Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Summer of Swimming

A long holiday for all of us. Lots of travelling and lots of swimming - indoor pools, outdoor pools, in lakes, in a red sea and in a delta next to nudists!


Kolmarden Dolphin Show Sweden 2004Image via Wikipedia

Started the holiday here - a day out.

We usually fit in a couple of trips - just one so far - it's the wasp season now (August), so advisable to stay away.

This was where Alice enountered "large mice". Both Alice and Emily did some bathing.


SöderbysjönImage by elisabet.s via Flickr

We had a few days in Stockholm. These mainly focused around bathing - in lakes and swimming pools.

We cycled out to a lake to bathe with some ducks (in söderbysjön - right) - hadn't bathed there for a couple of years. Emily was a bit shy of the water whilst Alice was wanting to go further and further after flowers from water lillies. Must get her into swimming lessons soon!

Another popular trip was to Eriksdalsbadet and the water slides and indoor whirlpools. Water slides and sore feet -> tender.

Off to see the family in the UK. Alice had a few concerns about how advanced they were in the UK, here. It was here that a few English phrases started flowing.

A real hit for Alice for Temple Newsam - or really it's home farm. Whilst Alice and Emily have been to see animals before they've never been given a bag of food (grass pellets) to feed the sheep. So Alice was very popular with the sheep (whilst the food lasted) - and she loved it.

It was also here that Alice discovered hair flatteners - having flat hair for a day. Queue request next birthday!

This was Emily's first time on a plane - and it went fairly smoothly. Alice liked the sweets that we had with us for the plane!


Villa Villekulla / Villa Kunterbunt from the p...Image via Wikipedia

No rest from returning from the UK. Ferry to Gotland. We hired a
caravan by a favourite beach, Sandviken.

Lots of rain when we got there but we got a few days of warm sunshine.

We had two days in Kneippbyn - home to Pippi Longstocking's (Pippi Långstrump) house (right) - Villa Villekulla - and the connected waterland.

There was plenty of time in the pools and on the rides.

More Bathing.

HellasgårdenImage by Niklas Jakobsen via Flickr

We had a trip to Hellasgården (right) - a place where we could bathe in a kid-friendly spot with a little beach and still be surrounded by the wildlife.

But remember to respect the wildlife! I remember being there a few years ago and seeing a father show-off to his son - how to catch a crayfish. Well the crayfish caught him - the father jumping up out
of the water with a crayfish clasping to his index finger.

Emily loved the ducks - herself waddling after them - trying to catch them. The toy dinghy was launched for the first time - although Emily preferred sitting in it on dry land - or just dragging it around.

Alice was swimming well with her arm puffs - with some other girls. After a while they wanted to take their arm rings off. Then Alice tried the breast stroke - and sank like a stone. Got over-confident with the arm rings - time for swimming lessons!

Then it was off up to the stuga, here.

We were there for a few weeks and did quite a lot. As well as Alice engaging with the neighbours, there were quite a few other things happening.

There was the obligatory trip to the local baths - once Alice discovered it had a waterslide! Alice even learnt to doggy-paddle.

In Search of Cheese
We'd heard of a local place that made their own feta cheese and brie and they were open late in the evenings. So one evening off we went - it all sounded so easy - bu we were driving around the countryside for 2 hours - lots of small roads - before finding the place, here. Then it was closed - it was only open late on Wednesdays!

Monday. We had an outing to see an am-dram production of children's sagas, here, at the dead falls (döda fallet). One of the stars of the show (at least for us) was our pram!

Back to the cheese
Wednesday came. Off to try again. This time we got updated local instructions meaning that we got there in no time. Rotsjögård - no mobile reception here. They had a cafe and a boutique. However, as soon as we got out of the car Alice and Emily were off to see the goats.

In the cafe we were able to buy some very nice cakes but also some food pellets for the goats. Hurrah!

This was great news for Alice - she could feed the goats and show Emily how to do it.

After a coffee and cake I checked up on the goat feeding. Alice was very
popular with the goats. She was sharing the pellets with Emily so that she could join in.

However, Emily wasn't paying close attention to what Alice was doing and so she was stopping them in her mouth. That's when I jumped in....

We stocked-up on a few varieties of cheese before heading off.

To Paint a House
The stuga needed painting. A grey was chosen - it had sparkly bits in it making it resemble a form of nail varnish. All visitors were roped in to help paint. I did the least on the main house as I was making a more child-friendly track down to the water.

I painted the small building - it was whilst cleaning up the brushes afterwards that I managed to get covered in a lot of paintbrush water - with its nice glittery grey colour. I was the glitter man - or was it glimmer man?

Sea Bathing
The neighbours told us about a local cove by the sea with very good bathing for kids, Åvike.

A circular cove with very shallow water fed by two iron-rich streams. This gave the clear water a red tinge - surreal. So we could say we swam in the red sea. Alice was crazy about bathing, as usual, Emily less so.

We returned a couple of days later with sausages and bbq to have supper on the beach and a swim, Emily flavouring her sausages with sand!

We also went sea bathing at the Indalsälven delta.

This is a nature reservation near the airport and interestingly enough
has a nudist beach - is it ethical tohave a nudist beach under a flight path?

However, on the afternoon we were there no planes flew over and the sea was incredibly warm - must've been well over 24c.

It being a delta meant that we had to cross a couple of rope bridges to get there - great fun but no good for the sea legs!

The High Coast (Höga Kusten)
We visited the other stuga for a couple of nights. We were trying to time it with decent weather and didn't do too badly. This was back to basics time for Alice - no electricity and so no tv!

We took several dips in the the bay. Alice discovered a colony of small frogs. These were great to just "go off and visit" - we didn't forget to say goodbye to them before leaving.

On the way back we took a tourist route (southern high coast tourist route) - very picturesque.

Bönhamn rocksImage by Xesc via Flickr

Stopped off for lunch at an old fishing village, Bönhamn. But it seemed like it was shut!

Luckily we had sandwiches - so it was a picnic by the sea.

Alice had a dip in the sea - a bit cool! I bumped into a group of Spanish hippies looking for "water without gas" - but the place was shut...

Driving further south we stopped off at another nature reserve that contained a popular bathing spot, Rotsidan, unusual for its red rocks. No bathing there - we dipped our feet and the water was extremely cold. We managed to lose mum in the forest trail to the sea...

Beaver Search
There had been various sightings of our local beavers. Alice wanted to go out and see them. So the last night before returning to Stockholm we took the canoe out in search, here.

"Can we go home now?"
This was the recurring question for the last 10 days that we were away from home.

For Alice the novelty had worn off. Country life was boring. She wanted to be back in the big city - indoor swimming pools, waterslides and cable tv!

Every day that seemingly had another delay to our departure date or addition to the itinerary was another disappointment.

Heading Home
We overnighted by the lake and then returned to Stockholm, making a petrol stop at the

Dragon Gate, Älvkarleby, SwedenImage via Wikipedia

Dragon's Gate. A very unusual "motorway stop".

This is a Chinese-built, Chinese-run restaurant and museum.

We stopped there late so didn't see the museum - but it apparently has 200 life-size terracotta warriors. Not bad for a motorway stop!

Maybe next time we'll have a closer look...

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment