Sweden! Oh, you pretty, pretty place! Nestled in between Norway, Finland and Denmark, Sweden is just how you’d imagine it to be. Little red homes with proud little chimneys, window full of flowers, stretches of conifers, steely inland lakes, miles of pink and violet foxgloves, rolling lush meadows, and pretty little walks from under ancient trees. Free horses and fat sheep, open farms and happy old men, boreal forests and glaciated mountains, cold wind and cold beer, a plate of steaming poached salmon with baby potatoes, sour cream and dill. A hot blanket as it rains on the big glass panes and a hot cup of Belgisk mork mocka latte at a local Espresso house at 4. Sweden is just how you’d imagine it to be.

No Hygge, No writing

You know, I wanted to do this post sometime last week but well…thanks to a trillion things happening at the same time, where in people were wasting ginormous amount of my time for nothing, that I just couldn’t sit down and get my thoughts in place. After days today, I feel truly “settled”.

A lot of you asked me to share my trip deets on the blog and I have been meaning to tell you all about my fabulous Scandinavian journey myself, but I was just not getting the time. Finally got around to get the photos edited and words put. And funny that I’ll have to start by telling you that I thought Hassleholm- the first Swedish town I ever stayed in- lacked life. Haha, I know. You’d be like what the bejesus? You went all the way, you waited all this time to put a blog and you’re telling us this? Well, yeah. I don’t have a choice but to tell you the truth. The first day at Hassleholm got me totally bleck and double bleck. It’s like it’s great looking homes and cars everywhere but it seems so lifeless. Mechanical almost.

Seriously! No people on roads, no hustle-bustle, no cars, shuttered down shops, no bikes except for a few stray bicycles, no open pubs, not even a medical to buy a damn tooth paste! Hey, I am a big city soul. I am from Mumbai. Where are the people? What’s happening here, where’s life? I was thirsty for some action and cribbing away standing in the preetiest square I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. Hahahahahaha, man! It was the worst thing on Hygge soil.

I went all the way to Sweden and missed Mumbai so much. Here’s the thing you know: every time I step out of Mumbai, I need accustomization. Like acclimatization. I need some amount of weaning in. This city I tell you spoils you with its life. Yeah okay, there are potholes but that’s the only exercise my muscles ever get. I love this city alright! šŸ˜€

But as I settled to the pace of the town, I realized how beautiful Hassleholm was! The pitter patter of rains on the big window panes, the chilly night air, the buttery cookies with a cup of hot coffee and a handsome corner desk. The plumpest bed and brick walls with pretty flowers to wake up to. Oh, hold on. Why don’t I slow down like I am supposed to in a Scandinavian land and just take the day easy? Get some Hygge in this Scandiland? Oh. Oooh!

I also think that Belgisk Mork Mocka Latte had a hand to play in this transformation, though it was essentially just hot chocolate. I ordered it because it had a long, funny name.

Strange, in all this fuss, I had a lovely FIKA which is so typical of the Scandinavian culture. Day 1, well done.

FIKA, yes. Food, Oh my God

Yes, no one takes Fika more seriously than the Swedish do, but the Swedes also love their food. And bread. From crackly Rye toasts to Sunflower seed loaf to cinnamon and custard filled buns- it’s really a spread you have to try. And ofcourse to pair that off you have cheese, cold cuts, coffee, and berries. Hello 3 kilos. You were sitting in a corner and sneering at me were’t you?

While at Sweden, youā€™ll also want to try some fish. Fresh, smoked and pickled. Oh boy! The poached salmon with baby potatoes, sour cream and dill was straight out of heaven. You would also find surstrƶmming- which is fermented Baltic Sea Herring and people say it stinks like a rat long dead. Haha, I did not brave that. At all. With all due respect to the dish, I did not want to tarnish my taste-tual memory of Sweden.

Instead, in all those coward times I tried some funky berries and chewies. In Hassleholm we found a store that that had multiple aisle full of just different kind of toffees and chewies. Oh sweet God. If you picked one of each, your bag is still overflowing kinda variety. I wanted to get some for siddhesh and I was so confused that I left it at that! But I did pick some later, and here’s a must have.

Look for Lingonberry in Sweden. These sweet and tart teeny tiny berries are typical to Sweden and are found in Swedish forests. You could grab jams, spreads, dried and tea made of lingonberries and they taste a tiny bit like gooseberries meet strawberry, and are quite refreshing. I had a matcha and lingonberry tea at IKEA and also saw Rachel Khoo made a lingonberry tart while she was in Stockholm. So yeah, taker.

P.S: Avoid the black rolled tiny toffees because I have renamed them “boogey flavoured.”

Special recco

Spiced cake and vanilla icecream with rosehip and caramel, in IKEA. OH MY GOD. Death by great taste.

As you can understand, I’ve definitely had some platefuls. I atleast ate cheese in quantities that made me sick of cheese in 4 days. It was that good. You know, the food had almost started to convert me when I found my dream home in Almhult. And since that point on, there was no going back. I declared that I want to move to Sweden. Period.

Homes Of Sweden

Clean, minimal homes, no grills on windows, large glass panes, proud little chimneys and pretty, pretty colours. I wanted to dang this house from my plane and get it to Mumbai. Oh, why can’t our homes be like this. I am quite sure atleast the roof can look like this, no?

I almost stopped a few cars for this shot but it was so worth it. We walked this road, right upto the IKEA store in Almhult and it was so much fun walking around this lovely town. But too bad we could not get a bit more of this town which seemed like a better town to bunk thy derriere. By the way, here’s the IKEA store we walked upto. Poor Lakshmi though. She had a bad knee and she couldn’t walk so much but she still made it. What a loverly woman.

And walking through the tiny lanes that are laced with yellowed leaves, Me and Shirin figured out why we dont walk in Mumbai. Because it’s bloody crowded. {Are you seeing the transformation here? The weaning has already happened}. Go for a long walk and end up avoiding two istriwalas, 3 autos and 5 cars at any given point of time. Oh! No wonder we dont walk.

Irony is, just when I was getting all Hyggeformed, it was time to fly back. No weaning required here and definitely regretting that I did not take a few days more to explore Norway. Or atleast stockholm. Very, very sad at this point but nevertheless!

3 days and this is all we could do with a big arse conference squeezed in. But you know its never about the time. It’s how much in that time. Barring a few days of regret, oh and the train fiasco, this was one of the most fulfilling trips ever. Chiefly because it was completely new. And given the fact that I had never been outside the country ever.

Oh, and also, before I leave- a lot of people told me that Lufthansa is one of the worst flights. In all probability you’ll be staring at a grey cloth infront of you, the food is bad, blah blah. It was not bad at all. There were some cool movies to watch and the food was good too, and you’d die of just eating and drinking. They served baileys on flight dude…what else would you want? But then I am not a finicky traveler. Unless it’s very bad or unhygienic, I am not very un-okay with stuff. But then my husband has a huge role to play in it. He made me travel in a local bus in Himachal where people were cutting themselves in sharp broken windows and washing wounds with water inside the bus while the bus was struggling to pass through a narrow road which was washed off by the rains.


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