EuropeSwedenUmea

gladly stuck in a winter wonderland!

Umea Travel Blog

 › entry 5 of 38 › view all entries
walking to Nydalasjön
Life in Sweden is still going great for me. My little room now feels like my home and I still get excited when I go out and hear people talking swedish. It's still an adventure most times I go into the grocery store trying to figure out what something is. The Swedes also love their spiral staircases. I think I've only walked up one regular staircase since being here!

Not much new has happened in the last week. I've been going to what little class I have over here and what little homework I have. It is definitely a change of pace from the American college system. Unlike the American system, people over here only take 1 or 2 classes at a time and it's broken up into weeks. So right now I'm taking a sociology class and a swedish class and that's it.
still walking to Nydalasjön
Sometime in March my classes will switch again. The courses are more intense over a shorter period of time so you can't take 5 or 6 classes simultaneously like in America. However, it was a pain to try and get the books needed for my courses. The small little bookstore doesn't order very many copies of course books (maybe 2 or 3).

I've also become very fond of fika (not like I wasn't before!). Fika is a very swedish thing which is basically getting together with people and having some coffee and snacks. It's not really an option over here, more like a requirement to do this. Fika isn't something to be enjoyed once a day, more like multiple times a day.

This last week included my first trip to the Systembolaget. The Systembolaget is the state run liquor store.
Nydalasjön
They have very limited selection of everything compared to the liquor stores in the United States. This last week also included my first trip to a swedish sports pub. I went on Satruday with a few friends to catch the United-Spurs football (as in soccer) game and enjoy a pint. The only annoying thing about being American right now is that when I talk about football with people they think I'm talking about American football and not soccer. I've had some confusing conversations because of this. Some people get pretty excited when there is an American into watching football. They always ask me if I know how the game works and if I know the rules to it. I kinda laugh at them and tell them I played the game myself for 14 years. I somehow become more impressive that I not only like to watch the game but I played it too.
walking trail at Nydalasjön


I also joined iksu this last week. Iksu is this giant gym they have here, the second largest gym in Europe. When they say it's big, it's really big. I've only managed to find the gym and treadmills and a few gyms for badminton and such. There's a climbing wall somewhere in there that I'm going hunting for very soon. Needless to say though, I'm out of shape because I can barely move today after working out all weekend. And for some reason I'm going back tonight to do a yoga class with a few friends.

Yesterday was by far one of the nicest days since being here. It snowed some on Saturday night so there was a fresh little coating over the ice that is eveywhere but everything looked beautiful on Sunday morning. The other reason it was nice out was because there was actually sun! It's cloudy here like back home so I'm used to that part, but other people here aren't used to so much gloomy weather and get very excited to see the sun.
running around in the woods
After fika yesterday afternoon, we walked to Nydalasjön. Nydalasjön is a lake that is about a 20/25 minute walk from the neighborhood I live in, which is Ålidhem. Most students live in Ålidhem which can be really nice as far as getting to peoples places to have a cup of tea or make dinner with someone, or something like that. Anyways, the walk to the lake was very nice and it was beautiful out at the lake. There were plenty of other people out walking around yesterday as well. It was a bit chilly out but nothing I couldn't handle (being form MN and all!). Thanks papa & mom for the mukluks; they kept my feet warm and got me a nickname! I acquired the name Bambi yesterday because I was running around in the woods off the trails and taking pictures.
pine trees everywhere!
Last night entailed a bus excursion a.k.a. taking the wrong bus and getting back out to Nydalasjön. Since yesterday was so clear it was perfect to try and see the northern lights. So back out into the cold we went in search of the elusive. We finally got to the lake and saw the northern lights for a couple minutes before they disappeared. Most of the group got to cold and walked back home while a couple of us held out for some more of the lights. The wait in the cold was worth it since they came back again for a few minutes. It was beautiful out with the northern lights in the sky and with it being so clear to see so many stars too.

Well, that's about all I've done in the past week. I'm now just sitting here about to read some kids books to work on my swedish vocabulary. I can't wait for next weekend when I get to venture into the Arctic circle to go to the winter market in Jokkmokk...
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
walking to Nydalasjön
walking to Nydalasjön
still walking to Nydalasjön
still walking to Nydalasjön
Nydalasjön
Nydalasjön
walking trail at Nydalasjön
walking trail at Nydalasjön
running around in the woods
running around in the woods
pine trees everywhere!
pine trees everywhere!
off in the woods again at Nydalasj…
off in the woods again at Nydalas…
sunsetting on the treetops
sunsetting on the treetops
sunset while walking home
sunset while walking home
Umea
photo by: Sjoshie