Friday, September 30, 2011

SOLLEFTEÅ,SWEDEN in Aisha's photos and words

Here we go again- our Sweden, our Norrland, our faluröda hus i Sollefteå, hemma hos Sven! And again, taking sun and warmth with us, we must have provoked the WARMEST DAY END OF SEPTEMBER IN SWEDEN (on Swedish news)! Add to it an explosion of autumn colours and our happiness is complete. After 3 hour flight Geneve-Stockholm and 7 hour journey by comfortable Swedish train we have arrived to our FIRST DESTINATION.
Sven's house, outside of Sollefteå, is our refuge of peace, rest and my personal SWEDISH UNIVERSITY. Swedish proverb " Låt maten tysta mun" has it difficult with me, as my joy to meet Sven is immense! He has to remind me philosophicaly that "Tiden har vi fått för att allt inte skall skall ske samtidigt!" that is " we have got the time so that everything does not happen at the same time", and stricktly- do not talk, eat now!

Our meals can be converted into philosophical discussions, like the one about time. Recommended lecture: BODIL JÖNSSON " Ten thoughts on time "( Tio tankar om tid) and " 10 years later"

We enjoy our " brittsommar", or indian summer, charging our batteries before our next tango action.
The weather permits me to do my streching-yoga on the wooden terrace outside.Traditionally. It's our fourth time back in this house. The house is surrounded by forests, making a lovely view to contemplate.

The beautiful weather does not deceive Sven, who has his timber supplies for the winter ready. It kept him warm while chopping, it will keep him warm later, in the winter. Victor was keen to try, under kind supervision of Sven. Not an easy job at all!

Another job to be done now, before the first snow ( EXPECTED AT ANY TIME!) is to change the tyres of the car for the winter tyres, the funny ones with the spikes.

The trees, especially maple and rönn are are a spectale. Here, a rönn tree melting with faluröda hus in the background. From Sven's University: " Surt, sa räven om rönnbären!"
Norrland is my favourite part of Sweden. Open spaces, big rivers ( älvar), mountains and fjords and the nicest people. Now we have a taste of autumn here. Gorgious! I feel like giving a hostskriek, exactly like Ronja Rövardotter på våren . The woods look like on fire.
Victor is happy to reunite with his beloved indian pale ale. Never lack of it in Sven's house. He knows our tastes very well. Our special "sightseeing" tour is to systembolaget. The wide variety of alcohols from all over the world. Can't find what you want- you an always order it and they will get it for you. Today we went to collect the Argentinean wine Jean Busquet from Tupungato, Mendoza, just released, that Seven ordered to honour our visit. For special surprise dinner on Saturday.
In honour of his past ( retired military officer) and to satisfy our desire for the Swedish tradition, he cooked a special Thursday's meal for us: peas soup ( ärtsoppa) with hot punch and pancakes with blåbär-hallon marmelade and clotted cream. He complained that to be perfect he should have served us herring with snaps as a starter.
We used our first autumn days for walks and car excursions. Sven's area is a nature's paradise. You do not have to go far. Älv, suspension bridge, forests- all within a walking distance.

We pass by horses grazing peacefully.
All with the matures gold-brown-green-redish background.
A horsy kiss! ( Swedish normally do not kiss hallo, they stretch a hand, unless they dance tango and are trained to become more intimate with one another).
One of our walk leads us to the authentic Swedish bakery in a lovely old refurbished house. On the door we recognize our poster.
I cannot resist blåbärsmuffin and Sven inmediately buys some for coffe break. I fall for anything with/of blåbär: blåbärsyoghurt, blåbärssoppa,blåbärssylt....
Autumn landscape is a kaleidoscope. Montain woods on fire. Wherever we look, I feel like taking a photo. Sven laughs. Victor gets upset.

I am surprised by the juxtoposition of freshly juicy green grace and the autumn leaves on the tress.

Next day Sven takes us to a breathtaking building, probably, undoubtedly the most beautiful in Sollefteå. It is TINGSHUSET, an ex court of justice. IT IS A PLACE HE ARRANGED FOR OUR TANGO WORKSHOPS!

WE are really honoured to dance tango in buildings like this! The reason he took us here two days before our tango mission is obvious: he knew I need to take pics and that takes time....
The inside was as impressive as outside; all wood carpentry with viking ornaments, high ceilings. Everything is protected and you cannot even more a " judge's chair" from its place. What we did was a spontaneous tango with Sven to check the floor.
And the classes:

If you ever thought about Sweden, northern Sweden, as a cold country mind that: first of October a coffe time ( even breakfast) can take place outside, in the garden. On the other hand, Sven announced that we have just had our first frost early in the morning. Next time he is going to wake us up to see the frost designs on the window shields and grass.
Very unswedish again: our student and friend from Skelleftea, Elisabeth, visited us without announcing it, giving us a lovely surprise! Another one was her loosing weight, so that we photographed our bellies- her new one with 4 kg less, my new one with a couple of kg more ( thanks to tunnbrod and other Swedish delicacies plus previous Swiss cheese treatment). We will see Elisabeth in our due time, 2 weeks later, we we arrive to Pitea or Lulea ( some... 800 km from here?)
One of our walks was a thematical one: picking up mushrooms! Victor was more excited of the beaver's job with the trees however.
From Sven's University: sharing his knowledge about mushroom recognition karl johan svamp
svart/rodgul trumpetsvamp
smorsopp ( on the photo)

Out of all the mushrooms Victor preferred and picked up the most ostentatiously beautiful ones, obviously poisonous.

OBVIOUSLY, there is no visit in Norrland, Sweden, without our favourite dish, SALMON!Sven ( and most of our organisers, students and friends) knows that and it was only a question of days to have our regal dinner: saumon a la norrlandaise.
Apart from enjoynment, I took the recipe ( one day, in Buenos Aires....)

Lax (kotletter en per person utom för Victor, minst 2 ½ och för dig 1 ½!)
50 g smör smälts och
häll på plåt och fisk med citronpeppar

200° (225°)

När fisken är färdigstekt i ugnen, sila spad i kastrull med purjolök och dill.
Låt detta puttra + 3 dl grädde till krämig konsistens.

Häll detta över fisken och värm allt i ugnen.

Servera med potatis
Tango world is full of surprises. The Sunday one was a joint-venture of Annika and Sven. Anika lives pretty far away from Solleftea, but when she learnt we were here, she told us on the phone that she regretted not being able to drive to see us and participate in the workshops. Understandable, everybody has his/her life. We last saw one another 2 years ago in Buenos Aires.
But, alas, after the workshops in Kramfors, heading for the workhops in Solleftea, we all craved for a coffe break, And korv, if possible. I wished to get out of the " civilisation" and try to find a nice place with more nature. And there we were, getting off the highway, towards the lake, whom shall we see but Anika, laying a table for us: there was all the delicious swedish delicacies we could ask for, but also MATE! All that with the most beautiful ladscape of lake and the mountains with colors of fire. Mate and tunnbrod never tasted better! THANK YOU ANNIKA FOR THIS SURPRISE, thank you Sven for keeping it a surprise, so unswedish!

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