For a long time I used not to care about the summer weather in my hometown of Halmstad. First we spent four years living in always warm Bangkok and after that we moved to Vilanova i la Geltrú (Barcelona), a little town on the Mediterranean coast which prides itself with 300 days of sunshine per year. But now we live in Zurich, where we certainly do not have a sun guarantee, so this summer - which in Sweden probably has been the best throughout my lifetime – I admit to nostalgically having hummed along in "Sommer in Schweden" - a song by the north German group Revolverheld.
Our children have really been able to enjoy the heat and are browner, but above all blonder, than in a long time. Summer holidays in Switzerland are short compared to Sweden as well as Catalonia and Spain, but this year although they only got four weeks in Frösakull, they have spent more time on the beach than ever before. Still in the middle of August - when I finally joined them there - the sea temperature was so high that I got out of the water when I had had enough, not because I was cold.
I am extremely happy and grateful for the fact that my sons, year after year, have had the opportunity to stay with their grandparents and thus experience the same safe and social environment – the summer camp of gymnastic club Halmstad Frigymnaster - where I spent all the summers of my childhood. It is an idyllic spot full of Astrid Lindgren style adventures. Possibly, children do not collect wild strawberries on a straw here, but they do dam up the little creek, build huts in the forest and play hide and seek until the sun sets.
This year they have also seen an unusually large part of the West Coast. My wife, who arrived in Sweden before me, took them to Frillesås, Hönö (apparently a bit of a tradition for her) and, above all, Marstrand, where they stayed overnight at the old fortress. For my part, I only had one week of vacation but still, as a full family, we managed to enjoy Frösakull and Halmstad, but also went down south to Båstad, Torekov and Helsingborg in Skåne (Scania) and up north to Kullavik (Kungsbacka, Halland).
Personally, yet another summer, I have had the chance to go running on the nice trail ("Boijeleden") between Frösakull and Tylösand - "right in the middle of my Halland" - with distorted pines and occasional low alders on one side, sand dunes with lyme grass on the other and, in between, an open landscape of heather, rose hip and birch saplings. And all the wonderful smells you find here, and only here, shifting in intensity depending on the weather.
Or "Wir liebten das Leben, den Sommer in Schweden, Nächte im Regen und alles war leicht und so klar, so wie es war", as Johannes Strate sings.
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Deutsche Version (kommt bald...)