Swedish winter activities

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Hitting the slopes.
Photo credit: Nina Bakker

Cold and long nights are the first things imagined when the word Swedish winter is mentioned. But winter is also a time for several fun activities.

 

#1 Ski in one of several resorts
Skiing is a popular winter sport and we love to ski in Linkoping. There are a couple of nice spots to catch the thrill in and around Linkoping city. But if you want to have the full experience, you could hit the slopes in the provinces of Dalarna, Jämtland, Härjedalen and Swedish Lapland where there are hundreds of resorts with nice ski facilities.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A reindeer farm. Photo Credit: Aida Selimovic

The northern lights. Photo Credit: Aida Selimovic

#2 Enjoy the eskimo experience in igloos or ice hotels
Winter is the best time to visit the north of Sweden. Home to the world’s first hotel made of ice and snow in the Swedish village of Jukkasjärvi, about 200 km north of the Arctic Circle. The ice hotel is re made in a new guise every winter. Besides the ice hotel, you could visit a reindeer farm and enjoy a dog sled ride. Northern Sweden is also the best place to see the aurora. These northern lights of green, red and purple often dance in the sky on clear winter nights.

#3 Party indoors
If you would prefer to stay indoors to avoid the cold weather, then you could attend one of several parties organized by students or student associations. The popular Kårhuset Kollektivet and Kårhuset Kårallen are places to pin on your Linkoping map. They are the venues for weekly parties.

 So if you decide to study at LiU, you are assured of several fun winter activities.

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Valborg 2019 in Linköping!

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Winter is over. The trees are green again and we are all preparing for summer. For students, it’s just a few weeks before the spring term ends. With the beautiful weather, spring is a time for so many beautiful events.  One of such events is Valborg. Celebrated on the last day of April, it is a festival where massive bonfires are lit in honour of an 8th-century German abbess, St. Walpurga, or Valborg in Swedish.

Perfect weather for hanging out with friends
Photo Credit: Simon Tornqvist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, as a result of a very high fire risk, this year the County Administrative Board  declared a fire ban. However, students were unperturbed by the sad news as they thronged Trädgådstorget in their numbers to celebrate the day with a lot of singing and dancing. Of course on such occasions where many students gather and there is music, there is also as much beer as you imagine.

There was music, dancing and so much fun at trädgådstorget. Photo credit: Isabella Henriksson

 

 

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My first Christmas holiday in Sweden Part 2

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I couldn’t travel till the 23rd. I had promised to attend a party the previous evening and I did just that. I spent the day compiling the results from my project. Very early the next day,  I was staring at the snow capped rooftops and the glassy lakes through the window on the upper deck of the SJ train.  That had become my favorite seat choice for traveling around Sweden. With those seats came the opportunity to catch breath taking views of the city and country sides along the route. After 3 hours, I was in a bus on my way to my brother’s house in Uppsala.

At the cathedral in Uppsala. Took a few minutes to believe its a statue

Not long after arriving my brother’s house, we were out again. This time for some Christmas shopping. We decided to wait till the next morning to buy the turkey. There was no way the large stock of turkeys we saw could finish overnight. We were exhausted and in no mood to carry any more items that day. A decision we would regret as the turkeys were sold out by the next day.

When everyone had gone to bed, I sneaked to place my gifts under the Christmas tree. I had decided to help Santa with getting and delivering the gifts for that home. I remember the excitement in my niece’s eyes on Christmas day when she got to open her present from Santa.  The day after Christmas we attended the service of Christmas lessons and carols at the Cathedral.  I was fascinated by the lifelike statue. It took me a couple of minutes to believe it indeed was a statue. The next day, we were out again. Tourists taking in the city sights and shopping as we went along. We ended each tour day in a local restaurant to have dinner before heading home. By the 30th we were bored with the routine in Uppsala. So we packed a few things and by the next day we were in Stockholm.  We checked into a hotel and stepped out to continue our all too familiar task of touring.

 

We decided to take a boat ride. The smell of the sea breeze in the winter morning air was an experience I will not be forgetting any time soon.

Having dessert on the boat.

There was a tour guide showing us places of interest. There was music and yes, there were breakfast and lunch buffets. The boat ride ended around 4 pm and we proceeded to an ice skating ring. We were content with just watching other individuals skate. After visiting as many places in the city as we could, we returned to the hotel around 8 pm to get some rest. We were out again  around 10 pm to grab a late dinner before heading to find a great spot to watch the  new year fireworks. We followed the crowd and with the help of police officers stationed around to maintain order, we settled on a spot in front of a castle by the water front. A few minutes to midnight, a boat with it lights off, slowly made its way towards us and stopped right in front of the castle.   At the stroke of midnight, the fireworks were let loose. Blaring from the boat and lighting up the night sky. Greeted with cheers, whistles and shouts of  gott nytt år (happy new year)!

A few days later I was on the train, on my way back to Linkoping. The holidays were over but I probably smiled through out the journey as my mind was flooded with pleasant memories of my first Christmas in Sweden.

 

 

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