Happy Last Day of Summer! Tomorrow, I'll have a post with a fall list, but today I'm sharing pictures from our last day(s) in Hörby with our relatives. Speaking of summer, however, in Sweden, they kept talking about summer as if it was over. Like, "in the summertime, it would have been like this...." or "during the summer, it's a lot busier..." This talk confused me a bit, because it wasn't even September yet! On our last day, we wandered around Hörby with Kerstin and Erik. Here are some of my favorite things:
This was the big church in Hörby. It was locked and we couldn't enter, because Sweden has been having problems with people breaking into churches and stealing any valuables inside them. This burglary trend has also been on the rise in homes, unfortunately. We were told that it is not usually Swedes doing the stealing, but people from Eastern Europe, specifically Poland, who can take a ferry to Sweden, drive around for the day stealing things, and take the ferry back before ever being caught. I would think they would just implement more security at the ferry terminals, but I guess it's not up to me. On a brighter note - how cool is that tree in front of the church?
Kerstin took us out to coffee and pastries at a cute little cafe in town. Mind you, this was two hours after we'd had a large breakfast and only about an hour before we would have a large lunch. But, it was really fun to go there with her. I got a heart shaped pastry filled with a vanilla cream. I loved the decor in this spot too - all of the tabletops were made from old typeface drawers that had been painted white and were filled with different things. Some tables were filled with lavender, others with seashells. Ours happened to have pink glitter.
After a filling, delicious, and very traditional lunch of Swedish meatballs, (Yum! They were so good! And Erik made them from scratch as a surprise while we were out walking around town!) we headed for a much needed walk around a nature center. This center seemed to have struck some amazing balance between a discovery center for green living (energy, recycling, etc) and just a lovely place to eat a picnic lunch or walk around and enjoy nature.
We walked through a plum and apple orchard and Erik picked two plums, one for me and one for him! They were perfect. He is so mischievous:
Okay, the ONE fault I have found with Sweden is that its slugs are realllllly big. I am an idiot and didn't put anything next to this slug for scale, but, I kid you not, this slug was probably 6 inches long. My aunt actually saw one once and thought somebody had dropped a cigar on the ground. They are huge and therefore extra-disgusting.
Just as we finished walking around, it started pouring again. I do not understand how we were so lucky with weather. We headed back to Erik and Kerstin's and I was under the impression that we were heading to Kenneth and Pia's for dinner, but instead (another surprise from a lack of translation!) we went to this huge Chinese temple that is being built by one of the singers from Abba. I guess somehow this person from Abba offered millions of dollars to build the temple and the people building it thought it was a gift and not a loan, but the person from Abba thought they money would be returned eventually. In any event, this huge temple, which is used as some sort of spa-like getaway hotel, has been constantly under construction for years with no signs of slowing.
Unfortunately, we were not allowed to tour the temple, even though Kenneth had called ahead to make sure we could. He was a bit upset about that. But we did get to enter the restaurant (pictured) which, oddly enough, serves traditional Swedish food. It was quite impressive.
We returned to Hörby and went to Kenneth and Pia's house for another traditional Swedish meal.
Kenneth and Pia's neighbor collects old Volvo's. :)
Here is a picture of our traditional dinner. It looks a bit like an American breakfast, huh? We had this delicious quiche/really big pancake that was more like a crepe type cake thing and then slices of thick cut bacon and lingonberry jam. The meal was delicious. Then we had two desserts. Obvi.
Kerstin and Erik accompanied us to the train station and saw us off to Stockholm in style. Check out those socks! Erik is very proud of his socks. They taught us how to count to ten in Swedish, which I can still sort of do. I try to practice every day in my head. Suddenly, Erik counted to 10 in what sounded almost perfect English. Pretty good for somebody who "doesn't speak a word of English." It got me wondering how much he really could speak.
Saying goodbye was really sad! Much more upsetting than I had anticipated. I cried, obviously. Ugh, when do I not cry? But it's not a pleasant thought to think that these people, who were so nice to us and who we had just gotten to know and who are actually our family, well, to think that we might not ever see them again. That's really sad. It was such a special experience to get to finally reunite with our Swedish family and so incredible that we connected so well and so easily. I fully intend on going back someday. I promised them that I would speak Swedish when I came back, so I'd better get practicing. Ett, två, tre...