This is my final post covering my recent travels to Sweden. For those of you who have made it thought them all, thank you. This trip helped bring me back to life, and reminded me why I love to travel. We have all been in a weird place the last couple years, and it was so wonderful to take a step to the side and just live a little.
For our last two days in Sweden Derek and I spent time with his aunt and uncle, exploring locally and getting prepared to travel back home.
Anne, Dereks aunt, wanted to take us to a town called Vaxholm for a jaunt while we still had our rental car, but we made a quick pitstop at his uncles workplace to see what he does. In Sweden the drivers have to have regular checks on their vehicles to ensure the cars are safe to drive, and Ollie, Dereks uncle, gave us a rundown of what needs to be checked. He even let Derek and I into one of the cars to see how he checks the breaks.
I could tell Ollie was so excited to show us what he does, and that made this moment extra special for me. After this, we headed to Vaxholm.
The streets were quiet, but we wandered for a bit imagining how busy it gets in the summer months. Vaxholm is an archipelago island popular for fishing and littered with traditional red and white buildings. This quickly became a symbol of Sweden for me, as these beautiful buildings were everywhere. With this theme you can imagine my surprise seeing a pink house amongst the red and white, and while it definitely didn’t fit with the rest, it was beautiful in its own way.
We popped into a bakery to grab some kardemummabulle before we left, and on our way back home we stopped by Bogesund Castle which was a short drive from the city center. We could not go inside the castle, but this felt like a good spot to eat my kardemummabulle while walking around the crunchy leaves and staring at the beautiful building.
We kept it simple for the day, as we were scheduled to have dinner with Dereks aunt and uncle at 1800. I wanted to do something nice for them because they were such kind hosts, so Derek and I took them out to a restaurant of their choice. They chose a place called Melanders which is a restaurant, cafe, and also a storefront. They sell fish and other seafood at their storefront, while also making this fish for their menus.
Talk about delicious, my mom said this looked gross, but I had seconds of the creamy dill potatoes.
We came back after dinner and enjoyed an evening fika, where I decided to partake in coffee after dark. Not only did it not affect my sleep, but it allowed me to relax with the family while learning more about how Ollie and Anne met. Fika is a strong part of Swedish culture, consisting of coffee and usually some kind of treat so I had some oat milk ice cream with bananas to accompany my coffee.
What a magical evening.
The following morning we were scheduled to go to a nearby lake where we walked to a farm to have Swedish waffles. This area was adorable, a large lake that people were walking or running around, and the farm in the middle was like a cherry on top. If I lived here I would come run around the lake all the time, ending with an afternoon fika. WITH WAFFLES.
This waffle, just like the cardamom bread, is a prime example of how less is more. You don’t need much to make a dish taste good. I chose strawberry as my topping, as did Derek and his aunt, while his uncle chose blueberry. Paired with a dollop of whipped cream, I could have easily eaten two. Or three.
We spent a couple hours here walking around, playing with the cows, and enjoying the sunny fall day. The yellow trees in Sweden stole my heart, and I couldn’t not stop taking photos of them. These small towns are just as magical as the larger ones.
I have realized that there is a difference between the words travel and vacation. It’s not often that I take a true vacation, but rather I prefer to travel. At the end of traveling I think feeling tired is normal and expected. Seeing as much as possible while traveling is something I have grown to crave, whereas a vacation is somewhere you go to rest.
Vacation in my mind is visiting a resort, a beach, or a tiny island where you don’t do much movement.
This trip to Sweden was certainly to travel. I love the non stop movements seeing new things, and Derek and I certainly packed a lot into our stay. I suppose you could say these last two days were the vacation portion of this travel escapade. I was thankful to have a day to recoup before going back to work which is a must for me, and I am still trying to settle back into real life. Big thanks to Anne and Ollie for being the most wonderful, gracious, welcoming hosts. Anne went out of her way to buy food I could eat (I still splurged sometimes), and Ollie was always willing to drive us when we didn’t have a rental car.
We started as strangers and left as friends. I hope I see them both again someday.
Q: Do you prefer travel or vacation?