Summertime: The Swedish Stuga
It’s summer in Sweden! Actually, it’s sommar in Sweden 🙂
That means it’s time for those notoriously loooooong days, short nights, and an overall generally relaxed feeling as most people take their semester or long vacation.
(UPDATE: If you’re offended by the opinion of a housewife’s blog, get a life.)
Two years ago during this week in July when errrrything in Sweden is shut down (including the helicopter base) we had the opportunity to travel, and we chose to go to Oslo! Then last year we did as the Swedes do, and rented a stuga for a week!
The Stuga is a cottage or cabin (typically?) located in the forest and/or by water and/or on an island. It seems to be what fairy tales might be based on: a quaint red building with bright white trim, nestled in a lush green forest bursting with smultron, blueberries, and mushrooms. Pristine views all around.
We decide to rent a stuga (red! in the forest! by a beautiful lake!) last summer, along with Matt’s parents who came to visit a new little Porter. I figured not only would it give us all a really nice authentic Swedish experience, but it would offer some respite from the loud city and hot (HOT) apartment.
Our stuga was one of three in a grouping on a family’s property. They listed it to be rented on Sven’s List (blocket.se), where we found it and snatched it up for a week. It had cable TV (!) and air conditioning (!), so it was actually kind of exciting because those are two luxuries we don’t have at home. Not that we went to enjoy either one of those, nej, we went to just chill out surrounded by nature. They were visiting for two weeks, and since our apartment is too small for visitors, this was a great option for us all to stay under one roof together for a bit. I really wanted this to be a time to allow for some quality grandparent and baby bonding time; however, our little six-week old had other plans, as his first real fussy, clingy phase showed up during this time.
We did big breakfasts with pots and pots of great coffee. We grilled every night. We took long walks through the surrounding forest and even took off to explore a little bit of the surrounding area (Kisa).
Most mornings we would roll out of bed and sneak out to go for a walk. Matt’s flannels were big enough to wrap around me and the baby in his carrier, so it was pretty snuggly during the cooler times of day. Plus we could keep his chew toy (wubanub pacifier) easily accessible.
The smultrons and blueberries were great for picking, so we grabbed handfuls when we could, to eat as snacks or with breakfast. Have I mentioned what a smultron is before? It’s a teeny tiny little strawberry that tastes like the sweetest candy ever. Soooo good!
Matt and his Dad went fishing across the lake a couple of times, and we ate some of their catch one night. In hindsight, I remember it fondly, despite having a tiny monkey baby who wanted to be attached to me every second of the day.
Here’s the inside of the stuga for those who geek out at interiors/Scandinavian interiors like me.
It seems that every Swede has a stuga, either their own or a family place, and they go there to spend weekends and holidays all throughout the summer months. I haven’t interviewed anybody, so correct me if I’m off here, but the stuga seems to be a very important part of the culture. It represents a truly social, happy gathering place to spend relaxing and playing with those closest to you during the most beautiful time of year. And if you know anything about a Scandinavian summer, it’s really one of the most perfect things in the world to experience.
I’m glad we at least got a couple of chances at that. Two outta three ain’t bad 😉
We’re taking detailed mental notes for when we build our own mountain cabin one day. It will be the finest Swedish-inspired luxury cabin/tiny house America may ever see. Ha, or it might just be red with white trim, with an all white interior and Ikea kitchen where I house all my collected Swedish textiles, Morberg cookbooks, and Dala horses. Or it just might be a real stuga here in Sweden. You never know. Crazier things have happened…like getting to LIVE in Sweden in the first place. I am thankful for that, all complaints aside 🙂