Our third day in Abisko was started late because we arrived from the Aurora chasing at around 10 pm the night before and everyone was feeling excited yet cold and tired, especially the youngest one. So we slowed down a bit and didn’t go out until after lunch. That day, it was still sunny and cold like the day before so we’re thinking of doing more indoor activities. We checked the surrounding areas and came up with some ideas that could work for the adults and the kids such as visiting Abisko Naturum and the Sami museum. To be able to do that, we need to go to the STF Abisko Turiststation first, which is located around 2 kms from Abisko Guesthouse. It’s actually walking distance but Klas was really kind he drove us there and even suggested us to go to the canyon (which we didn’t look up before) and this was the highlight of the day.
As I said in my previous post, our train from Stockholm arrived in Abisko Östra at around 10 am and we were welcomed by heavy snow showers. But we didn’t mind. Skåne, where we come from, barely has winter this year. The temperature that rarely dropped below zero made the snow didn’t last long in the area. In fact, if we use the definition of winter from SMHI, the period when the daily mean temperature is permanently 0.0 ° C or lower, then basically we just went from wet autumn to wet spring 😀
But enough about the weather, let’s talk about Abisko 🙂
When I was a little kid, I read a book about Aurora Borealis in my father’s school library. Since then, I had this dream to see it with my own eyes. I was quite obsessed with this natural phenomenon I once thought to name my daughter “Aurora” 😆. However, being born and raised in a tropical country, far from any hot spot to see aurora, that dream was quickly forgotten. But then, I moved to Sweden.
Last month in 2019, Baby K turned 1 year old. It feels cruel, sometimes, how a year can passed you by in the blink of an eye. She was just this tiny red blueish baby not so long ago. Now she’s not a baby anymore, she’s officially a toddler.
She already has four teeth. She’s very messy independent when it comes to eating, but clingy when it comes to socialising :D. She’s a strong willed little girl. She drives me crazy with her unlimited energy that keeps her awake till late. Every. Single. Night. And yet, she makes me laugh with her funny behaviours, and warms my heart whenever she hugs me tight.
As the year-end is approaching, I would like to use this blog post as a medium of reflection. A look back to where it all started three years ago. This month in 2016, I moved to Sweden from my home country. Time has passed by and many things have happened ever since, including having an additional member in the family. So it just feels right to see how it was and how it has been as a newbie living in Sweden.
And here are some random facts about Sweden that I learnt during my first three years of living in the country:
Sweden is a good place to raise kid
From free education to nearly free healthcare, Sweden is one of a few places I can think of when it comes to a “family friendly” country. Yes, the system is bit frustrating sometimes and requires lots of things to do—filling out forms, queuing, making calls to name a few. But once you got in, the safety net is always there.
Sweden also seems to care about and is willing to take part in children development. One tiny example is when my baby turned 6 months old, she received a free choice book from Lund’s state library. From what I understand, it’s a part of the program to encourage reading and literacy (such important skills for kids to have indeed).
Apart from those, generous parental leave, celebrated equality and recognition of universal values are the things that Sweden offers. And those are the list I would love to tick as a parent. Anyway, read more about the rights as parents in Sweden here.
I often say to myself, when you’re a parent, life is what happened between fresh brewed coffee in the morning and reheated coffee in the afternoon: you barely have time to enjoy your coffee, decently 😀 Especially when you live away from home, far from the supporting system called family, the struggle is real.
Luckily in Sweden, there are some hang out places that are designed and dedicated for parents so parenting can still be fun. Here are the highlights:
If you’re new in Sweden and not sure where to go for a day-out with your baby, a library could be a good starting point. The state library in Lund has special section for kids of all ages. There’s this small play area where you can read books with your children and also meet other fellow parents.The library also has baby café and book-reading events for kid in various languages (read more about the events here). The book reading is held in the reading “closet” which is set up nicely and comfy for the parents and the kids.
Like many other countries, Sweden has plenty of expressions, idioms and sayings rooted in history and tradition. Some of them can be found in other languages, or at least share similar meaning like “Beat around the bush” and “Gå som katten kring het gröt” (English: walks like the cat around hot porridge). Some others are quite exceptional.
Despite its hilarious literal meanings, these sayings are actually relatable to everyday life in Sweden. Personally, I found some sayings are helpful in understanding Swedish values, and for that reason I wish I knew them earlier 😀