Thursday, May 9, 2013

Summer already?

Spring did spring.  All week it's been above 10C (above 50F) and it's felt wonderful!  I actually read in Metro, the free newspaper, that yesterday was possibly the official start of summer here in Sweden!  If I recall correctly, the Swedish meteorologists consider it to be summer when the national average temperature is above 10C for five days in a row.  Yesterday, supposedly, was supposed to be the fifth day.  The only downside this week was that yesterday, here in lovely Gothenburg, it decided to pour buckets of rain all day, and that was not fun to deliver mail in.  I wear my rain jacket when going to and from the area that I deliver mail to that day if it's raining, but otherwise I take it off while I'm running in and out of stairwells.  It just gets too hot and cumbersome!  A nice construction man offered me his rain jacket when he saw me absolutely soaked yesterday, and I explained that I had a rain jacket and that it just gets too heavy.  He responded with, "Yeah, it gets kinda gross!"  It made my day that he had thought to offer me his jacket!  I thanked him several times, all of this occurring in Swedish, of course.

Today is a "red day" which is what Swedes refer to as holidays.  It is Kristi Himmelfärdsdag, which can be translated directly to something like Christ Heaven Journey day.  No one really knows (at least when I ask) anymore what the day is about, but they have it as a holiday each year and no one works.  It's clearly a remnant of a Christian holiday, and my best guess would be that is has something to do with the passage of time past Easter, in regards to Christ's return to heaven.  In any case, as today is Thursday, most people will just take tomorrow as a day off from work and make it a nice long 5 day weekend.  Not J and I.  Tomorrow we'll be back at the grind.  It's only one day, though, so think of it as we can two Fridays this week!

News!  J and I bought an apartment!  We'd been talking about it for quite some time, and thinking seriously about it since autumn.  We'd just decided that we're paying the same amount of money to rent this little 1 bedroom apartment that we could instead be paying on apartment that is much larger which we can own.  Of course we'll be downgrading in regards to location, in my opinion, but the area really isn't bad.  We'll be removing ourselves from Strömmensberg/Munkebäck here in Gbg and settling over on Hisingen in Backa.  It will be nice this time around not moving to an entirely new city that is a couple of hours away.  We can take our time and move at a more leisurely pace rather than all at once.  Our new place is a 2 bedroom apartment with a balcony (yay!) and has a lot more space.  Currently we have only 50kvm (roughly 540 sq. ft.).  The place we'll be owning has about 82kvm (roughly 880 sq. ft.).  So we hope to move in by the end of July, and if not, it'll have to be sometime in August.

This summer is shaping up to be quite exciting!  Although I'll be working for all of it except 2 weeks (whereas many Swedes get a good 4 - 6 week chunk off), there are a ton of activities on our plate.  For Midsommar in June we're planning to go to Stockholm and visit some friends.  Then in early July we've been invited to go back to Norway (I wrote about our trip last year in this post).  It was such a blast I most certainly want to go back again this year!  Then, obviously, as I've just informed you, we will be moving in between the Norway trip and our honeymoon to Cyprus.  Now that I type it all out, it's occurring to me that the summer is shaping up to be expensive, as well.  Such is life if you want to enjoy it!  Luckily I'm working all summer, so that will help in the expenses.

Last week, Wednesday was also a red day.  Tuesday was Valborgmässoafton, which occurs each year on April 30th (I mentioned it last year in this post).  This year was the first year that we finally went and saw what it was all about!  Well I'm sure J had been to Valborg events before, but I hadn't (and this was my third year being here to be able to go see the bonfires).  There were several locations offering giant bonfires and fun stuff like hot dogs and hamburgers with live music here in Gothenburg.  Some places were more kid friendly offering face painting and jumpy blow up castles, but we decided to go to the location closest to where we live.  We went down to Härlanda Tjärn where there was a big bonfire with live music (the band was good and fun to listen to!).  Plus they were selling grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, but J and I had already eaten dinner, so we passed.  Without further ado, here are some shots that I snapped!

There were a lot of people!  They were always coming and going, too.  I had to capture the pretty little lake, too, as it was so serene.  That's the same lake that I mentioned in this post last year where we went swimming.  I think we'll have to wait a few more months for the water to warm up enough to swim in again ;-)