First touch on Sweden. A 3-day trip in west Sweden.
This time I can’t get to the capital region, because I want to travel straight from Aarhus to Sweden on ferry.
For my first time in Sweden, I went to a small city in Sweden, and lived like a local Swede. I actually feel I should have chosen a bigger city to visit, but I still learned a lot even in this small place. And I think it doesn’t matter where you go if you can learn many things.
It took me some effort to arrive in Grenaa from Aarhus, get the ticket, and board the ferry. It was an inconvenient memory, except the moment when I looked up and saw the flags:
I lived in this fortress-themed hotel where most visitors are Swedes. They have coffee or beer outside when the weather is good. The hotel is situated inside a prison, but the lounge has cute tables, chairs and flowers which make the ambience somewhat better. People like to watch tv, which is in Swedish.
Everything is normal. I went to expresso house, a chain coffee house in both Norway and Sweden(in Denmark, they have baresso coffee), listening to a Swedish man ordering his coffee in Swedish. The waitress is a typical Swedish girl. She looked skinny, dressed up very clean, and had only a little makeup, in contrast to those long-eyelashes-girls in Denmark.
I ordered my fruit tea and my chocolate cake and sat next to the window. There is a park outside, where many little kids played alongside with their parents. People ride bicycles most of the time, the sidewalk is paved with stones, not concrete.
Walking in downtown Varberg. The streets here remind me of Northfield, where most buildings in downtown are red brick. But I saw few cars here. Most shops are located in downtown. It is a very walkable small city. The grocery store looks old, but it has a variety of food, and it even has mochi ice cream(which you cannot find easily)! After I bought a croissant and a yogurt for 12 krones, I entered a little store called
“hemmakväld”, where people can buy some candies and their favorite movies. Walking in downtown Varberg, seeing those stores people love, I found how essential ice cream, books, movies, coffee and sunshine are to Swede’s happiness.
And then I come back to the fortress, where the ducks swim in the water, flowers blossom near the sea. The wind was too strong for me to take good photos. I recalled how my favorite Swedish photographer, Erik Johansson, took photos in Faroe Islands in a harsh weather. Locals love to walk their dogs alongside the sea in the fortress, and kids like to climb up to the top and look at the city.
For some reasons I just can’t help the music in my brain start playing. The music reminds me of old architectures I visited before. It has very broad soundscape, a giant orchestra. I probably heard brass and strings.
The rocks I sat on, the stone gate I used, are centuries old. When I walked in the museum, I saw when and why this fortress was first built up, and how it was abandoned a century ago. Here, Swedish children can dress up like people in medieval times, as if they are time traveling.
I was taking my photos when the sun touched the horizon. Maybe from some angle I am able to capture a moment I saw on a glance before, which I thought is definitely in a place like this: a small yet content place.
I made my mind going to Helsingborg, 1 hour from Varberg.
I missed the speech of Erik Johansson, so I have to see his exhibition in Helsingborg no matter what.
The train rides about 1.5 hours. The staff checked my ticket and said “tack så mycket”.
Walking in the room Erik has been, I feel like I had something in common. I regret nothing for the 3 hours spent on the train.
I mastered on the great language game after listening to Swedish this days. Scored 1000+! Here is just something to share:
- The way they roll up the “r” is different.
- Norwegian tone is going up more, while Swedish is going down.
- Jag – jeg, och – og.
Living in a very Nordic room today, eating apples and Finnish ice cream and writing my Iceland blog post. Wanna get ready for summer school.
Watching a youtube video about refugees(Search “more than a refugee” on youtube). Now I am in Sweden, the country which is said to be dangerous because of the refugee crisis. Many people left comments supporting closing borders and stopping accepting refugees.
This is indeed, very different from what I saw in Swedish people. They are speaking to me in action, “Refugee crisis cannot be solved by us, so we just have our coffee and sunshine, for our well-beings; and no one is going to blame anything. We won’t worry about what we can’t do anything with. “ (To be continued)