Summer in Sweden!

This time my column will be about Sweden and Midsummer celebrations in the archipelago with a completely different temperature than in Bangkok. 

After having spent a very nice National Day and Midsummer in Bangkok, it was time to celebrate in Sweden. It seems like I will never learn to pack the right outfits for summer in Scandinavia. I should know by now, that thin summer dresses are completely wrong.

Since I arrived in Sweden, begin of June, I have been freezing. The cold wind and a temperature of 13 to 17 degrees are killing you.

The day before Midsummer, I went with an old friend, who I got to know in Bangkok, to Smögen, where she has a very nice apartment. I remember Smögen from my childhood, a place that always was more than crowded during the Midsummer weekend. The luxury yachts were lining up one after the other by the bridge. If you happened to get space as the last boat, you sometimes had to jump over 3 to 5 other boats to reach the bridge.

The air was charged and the mood high.

Already at lunch time people started to drink beer and Aquavit and you could hear the classic snaps songs all over the place. The shops had been emptied of herring and the, for the Swedes, so special new potatoes, were sold out quickly. Towards the afternoon, you saw the people swaying towards the midsummer pole to take part in the traditional dances. In the evening every restaurant and bar were packed with well refreshed guests and the atmosphere was on fire.

My friend and I were very surprised to see how relatively quiet everything was this year. Not at all as many yachts as you expected, no drunk people, nicely dressed people, from a very young age to elderly, dancing “The small frogs are funny to see” and most participants wearing nice flower wreaths on their heads. At this time, around 3 pm, even the sun came out and contributed with its warm rays to the celebration.

Dancing around the pole is probably one of the most Swedish traditions and it’s nice to see how both the young people and the elderly participate.

Some people had brought a blanket and prepared for a picnic on the lawn. It was a very nice sight and despite both beer and bubbles, people managed to keep quite sober.

In the evening the real parties started, there were queues to almost all restaurants and bars and some of them started as piano bars, but later on turned into discos.

My friend and I decided to have a really nice herring lunch at home and a delicious dinner in the evening, also at home, but later on we were ready to explore the night life. Arm in arm we went to a piano bar and enjoyed the guy playing and singing. On the way, we realized that more security guards and policemen were present than normally, they seemed almost to be in majority compared to guests.

Luckily they didn’t have much to do as it was a calm, civilised atmosphere on the whole place.

It is hard to go home and return to bed as it is light most of the night. We were asking ourselves how it came, that the whole midsummer day and night could be so pleasant and calm, if it had something with the previous Covid to do or if people just were more cautious and behaving more properly and had realized that getting drunk and waking up the next day with a hangover, isn’t really that nice?

We went to bed in a good mood after much delicious wine and lots of singing and dancing.

Midsummer day, we woke up to heavy rain and very chilly air. A dip in the sea wasn’t to think about. We had real brownish water caused by an early Mareld (Milky seas) that almost looked like lobster bisques.

It’s a phenomenon whereby the surface of the sea sometimes lights up or glows in varying shades of blue, but this time an old inhabitant told us there were kind of bacteria making the color brownish/red instead of extremely bluish. Not dangerous, but unappetizing.

Sunday morning was also wet and grey but around lunchtime the sun came out and it was possible to go for a walk.

As I’m not really used to cold weather anymore, I of course, caught a light summer cold, but it was worth it as Midsummer was a great success.


About Agneta de Bekassy

Author at ScandAsia and blogger on other websites as well. Swedish influencer in Bangkok

View all posts by Agneta de Bekassy

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