I intended to make a single post about our trip back to Sweden but it became so long I decided to split it into two parts. You can find the first part here.

After the train debacle that you can read about in my last post, we were really happy to see my parents standing on the platform as the train rolled into Helsingborg station. All the stress from the last two days just melted away as we stepped off the train into their arms. Pretty much as soon as we got to the house, things slowed down and we switched from travel mode to relaxation mode. It actually felt a lot like the summers of my youth when you didn’t really have any plans and could just enjoy doing nothing. The difference now was of course the fact that there was a small boy running around that we had to keep an eye on. Funny side note: the weather in Sweden was actually a lot nicer than it had been in France so Jean, who kept teasing me for the cold Swedish summers when we were working together, had to eat his words.

Since we only had two weeks in Sweden we did actually have to make some plans. These mostly revolved around meeting my extended family since they have not met my son until now. It was great to see everyone again and get a (brief) chance to catch up. It was also really great to see that my son, who can be quite shy, was willing to play with all the aunts, uncles and cousins within just a few minutes of meeting them. It’s as if he could sense the family bond.

Big collage of our friends and extended family

My brother didn’t want to be in any of the photos so one of his art pieces will have to represent him instead

When we weren’t meeting my extended family we spent our time doing all the normal things you’re supposed to do during the Swedish summer: we went swimming in the sea; we went crab fishing in the marina; we ate our meals outside whenever the weather permitted; we went mushroom picking in the forest; we had ice cream while watching the boats in the harbor; we went to the lake and rowed out to a small island; we even made a fire a couple of evenings when the weather was just cold enough. For me it was all very familiar, yet strange because it’s been too long since the last time. It was very enjoyable none the less.

We tried to bring Tantan swimming, but only succeeded partially

We made a small outing to the only sandy beach in the area

I think at this point it’s worth to mention that my family is privileged enough to have access to two summer houses, one in the south of Sweden close to the ocean, and one up north (well, actually central Sweden but most people think of it as the north) by a lake. On the way between them we made a detour to Göteborg, where I used to study, and met up with several of my old friends from university. I had a great evening with them. Unfortunately we were so busy chatting that we forgot to take pictures from that evening.

After our detour to Göteborg we headed to my parents house and from there to the cottage up north.

Despite a bit of trouble with the train I think this trip was a huge success. It was great to see so many of my relatives again, and I think they were really happy to finally meet Tantan. I’m glad he also seemed to enjoy playing with them. I think he also matured a lot during this trip, as if the change in environment forced him out of his comfort zone a bit which stimulated his mental growth. For my part, I think it was really good for me to have some time off without any planned activities; I really enjoyed the slow pace and simple pleasures. I can assure you it will be a lot less than six years until our next trip back to Sweden.

I couldn’t help but to post one final photo