The art of fika, a reunion in Stockholm

The art of fika in a Stockholm café

The first time I travelled to Stockholm with my boyfriend was during a long weekend in December some years ago. The city was packed with snow and Christmas lights and it was utterly romantic. It was also very cold, so cold that every now and then we felt the need to enter a café and order a hot drink to warm ourselves up from the inside out. What we did out of necessity, we discovered later to be also a very cultural thing in Sweden: the art of fika.
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Lupin fields everywhere: a Swedish summer photo session

Lupin season is drawing to a close, but the cold spring we’ve had this year made those pretty purple flowers last a little longer. Lucky that I got back to Sweden in time not to miss this wonderful flowering, I felt like I just had to take advantage of this wonderful sight. So I organized a photo shoot with my friend Ania, who had already posed for me in the past and is always kind enough not to say no. If our previous photo session had been heavily autumn themed, here comes the glory of the Swedish summer. Continue reading

Ice skating on frozen lakes

Winter is the time for skiing, building snowmen, having snowflakes land in your mouth and of course ice skating. Here in mid-Sweden around the end of December temperatures drop to -15°C and below and lakes freeze up. The same lakes where I bathe and go paddle boarding in the summer in January are rock solid and perfect for wintertime sports like ice skating, cross country skiing and ice fishing. The thing about Sweden is that no matter the season, you are always supposed to be out there enjoying the great outdoors. Continue reading

Julbord at Ikea

julbord swedish christmas food

I have been writing on this blog about some traditional December delicacies of the Swedish cuisine, but of course Sweden’s traditional Christmas foods don’t stop at gingerbread and saffron buns. There is much more to that and, surprisingly, neither of those two is the true Christmas dessert. Saffron buns are mostly an Advent food linked to St Lucy’s day (December 13th), while pepparkakor are served all over the holiday period, not being something eaten exclusively at the Christmas table. Speaking of “Christmas table”, that is the translation of julbord, one word that summarizes all there is to know about Swedish Christmas food. But let’s start from the beginning… Continue reading

The old-fashioned Swedish Christmas market

falun mine winter

At the beginning of December the town of Falun, Dalarna, hosts a Christmas market that has quickly become one of my most favourite things about winter. It is called Gammaldags Julmarknad, which translates as old-fashioned Christmas market. I must admit that it really has the feel of an event stuck somewhere in time, a feature that makes it even more magical. The Christmas market stalls display a whole array of traditional crafts and foods produced in the region, and it is always very hard for me not to spend too much money, especially on the food.

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Swedish springtime skiing in northern Dalarna

A couple of weekends ago I visited a ski resort located a couple of hours north of here called Kläppen for some fine Swedish springtime skiing. The main reason for this trip was to see my boyfriend and some of his colleagues from the ski resort where they work taking part in a ski race. My role was that of official photographer for our party: I stood alongside the track and collected photographic evidence of the race. The weather was so beautiful it almost felt surreal to be actually skiing in what already looked like spring. Continue reading

Uppsala and Sigtuna

sigtuna runestone

Last Monday we took a little daytrip south to Uppsala and Sigtuna, as we needed to take a friend to the airport in the morning, so we used this opportunity to explore a bit of the Uppland region for the rest of the day. On our drive to the airport we saw the sun rise behind a curtain of fog, that was rolling over the flat landscape and leaving a thin layer of frost over everything in the below zero temperatures we’ve been waking up to in the past days. Continue reading

Torsångs Café in Dalarna

Dalarna University has some digital ambassadors who blog in English about their studies and their experiences as international students in the middle of Sweden. Last year I was one of them. With my fellow bloggers and our coordinator we would meet once a month to discuss any sort of blogging-related issues or brainstorm and inspire each other, but truly the greatest outcome of every meeting was learning the art of fika and socialization. Business meetings the Swedish way. Continue reading

Fika, the Swedish coffee break

When you visit Sweden, you notice many wonderful things: the beautiful landscape, the clean air, the kindness of the people. When you leave, the impression that in Sweden everything is calm and organized stays with you. When you move to Sweden, you understand what is the magic behind all of that, and that magic trick is fika.

The Swedes love to take it easy and take their time, and when things are getting too crazy, they know the importance of taking a couple of minutes off. Continue reading