Farewell to Sweden
…but hello to Berlin and the return of Under a Grey Sky. We hope that there will be lots of other wonderful tales of adventures beyond the front door to come as normal service is resumed.
On the final morning in Sweden we were sitting by a lake somewhere in the south of the country, at a campsite we had discovered the previous evening once we had reached over halfway in our journey between Stockholm and our ferry port at Trelleborg. It was a beautiful and quiet spot, a basic camp site with just a few pitches for caravans and those monster mobile homes, and a reception that doubled up as a kiosk for the mini golf. No-one was playing in the morning, as most of the nearby town were at school or work and the campers were still having breakfast on the grass or the balcony of their mobile home.
I opened my notebook to jot down some thoughts and I was struck by how little I had written during the three and half weeks in Sweden. Perhaps it was because I knew that I would be coming here once we returned to Berlin, to write about the different places and experiences on Under a Grey Sky so there was no need to commit any thoughts to paper. In any case, over the next few weeks there will be a number of different posts about our time in Sweden, plus other interesting things that have been collected and submitted whilst I was away.
But for now I just wanted to share some pictures of different moments of our journey that took us on a rough figure-of-eight course through the country, with a pause at the top for two weeks in a little yellow house on the edge of the woods. During our time we paddled and swam in the Baltic, explored old mines and modernist housing estates, tramped through forests and nature reserves, walking through landscape forged by centuries of mining and forestry. We ate hundreds of meatballs, lots of campsite pasta dinners, and numerous ice creams (including the best Sweden has to offer). We made a quick stop-off in the capital city, and had a couple of days surrounded by the colourful realization of the anarchic imagination of a great children’s writer, with the chance to say “Hej” to Pippi Longstocking personally.
So, more to come then. But here are a few of our favourite pictures from a trip that we were extremely sad to leave behind, as the ferry moved out into the Baltic and the lights of Trelleborg retreated into the darkness…
Words: Paul Scraton
Pictures: Katrin Schönig and Paul Scraton