A Weekend in Sweden

Lupin-alert!!!! For the second half of my Europe work trip I’ve been visiting a few astronomy friends in Copenhagen, a city both Peter and I know and love from our adventures two years ago.  Unfortunately Peter wasn’t able to join me this time; something about work and a thesis and perhaps a couple mutterings about beer brewing.  Oh well, I’ve been having plenty of fun without him, starting with an entertaining evening at the street parties organized by Distortion.  It reminded me a bit of Halloween in Isla Vista, but only some people were wearing costumes and the average age was a bit higher (minus the toddlers safely rocking out from their balconies).  I defer you to google for a realistic image of the chaos. Traditional Swedish housing design For a change of pace, my friend Andreas, his girlfriend Mia, and I decided to hit the Swedish countryside for a long weekend of staring at nature.  You see, I chose the absolutely best two weeks to visit Copenhagen, with one holiday each week to goof off and recuperate from what is starting to feel like a very long stream of never-ending travel (especially after my trip to the East coast three weeks before leaving for Europe). Swedish forest with poplar trees Thankfully, Sweden did not disappoint.  We stayed in Mia’s parents’ cabin in the Swedish woods across the road from a lake.  The cabin had canoes, fishing gear, and even internet.  While we failed to catch any fish, we did enjoy exploring a couple of islands, and being the pessimists we are, came equipped with various meats to roast on the grill instead.  On the second day, we went on an outing to an establishment in the middle of the Swedish woods where we sat outside sampling various teas (they had an impressive selection and I was grateful to Upton’s for at least a cursory knowledge of tea lingo) and some Swedish pastry that involved balls of cooked dough served with tasty jam.  On our way there, we saw two wild boar and a handful of cute baby boar from the road, apparently a very rare sight.  Between that and a bee attack in the car, it was an entertaining day. The lake where we failed at fishing Another view of the lake Spot the boar!!! To top it all off, we got to take the ferry to and from Sweden through Helsingor, which I previously visited to see Hamlet’s castle.  This time we saw the castle from the ocean view, surrounded by sail boats (probably Danes just celebrating a perfectly clear day in June, the first in more than a week) and sparkly water.  Allow me to demonstrate: Hamlet's castle with sailboats More sailboats The boat I wish we were on... Perhaps I should clarify that part of my interest in visiting Sweden was due to my heritage of being a quarter Swedish, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but apparently it’s enough to require Swedish themed Christmas parties growing up and a strong attraction to almond-flavored pastries (although not to pickled herring).  My mother was understandably jealous when I told her I was visiting Sweden without her, but I’m happy to report that Sweden is pretty much just like Maine (where my parents plan to retire), so they shouldn’t feel too left out.  For example, both have way too many large rocks and a mostly-rocky coastline, tons of forest (specifically pine trees), and both are covered in lupins. Wild strawberries

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