29 June 2008

Strawberries and midnight sun

June 28, 2008

Nothing goes to windward like a Boeing 777, transporting us from heat and humidity in Trinidad to wool sweaters and hot chocolate in northern Sweden in the time it would take us to sail 200 miles. When we left Trinidad, the air temperature was around 33 degrees Celsius and the water temperature was hovering at 30 degrees Celsius. Here at the summer cottage in northern Sweden, the air temperature is around 18 degrees and the water temperature is 11 degrees. Needless to say, Hans won’t be catching any lobster this summer.

Despite the shock to the system, it is wonderful to be among pine trees, rocky beaches, the midnight sun and family. We arrived in Sweden on Wednesday afternoon and have been eating copious amounts of fresh strawberries, cheese and filmjolk (a type of yogurt made in Sweden). We’ll spend the next few weeks at the summer cottage (stugan); reading, eating good food, spending time with family and enjoying the midnight sun. Currently, the sun sets around 11PM and rises around 2AM, but it never gets dark.

We stopped in London for a day and, due to jet lag, groggily wandered around the streets of Central London. We spent the night with Sebastien, a friend of Hans’ from the UWC, and caught up on the past couple years.

Höga Kusten Bron (The High Coast Bridge) located two hours south of Holmsund.

Hans and his mormor (mother’s mother), Anna-Greta, enjoy strawberries, coffee and chocolate cake outside at stugan. The importance and perfection of “Fika,” the Swedish tradition of coffee served with small baked goods at least once a day but usually twice, can’t be overstated.

Roger and Karin (Hans’ parents) serve up strawberries with cream for dessert. There was no wind blowing from the water so we were able to move the table and eat right at the water’s edge.