I had the great fortune to be invited to visit a Connecticut friend and her son at their Swedish home in the forest village of Nittkvarn. As do most vacations or weekend getaways, the experience left me feeling inspired and refreshed, and gave me a whole new perspective on Sweden and her people. So friendly and warm were the neighbors we met there that I find myself still smiling over conversations had around the dinner table or fishing at the lake.
We packed up the car late Friday afternoon and headed out for the five hour drive from Göteborg to parts of Sweden previously unknown or unseen by me. It was a festival for my eyes, my spirit and my mind. Fields of yellow flowers. A constantly changing glorious Scandinavian sky. Cows and horses in pastures. The midnight sun, forests and fields where I know Swedish trolls surely reside, Näcken enticed, and elves dancing in the mist. Magical.
This was the Sweden I had always imagined, and it was on this weekend that I heard more of the Swedish language than I had ever while living in Gothenburg. People were enthusiastic to teach me new words and tell me new stories. We hiked through the woods (which nearly killed me), fished in the lake, bathed our feet in some of the most refreshing and therapeutic waters I have ever experienced … unusually blue but also the most amazing gold color, from copper I assume. Regardless, it left my poor tired city feet feeling like I had been to spa.
I wish to thank Marcia and Erik for their great hospitality and friendship. Thanks to Marcia who made me laugh so hard I snorted. Thanks to Erik for providing us with music. Special thanks goes to Tatu Pitkänen who drove my fella and me the long drive back and forth from southern Dalarna, and for taking those little side adventures to better show me parts of Sweden which he thought I might enjoy. And of course, thanks to my fella who financed our trip. This is MY Sweden.
Text & Photo: Lisa Mikulski