In my last post i talked a little about my first Swedish summer and how rewarding it felt to just enjoy Linköping at its best. There are plenty of things one can do around the city and the county to take the most of the season and here I will talk a little bit more about my experience and the places I have enjoyed the most:
1. Bike ride to the Blue Lagoon for a dip: this was one of the great discoveries of summer. The blue lagoon is a lake in the surroundings of the university which you can access by bike. The journey is of about 8km (one way) from Ryd, passing by different landscapes: it is amazing how in just a few minutes you can be in a more rural environment, cycling in the company of almost nobody. The final destination is then a place with clear water and many trees, where you can swim, have a picnic and lay down in the sun. I have been there more than 3 times between the beginning and end of summer, and what changes the most is the temperature of the water, its color and of course the amount of people around. In June the water is very clear but very cold and the place is mainly empty. In July the water was pretty warm, but not that clear. Although there was more people during this time, my impression is that it never gets too crowded. In August was almost the same as in June. It is definitely one of my favorite places in Linköping.
2. One day trip to Motala’s “Beach” Varamon: this was the truly summer experience as I am used to. This lake in the city of Motala, the second biggest in Sweden, works just as good as a “true” beach, in all the aspects. There you have everything: sand, water, food, crowd and the great messiness a day in the beach should look like, but still very Swedish of course. I went there first time in a very hot weekend day in the end of July, and stayed until get tired of the sun. The water was in perfect temperature, and although full of people, there are plenty room for laying down close to the water. I took my own food, but of course had to buy an ice cream to cope with the warmness. The place has public bathrooms and a nice structure which makes it easy to enjoy a full day. From linköping you take the train to Motala, which is about 30min away, and then one of the local buses that passes through to Varamon, another 15 min. It is worth the way, trust me.
3. Searching for random forests and lakes: Nature is one of the great Swedish assets, its everywhere. With around 53% of its lands covered by forests, it’s not hard to find a spot to contemplate this abundance. Around Ryd you can go for a fast walk into the Ryd forest and already feel you are far away from any civilization, such a privilege. if you are willing to go farer, different places hold great hiking options and hidden lakes. During summer I went with a friend to one of those places, close to her home, and we enjoyed the day almost in a lake that most felt like “ours”, even picked up some berries in the way (during summer you can find many spots to collect blueberries and strawberries, among other berries). So, if you feel creative, just go for it and maybe you’ll find your own nature sanctuary.
4. Walking along side Linköping’s canal and easy-swimming at the city’s pool: not every activity need to be far away from the city to be enjoyable. Linköping it’s beautiful during summer, full of people on the streets and nice public spaces to rest on in the sun. One things I really liked to do was just walking along the canal in the city center and sitting next to the water. I heard it’s possible to swim in it, but I haven’t try it. Another thing I did a lot during my vacation period in Linköping was to go a private swimming pool downtown. As I said, I really like to swim, but it’s not everyday you can go to a lake or beach. Therefore, for those day I just wanted to exercise in a place close home, I went to the Medley pool, which you have to pay, but can enjoy a nice olympic outdoor swimming pool, a artificial lake and other perks, such as the sauna. You can pay each time you go there or have a rechargeable card (with discounted price), and they have special fares for students.