Posted by: lindsaygoes | November 6, 2011

Obsessing about leaves in Sweden

Golden tree in Växjö

So my last trip was a quick break in Sweden to visit my cousin who is living there. He’s living in a small town called Växjö, which I had to fly into Copenhagen to reach. I thought I was very clever buying my train ticket from a machine at the airport, and then realised that I had no idea which train I needed to get, so I had to line up in the ticket office queue. And just missed a train. Eventually got on the right train where some nice Swedish people gave me some biscuits (and I started on the Toblerone I’d bought for my cousin in Duty Free, it was good) and helped me move to another part of the train when they changed the carriages going to Växjö. So after some phone issues (I couldn’t text my cousin) I arrived, was met by my cousin (always a bonus when you’re arriving somewhere you’ve never been) and headed to his place.

The next day I made my cousin get up early and we headed into town, first stop was a hot chocolate and some kind of Swedish biscuit thing covered in chocolate and filled with chocolatey butter. From there we headed to the Småland Museum, where we saw some amazing glass sculptures (some of them you could even touch!) as well as some archaeological stuff and an exhibition on Swedes who emigrated to the US, which was quite interesting. After that we had a walk around the lake, which was lovely with all the autumn colours, and then it was time for lunch, pizza, which is apparently quite Swedish. It was pretty nice anyway! That night we went to the movies and saw Tintin. In English and everything (which was pretty helpful to me), and we also got free yogurt.

The next day my cousin had to work so I went for a wander around the town. Surprisingly the sky was nice and blue so I took advantage of the good weather to get my camera out and take some photos of the gorgeous colours. I think I ended up in Sweden at the right time of the year as all the leaves were beautiful yellows, reds and browns, contrasting the the bright greens of the mosses on the rocks and tree stumps. There were also lots of lovely reflections from the trees in the lakes, and little birds flying around. Once my cousin had finished work we hung around for a bit before heading to the place where he worked, a bar/restaurant, which was pretty packed. I got free drinks, which is always a bonus (, and beer spilled on me, which is not so much (hand wash only top as well!).

So the following day we had an early start to get to Lund. My cousin’s alarm went off before mine, but when I checked my phone it said 6am instead of 7am. Daylight savings had ended and I could go back to sleep for an hour. My cousin just slept on the train. We got to Lund and saw the outside of the old church and then go some hot drinks and a second breakfast in a cafe while we waited for my cousins friends to recover from their hangovers from the night before and wake up. Eventually they did, so we caught up with them, went for pizza and then watched The King’s Speech and ate Swedish chocolate. Dinner was bizarrely in an English themed pub, but apparently there isn’t much open in Sweden on a Sunday, and the fish and chips were pretty good.

On the Monday we went through a walk through town again, past the lake and to the local castle, which is on another lake (there are a few of them around Växjö). I’m not convinced the castle is a real one, because it was built in the 70s and is actually a hotel and restaurant. But it’s very picturesque and has a lovely view over the lake, so I’m not going to complain too much. I had to keep reminding my cousin that I don’t speak Swedish, as he kept forgetting, which wasn’t helpful. That night my cousin was working again so I headed to the restaurant where he worked (which won Sweden’s Best Restaurant, or something like that, last year) and had dinner there. I was not disappointed, and kept eating long after the point where I should have stopped…and then they brought me a free dessert. It was a struggle, one which I did not win. After that I got to have a tour of the kitchens and the rest of the restaurant and then I headed back to bed to allow the copious amount of food I had eaten to digest.

The next day my cousin’s girlfriend had the day off (and she has a car) so we headed to the local forest. On the way we stopped at McDonald’s for some hot drinks and I was kind of unimpressed with the hot chocolate. Admittedly, it’s McDonald’s but getting a cup full of boiling water and a sachet of hot chocolate powder from a drive through seems somewhat impractical. I managed to not get burned though, and it was quite nice. Still on the way to the forest we saw one of my cousin’s girlfriend’s friends who had just missed the bus, so we turned around, gave her a lift to town, and then turned around again and went back towards the forest. We got there in the end. The forest was amazing, as well as the beautiful colours of all the leaves there were lots of little fungi clinging to rocks and tree branches. One, clinging to a tree, had the underside covered in rain drops, some coloured with sap, and looked as though it was covered in jewels. Everywhere you looked there was something else to be found. After the forest we went and stocked up on Swedish chocolates and sweets and then headed to a small village to a cafe…which was closed. Then went back into Växjö to get lunch, and found that lots of places there were also closed. We eventually found somewhere open, and it was quite nice. After all that walking we watched a movie, and then my cousin had to work again. Which meant the promised karate lesson never happened. I suspect I would have got my arse kicked, so probably not the end of the world. So my cousin’s girlfriend took me to a Thai restaurant. It was a bit strange, I think they wanted us to leave as soon as possible because they asked us to pay before we ate. However, the food was pretty good.

It was an early start the next day to head back to the airport, but airports are boring so I’ll finish it here.

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