Amanda Goes to Sweden: Winding down but not slowing down
Well, my taste of Stockholm summer was short-lived. After about a week of absolutely amazing weather over the Easter break, May made its arrival with heaps of rain and threats of snow (seriously, it snowed on May 1; no accumulation though, luckily). It’s getting warmer slowly, but it’s still not quite time yet to leave your jacket at home. I guess that’s really not much different than Illinois right now but it’s still frustrating. The sun is now officially up until 10:00 pm. It starts setting around 8:30 and it’s pretty much dusk up until 10:00. It’s super strange. Our schedule starts to get so thrown off, we’re all eating dinner almost two hours later than we did before, just because we think it’s more like 7:00 pm outside than 9:00 pm.
To be perfectly honest, it’s really depressing to realize that this is my last month here. I’m only now starting to find my way through the city and feel like I can handle my own wandering around town. I’ve got an awesome group of friends here and I really enjoy where I’m living. It’s so weird to think that soon we will all be in different countries again. There’s so much I still want to do in Stockholm. It’s reaching panic time to make sure I hit all the sites in time before we leave.
As a corridor, we are going to Finland next weekend, so that should be exciting. We’ll be in Helsinki for the same amount of time as Tallinn—just a couple of hours. I also just finished planning a weeklong trip through Italy! It will be our last hurrah before we come back to the U.S., and I’m really excited. We’ll be taking the train from Milan to Venice, then Florence, then Rome! We get kicked out of our student housing here at the end of May but our flight doesn’t leave until after school officially ends, so I figured I might as well spend my homeless time traveling, though I will get to enjoy two nights of homelessness, sleeping on the floor of my corridor-mates’ rooms. Woohoo!
My most recent adventure was traveling to another university town on April 30 to celebrate Valborg, which is essentially like a celebration of the welcoming of spring, if I understand correctly. We took a train to another city about an hour away, Uppsala, and watched some crazy people race boats down a river through the center of the city. It was cool to be in a university town again. The weather had been absolutely amazing up until this all-day festival. Of course, that’s when it dropped back down to coat-and-mitten weather. From what I understand, everyone essentially just finds a spot to lay down their picnic stuff and you hang out with friends and drink and eat all day long. There are stages with concerts, drum lines that just walk through crowds and people dance as they go by, and there are parks full of people, college students, and families all simply enjoying the day. At night there are bonfires and more parties. Unfortunately we were too exhausted and the weather threatened too much rain for us to stay that late. It helps if you have friends who actually live there so you don’t have to crawl onto the last train home.
Other than that, I’m just trying to soak up as much of being here as I can. I went for a walk in the forest right by our housing today, just because I could. I’m trying to take as many pictures as possible and enjoy! Sweden does so many things right; there are a lot of reasons I’m going to miss living here. But, at the same time, I really am excited to get back to the U.S. and start my summer internship and finish up my last year of school… but then that’s my last year of school. And that’s a whole new can of worms I’m not quite ready to think about yet. Anyway, I digress!
Good luck to everyone on your finals, and congratulations to all of the seniors! You made it!
Today I learned: It can still threaten to snow in Stockholm in May. I’m starting to worry that the nicest weather I’m going to experience here already happened when I went to the beach almost two weeks ago… but I guess that’s OK.