Coming form England I knew the landscape, weather and animals would be different but it wasn’t until I arrived that I realized just how different they were in Sweden.
Within my first week I had seen a moose, an eagle and a snake! This is not to mention the countless deer I saw, crossing the road and running through the fields.
Seeing the moose (älg in swedish) was probably the most surprising- unfortunately I don’t have a picture of it as I was driving at the time. I drove around a bend in the road and out of the corner of my eye I saw something climbing up the bank onto the road. As it reached the top of the bank I realized what it was and slammed on my breaks. It was huge!
Moose can grow up to two meters in height. (I have no idea how tall this one was but it was much taller than my car.) I read this fact in a leaflet for an älg park.- apparently I only live a few miles away.
It was just a few days latter that I saw my first Swedish snake. I was on a run when I saw a small black object on the floor. As I approached I realized it was a snake heating its self in the sun!
About a week after seeing the snake I was talking to a lovely Swedish lady who worked as a paramedic. I told her about my experience with the snake. She assured me that it was not anything to worry about. The only poisonous ones are black and you only need to be careful when they’re coiled (that’s when they might strike). While I was relieved to hear that Sweden is not home to many poisonous snakes, it was just my luck to see one that looked exactly as the paramedic had described.
The eagle was a complete shock to see, again while driving. I came out of nowhere and disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.
I have been assured that really the animals are not so different in Sweden… maybe I was just lucky to see so many exciting creatures in my first week here.
Not only are the animals different and amazing, but the scenery too. When we arrived the weather was amazingly hot (about 30°C ). Unfortunately, the pump that draws water from the well at our house was not working when we first arrived, so my husband and I set out in search of a place to find clean water.
Sweden, if you look at a satellite image you can see, is dotted with thousands of lakes. Not far from where we live is a beautiful lake where people can swim, fish or camp near by. It is common for people use rivers and lakes for recreation in Sweden. Camping for one night is permitted by law, virtually anywhere in Sweden, provided it is not too close to someones house or in their garden. The water is incredibly clean too (hence the water pump at our house).
I spent quite a bit of the summer looking for beautiful places to run or swim. Maybe next summer I will enjoy some camping too.