Last month was midsommar in Sweden. The Scandinavian country’s official tourist site Visit Sweden says “Apart from Christmas, midsummer is the most important holiday in the Swedish calendar. For some, midsummer is the most important.”
It’s hard to imagine that I was in Sweden 11 years ago working on a 6 month visa and experiencing my first extended stay abroad. The weekend I arrived in Stockholm was midsommar, and I ventured to Skansen, the world’s largest open-air museum, to experience this celebration firsthand. Imagine people dancing (around what I thought to be a May pole) in traditional costumes–I even created a floral crown and wore it throughout the day.
Midsummer at Skansen
Royal View of Gamla Stan
Gamla Stan Dining
A Good Reminder!
That summer was magical–from the nearly 19 hours of daylight to exploring my neighborhood of Södermalm. I fell in love with my summer city, especially daily walks to explore nearby kyrka (churches with stunning architecture) and museums like Vasamuseet. I happened across festivals, met up with visiting friends, and became a huge fan of toast Skagen (prawns on sautéed bread).
While my visit was brief, the cultural–and personal–impact this summer in Sweden made upon my life was profound. I adventured, navigated, and journeyed (often alone), which was the beginning of visiting places around the globe fearlessly.
Nothing says summer like midsommar in Sweden. Since we’re ending April and springing into summertime shortly, I had to share one of my favorite photos from 2007. This particular year, I spent the summer living in Stockholm, which is one of my favorite cities in the world. The travel POTM™ is a photo I took of the island Stadsholmen from my neighboring district of Södermalm. The Tall Ships had just arrived for that year’s version of the famed race, and I captured a gorgeous event moment of the skyline when looking at the ships. To this day, this photo is still the background wallpaper on my iPhone.
I arrived to a sunny, gorgeous Portland several summers ago—after a flight that was chock-full of huge arena football players! In the city for a conference, I got fantastic local recommendations for activities and dining from a former local. My colleague and I really enjoyed some fabulous meals—turkey at Huber’s (the oldest restaurant in the city that has every turkey dish one could ever conjure up) and a stellar view and dinner at Portland City Grill—as we spent three days in this great walking city.
Downtown was easy to navigate on foot, and a streetcar system covers much of it and the trendy Pearl District. I caught a festival of sandcastles whilst there and enjoyed the casual Pacific Northwest vibe of the city. The weather was fabulous and the sights (including the gigantic Portlandia statue and the famous Powell’s books) were great…I highly recommend a visit to the City of Roses!