Storforsen – The Great Rapids

Storforsen 2014

High up in north Sweden, 80 km inland from the coastal town Piteå, lies one of the biggest rapids in Europe. It’s name is Storforsen, and it’s beautiful.

On average it has a flow of 250 cubic meters per second, around Midsummer when the flow is at it’s highest that number changes to 870 cubic metres. The water runs so violent that even during the coldest winter months it never completely freezes over.
In other words, it’s an impressive sight, and the sound it makes is deafening.

Read more…

A summer of sun and water

Ok, I’m back. It was a close call, but I made it through.
In the future when I look back on the summer of 2014 I will remember 2 things: the sun and the water.

The sun

Up here we had the warmest summer in basically forever, with temperatures of around 30°C every single day. In north Sweden that is scorching hot. Any winds or clouds that might sweep past didn’t do anything to soften the heat.
There were reports of “tropical nights”, nights when the temperature never drops below 20°C.

It didn’t rain for weeks. Our lawn was all brown and crispy and didn’t grow at all, but on the other hand our strawberries were unusually sweet.

Needless to say, I almost perished. :sick: And almost killed every cheerful bastard raving about what a wonderful weather it was!

Fucking summer… thank god it’s short lived up here.
It’s been cold and rainy this whole week, and nobody is happier than me! ;)

The water

The mere idea of laying in the sun on a beach makes me panic, but I love swimming, and even just being around water makes the warmth seem a little less pressing. So, on a summer like this, the only reasonable activity is going swimming!

I don’t think I’ve spent this much time in and around water since I was a child. I’ve been swimming in lakes, rivers, and even the sea. Was really nice actually.

We also spent a whole day exploring the great rapids near where my dad lives, but I’ll post about that later. They deserve an entry of their own. :)

Summer 2014 - Kärringviken

Not a lake, but a river. Markus’s parents live on the other side.

Summer 2014 - Överhörnäs
Summer 2014 - Åte
 

So that’s what I’ve been doing all summer: sweating and swimming.
What about you?

Summer vacation 2014

I’m officially on summer break right now.
We get 4 weeks off work every summer, and right now I’m on my first week. The next 3 weeks will be spent visiting parents and just enjoying the freedom. (Especially the freedom of getting to stay up at night and sleep in the morning!)

I tend to hibernate in the summer and will probably not be blogging until work starts again, so if you want to know what I’m up to I suggest following me on Twitter or Instagram.

Have a nice summer!
Eat lots of ice cream and remember to wear sunscreen!
:D

Lakeside

Yeah, it looks nice, but the water was bloody freezing!

7 kinds of flowers – a summer spell

Wood cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum)

Wood cranesbill (Geranium sylvaticum) or as we call them; Midsummer flower

This past Friday we celebrated Midsummer’s Eve here. In these modern times it’s mostly an excuse to eat good food, drink ridiculous amounts of alcohol, and shamelessly flirt (or more…) with everyone that comes near. It’s a holiday celebrating life, love, and the sweet return of summer.

According to old folklore though, the Midsummer night is a night of magic.

The sun is at it’s highest and the forests and fields are bursting with new life, the powers of nature are never as strong as they are now. There are many spells and rituals suitable to perform on that night, and a good many of them have to do with finding out who your true love will be.

Of course, most people don’t really believe in magic, but it’s still considered a cute tradition, especially among young girls.

Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)

Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)

Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)

Cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)

White clover (Trifolium repens)

White clover (Trifolium repens)

 

The most common “spell” is the one about putting flowers under your pillow. I’ve heard many different versions, but this is the one I was told as a child:

  • Find a crossroads where 7 different kinds of flowers grow.
  • Pick one of each flower and bind them together with a ribbon.
  • Put the little bouquet under your pillow, and once you fall asleep you will dream about your future spouse.

I tried it a couple of times myself when I was little, but I never dreamt about anyone as far as I can remember. Maybe because I usually cheated with the crossroads thing, it’s more difficult than it sounds to find one with exactly 7 kinds of flowers. :P
(FYI, the flowers in this post did not all grow at the same spot.)

Do you have any similar “future love rituals” where you come from?

Arctic starflower (Trientalis europaea)

Arctic starflower (Trientalis europaea). My favourite flower in the whole world.

Summer flowers

Don’t know the species of this one…

May lily (Maianthemum bifolium)

May lily (Maianthemum bifolium)

 
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