|Winter in Annefors, last years view from my kitchen window..|
Yes, Swedish winters are colder than winters are for most of you. Yes it's also darker then in many other countries. The suicide stats are well... Kind of true but not entirely so. We are 30th in the world per capita according to Wikipedia (not a great source, I know). Anyhow, sad as that is, today, with minus 5 degrees Celsius, snow covered grounds, glistening treetops and a bright winter sun; I was reminded on why I love the Swedish winter!
I walked to the train at around 6.30am this morning, still completely dark outside. All the cozy streetlights with an air of early 1900 about them gave a nice glow to the deserted streets where I was plowing forward with the snow crunching underneath my shoes.
On the train between Uppsala where I study and Stockholm the sun started to rise and I got to see a bright white landscape, wrapped in an enormous coating of snow passing by outside my window. Getting off and hustling to Uppsala University I caught a ride on a friends bike. The bicycle lanes had been brushed with sand, and despite the cold it was a nice ride. During lunch we took our coffee outside, sat down and let the early winter sun warm our faces. Back home, right now, there are candles lit all over the apartment. A large casserole of Kalopps (Swedish meat stew) based on moose is puttering away on the stove. A glass of red in hand, my favorite possum socks from NZ on my feet I'm planning away for a winter wonderland weekend. Tomorrow we are going for a long walk out to Djurgården with the rest of Stockholm. We're going for “Afterpulka” (pulka means toboggan) at Djurgårdsbrunns värdshus. We'll be in skiwear in their lovely laid back chairs, enjoying the music, sun and good food. Simply embracing the Swedish winter, the way it should be embraced.
So don't be afraid of the Swedish winter, it's actually kind of great!