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March 4

    Sweden - Day 1 - August 23rd, 2008

****See a Google Map with pictures of our first day*****

Just off the airplane, Staffan drove a few hours to fetch us at the airport.  He drove us back to Östhammar, which is on the coast just north of Stockholm.


In order to get Linnea used to the new time zone, we got her out into the Sunshine.  She adapted beautifully to the new light schedule.


Staffan and Camilla have quite a menagerie of animals.  These are the bunnies.


A real Swedish jordkällare lies just across the road from their house.  Until the Swedes invented Electrolux, they had to go outside to get something out of the fridge.


A stray cat who has wandered into their yard.


Poor Rebecca, her first night in Sweden she is exposed to surströmming (sour fermented baltic herring).  These arent the SWEDISH FISH you get in the candy store.


It's quite a delicacy in Sweden, a time for which many Swedes wait in dizzy anticipation while others not so keen on the smell are dizzy, too, just without the antipation.  There's singing, skåling, and general merry making until Thor and Freya are appeased.


Staffan and Camilla's gård.  There is a nice barn outback.  Their house is also heated by wood so here's the pile of wood for the winter.


More animals in the menagerie, however, these belong to the neighbor.


Later on in the day, we went out to pick some real lingonberries.  They are kind of like a cranberry, but smaller with a more delicate flavor.


"Uh, like, hey guys.  What's up with the sun?  Why is it still coming up?  It's been coming up now for 2 days."


Camilla and Staffans apple tree in the front of their house.


For picking berries, Swedes have invented the ergonomically designed lingonberry picker.  When you are born in Sweden, you are issued a berry picker by the government.


Rebecca, Staffan, and Linnea out in a nice spruce forest foraging for berries and mushrooms.  It's what these people do in the summer.


And they eat ice cream.  Here, Camilla and Rebecca eat ice cream on the seawall out in Öregrund, a summer vacation town not too far from their house.


Evening sun.


Back at Camilla and Staffan's.  There are actually two houses, side by side.  Camilla owns this lot with another family.  This is the other family's house.


And the flower garden they share.


I didn't ask if they share the sheep.




Fresh eggs can be collected out in the barn.


Here is their parrot who makes all sorts of noises, sings the star spangled banner, sounds like a cat, sounds like a chicken...



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