Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beach Week

Swedish preschool was in session through week 27 (Swedes use weeks to mark the time) so their last day was Friday, July 4. Steve was in need of a relaxing break from work, so for the first week of vacation he wanted to go to the beach. We are close to the water here in Gothenburg, but the shoreline is studded with granite boulders.  I heard that there are sandy beaches as you go farther south, though, so I jumped on a stuga (cottage) rental website and amazingly found one still available for week 28.  It's in Österlen, which is part of Skåne County, the southern tip of Sweden.  Sweden is roughly the size of California, so it took us under 4 hours to get there, including stops.  And stop we did!  We drove down the western coast at first, stopping for a quick lunch in Varberg's harbor.

Tullbron Bridge, Falkenberg
I am so thankful that Steve doesn't mind doing the driving, and how he accommodates me when I send him on a wild goose chase to find some bridge I saw on Pinterest.  I love him.  He's a keeper.  And he helped make this Family Trip into the best possible beach week in Sweden with preschoolers.  That is all.

Back to the drive down to the beach...  Miles and miles of gorgeous farmland.  A veritable patchwork quilt of crops, punctuated by quaint barns, stone fences, and majestic windmills.

Rapeseed crop for canola oil
After a few hours and endless "How many minutes?" we arrived at this little corner of the Baltic Sea.

I'm used to beach vacations where we stay within walking distance of the beach, but I am not used to being able to lay in bed and hear the crashing waves through the open windows in July.  Such a treat!  It was in the 70s: warm enough to be in a bathing suit on the beach, but not hot enough for the sand to burn your feet or the sun to beat down until you fry to a crisp.  The water was pretty chilly on most days, which meant we didn't have to worry about the kids.  They'd stick their feet in to fill up a bucket, but otherwise they'd play in the sand all morning long.

We had the beach to ourselves, the water was a beautiful green, and although there were few shells there was a pile of big pebbles where the waves crested.

After lunch Bowen would crash and wake up happy, then we'd head out and explore the area.  This is Kivik, the little fishing village to our south.

Here is Åhus, a riverside town to our north.

Made here, but twice as expensive as in the US

Hollyhocks everywhere

Although this is a relatively touristy holiday area, nowhere we went was particularly crowded and I didn't miss the 95 beach traffic or having to drive 4-6 hours from our house in Virginia to get to a nice stretch of sand.  There were no seagulls, no airplanes with banners, no big signs advertising dinner specials, no souvenir shops or cars cruising with their bass pumping.  Instead there was quaint country charm with stone barns and their thatched roofs, cobblestone sidewalks, konsthandverk (handcraft) galleries, birch forests, marinas with old wooden boats, and countless ice cream stands.

 Click here for Beach Week: Part 2.



Molly Cahill said...

That looks like the perfect beach vacation to me. Sublime! I am so glad for you and jealous all at the same time!

J. said...

So pretty! No preschool-ending-before-June there either ;) Jill