There are so many reasons why my trip to Sweden was amazing. For one, I got to see a friend from YIS, which is pretty unusual in itself. Also though, I really lucked out with the weather (blue skies and sun every day), and because of this I got to do and see a LOT!
Christina lives in the south of Sweden in a region called Skåne. This is a beautiful place, jam-packed with farms, forest, lakes, and rolling fields of Canola flowers.
In addition, I was able to see Christina’s university campus (Kristianstad), the third biggest city in Sweden (Malmö), and a large university town (Lund). In Lund I got to meet some university students and celebrate Valborg (which was an experience in itself!), and in Malmö I went to a Chocolate Factory.
When I looked up Malmö on tripadvisor, one of the first attractions that popped up was the Malmö Chocolate Factory. Because of our joint love of chocolate, we decided it was necessary to visit and take a factory tour. Our guide was very informative, and I got to learn about the history of this factory and how chocolate is made. We even got to try lots of different samples! My favorite was being able to taste the chocolate at each stage of the production process, as I felt that was both informative and delicious.
After cooking for myself for four months in Moldova, I had begun to run out of new foods to cook. Because of this, one of the things I asked to do in Sweden was cook and eat some interesting food. And boy did we! Some of the recipes we cooked ourselves were blanched vegetables, salmon, and lemon meringue pie. I also had a delicious Swedish marzipan cake for my (belated) birthday. Yumm! In addition, we went to some great seafood restaurants, and a nice ice cream restaurant on a boat! The following are three fish dishes we ate at various restaurants. They were all delicious, and it seemed like adding saffron was the popular thing to do!
Besides eating, I managed to see a lot of nature in Sweden. One of our extended day trips was to go to the Gothenburg area, and there we visited the Southern Archipelagos. I had heard about the beauty of the these archipelagos before going to Sweden, and was anxious to see them for myself. They definitely did not disappoint!
We got a ferry pass for the day, and so spent most of our time island hopping. The islands each have an interesting history, and while most are still used for fishing, there are nature reserves and summer houses on many. One interesting fact about these islands is that cars are not allowed. Instead people use bicycles and modified golf carts to get around.
Our second day trip was to Copenhagen, which is an absolutely gorgeous city. It is a one-hour drive from Christina’s house, and so we went there on my last day in Sweden. Because we only had a limited amount of time (we wanted to get back early enough to make a lemon meringue pie!) but wanted to see a lot of the city, we signed up for another free walking tour. We definitely managed to see a lot, and the tour guide was an awesome story-teller.* Here are a few of the places we visited.
*Something that wasn’t included on the tour, but is a definite must-see, is Hans Christian Andersen’s Little Mermaid.
Apart from sightseeing, we spent a lot of time watching Disney movies (I have definitely jumped on the Frozen bandwagon), listening to songs from high school karaoke nights, and just generally catching up. It was great, and I’m so glad we get to see each other this often!