About a month ago, we packed some long-sleeved clothes and flew up north. Ever since our short holiday in Norway two years ago, we’ve been plotting ways to go back but low-cost flights have been hard to come by.
Since our love for anything Scandinavian knows no bounds, we decided to find an alternative destination. One particular country had long been on both my and the husband’s wishlist: Sweden. Luckily, the airline I love to hate (but without which we would travel a lot less), flies to Stockholm and so the decision was made. We would spend two weeks in September, the month we detest the most because of the humid heat, in the land of the midnight sun. Our expectations did not go beyond cooler weather and two weeks without internet and computers. Summer is always busy with it being peak season for both the husband’s jobs, but this summer was exceptionally hectic. We had resorted to communicating by text messages or notes left on the dining table and then it would be along the lines of: “Ivy hasn’t pooped in three days,” “Which shift are you working tomorrow?,” “Your uniform for tomorrow morning is hanging in the bathroom,” “Are there any dinner leftovers or should I grab a takeaway on the way home?”. We were in a pretty sad state. All we wanted, and desperately needed, was to be all together in the same place at the same time without any distractions.
And boy, did Sweden deliver!
As usual, we stayed at an AirBnB. I have come to pride myself on finding the best places within our budget. Well, this time I surpassed myself. We stayed in the most beautiful house tucked away near a forest in Södermanland county. Apart from being huge (five bedrooms, three living rooms, two bathrooms), it was tastefully decorated, the kitchen was stocked with the best cooking utensils one could wish for, it had history and also a large garden with fruit trees and a green house. There was also a sauna and a pool, both of which we practically ignored, the former because we were running away from the heat and the latter because we couldn’t stand the sight of another pool.
The best part, however, was the family who owns the house. Charlie, Becca and their four children became instant friends. They were the most gracious hosts we’ve had the pleasure of having (and we had some pretty great ones in the past) and we immediately felt like we had known them for ages.
We spent our days playing in the garden, picking fruit, walking in the forest, riding bikes, harvesting tomatoes and cucumbers, cooking, reading, hugging each other, embracing the tradition of fika and plotting our next trip to Sweden. Maia and Robin cried all the way from the house there to the one back on the island and the husband and I haven’t stopped talking about Sweden since we came back three weeks ago.
We seem to say this after almost every holiday, but this was a holiday we won’t ever forget. I don’t know whether it was the house there, the friendly people or just the fact that Sweden excels at all that is lacking on this island. Whatever it was, I left a huge chunk of my heart up there.