'm studying in Scotland and he's studying in Sweden
Agent: Ah, I see!

It's terribly funny. Well, at least my brother and I both get a kick out of it. I guess the rest of the world sees Americans as people who don't like to get out of their own little bubble. And, in some ways, I guess that's kind of true. But, I suppose that's a debate for another day.

This is the third time I've been to Sweden, but it's the first time I've been here over the summer. I have to say it's absolutely beautiful. I like snow and all that sort of thing, especially since I grew up in the desert, but it's lush and just brimming with life.

The plan was, since it's summer and lovely outside, for Greg and I to take a hiking trip for three days and two nights. Well, for a multiple of reasons, our backpacking trip ending up being two days and one night. I'm not complaining much as it was my first time backpacking and my hips were wondering what the hell I was doing to them. Even though we only did two days (well really about 7 hours the first day and 2 hours the second) we still walked close to 14 miles. I felt no guilt as I munched on a chocolate bar the day we got back to the apartment. And the scenery was beautiful! Just take a look!
Small trees opening up into a small clearing.
The beginning of the trail with evergreens on either side.
The remains of an old rock wall.
A little field with a rock wall. It's mostly yellowish here. This was actually someone's field. You know, with horses and cows and all that stuff.
The forest. You can see the remains of an old wall made from large rocks. Now they are covered with the greenist of mosses.
I'll be posting more pictures up tomorrow morning before I get on the plane. But the forest reminded me of something out of a fairy tale. I expected a small, gorgeous, winged humanoid to pop out behind the trees and take me away to Neverland. Or for a nasty troll to climb up from under the bridges. It was just like walking through the forests that you hear about in books like King Arthur. As we were walking through my brother said, "It makes you understand why they believed in things like dragons and trolls and fairies way back then. It's beautiful, but there's almost something sinister to it." And he's right.

After getting back from the wilderness, we've been doing a grab bag of other things. I'm sure there'll be a post about our visit to Lund yesterday. But today is going to be a lazy day. It's Sunday and there isn't much to do in my brother's little town on Sundays.

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