I went to Sweden
This is a VERY photo-heavy post. Just so you know…!
In June, I visited Sweden for the first time since May 2019. The highlight obviously was to see family again – both mine and my husband’s family. I first visited my parents, then went south to see my sister and some friends, and before flying home I spent a few days with my inlaws.
Being back felt odd – more than ever, I felt that Sweden isn’t my home anymore, that I don’t fit in there, and much of what is “normal” there now seems very strange to me. Lots of it is very political so I won’t get more into it here. But the most important thing is how it became obvious to me that the decision to move to Ireland was 100% right. Your physical home is supposed to be your best place – even when you are on a wonderful holiday trip, coming home should feel good and inspiring, and that’s exactly how I felt during this trip. I missed home and my everyday life, and that is a wonderful thing!
However, spending some time in Sweden was lovely! It was a real treat to have a full week in Orsa (region of Dalarna) with my parents, and I had so many good chats with my mother. And although I wouldn’t want to live in Sweden, I’m still very attached to certain places, the beauty of nature is immense there in the summer, and the most wonderful time of the year to visit is June.
Other than spending time with my parents, I also went for many walks in their area. There are so many pretty areas for walks where my parents live, but the road is extremely busy with very heavy traffic so I actually avoided having to walk along the main road too long, or even having to cross it. But the old main road down the hill is so nice that you really don’t need anything else.
The first time I went walking here, the sky darkened quite dramatically, so I had to rush back to not be soaked in case there would be a thunderstorm. I know that it’s popular to fancy up clouds and skies very heavily in postprocessing, but I’m not like that, I prefer to show what was actually there when I shot the photo, and I certainly didn’t need to fix up these clouds!
My old home
One of many highlights was visiting the vast forest area north of Orsa. On the way up there, we stopped to visit the old place where I lived as a child. It’s always very special to wander around there in our old garden. I have so many memories! The granary where my sister and I used to play, the spot where we used to grill sausages with our dad, the old garage, the area next to the house where we picked flowers in the spring, and I can go on and on! It’s very different now but I’m still happy to have the possibility to revisit the place.
Not too far away, by the river, is a nice place where we used to walk when I was small, it’s actually quite a decent walk but very pleasant as I remember it. The place in itself is fantastic, for barbecues or just enjoying the views. When I think of it, it must have been a nightmare because of the mosquitoes, but I only have happy memories from there.
Fast forward to the forest area, Orsa Finnmark. This is an absolutely fantastic area of absolute peace and calm. The small gravel roads go through miles and miles of seemingly untouched forests, silent lakes, hunting cabins here and there, some remote villages, and a few hydropower stations. The beauty is immense and the stillness and remoteness give a feeling of going back in time. It’s very special and I enjoyed this trip to the fullest.
In the 1600s, Finnish people came to this area to perform slash-and-burn agriculture, after conflicts and famine had hit Finland, and because the Swedish state wished to use more of the coniferous forests for growing crops. This area of Orsa is called the Orsa Finnmark for this reason, and many of the villages there (which are now mostly used for people’s summer houses or hunting cabins) still have Finnish names.
And, I guess there are worse places to get stuck because of a flat tyre!
It was sad to leave, both Orsa Finnmark and my parents when it was time to go down south, but I’ve had some great times with my sister, friends and inlaws too. And I had the privilege to spend a few days with some friends who have created a fantastic garden with some lovely flowers and insects.
My stay in Sweden ended with a horrific experience at Arlanda airport – I was there 3,5 hours before my flight but with that terrible mess and disorganisation, I still doubted I would get on my plane. I guess that’s the thing everywhere right now… I’m certainly not going to fly again for a good while. But who cares, after having seen all this beauty? And there’s more beauty to discover here at home. You’ll see more photos from me shortly!
I hope you are doing well and that you enjoyed Sweden.
Linking with Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share.