Last Hurrah in Sweden…

Rajne, Bengt and I watched Alfred Hitchcock’s Frenzy together on Friday night, after flying back from London, then driving from Göteborg toStockholm. Frenzy, released in 1972, was his second to last film. Having just been in London, I was excited to recognize places we had been and the familiar names from around our hotel (hello, Big Ben, Parliament and the London Dungeon). I didn’t expect the dark humor amidst the horror…quite a nice contrast. And I loved the inspector suffering through his wife’s French culinary explorations. Especially the pig’s feet. Pied au cochon! 

Saturday, we went to visit Rajne’s great aunt, Anita, her husband, Seppo, Anita’s daughter, Lillan, her son, Janne, Janne’s wife, Ann-louise, their 16 year old son, Johan, Janne’s son, Joakim, his girlfriend, Nena, their toddler son Harley, and finally, another toddler cousin, William (Janne’s other grandson, I think). They live near Tyresö Castle in a lovely forested area. The castle hosts huge Midsummer Celebrations (30,000 people…whoa!). Every house has their own dock in the lake. The lake is connected to the ocean and features a popular archipelago. 

We enjoyed fika together, which is the most important word in Swedish (or so I’m told…they could be pulling my leg. Oh, and I apparently called it “kiva” in an earlier post. My memory is spotty at best.). It’s a coffee break with sweets and salty snacks to eat, which for us, included a cake topped with nuts and caramel sauce, atop a chocolate crust, cheese doodles and sour cream n’ onion potato chips. I had Coke since coffee seems to eat a hole in my stomach. Did I mention that they seem to eat a lot of sweets here? 

We toured Lillan and Janne’s homes briefly. Everyone has been working on remodeling projects, mostly kitchens and floors, and they all help each other. Lillan and Janne both live down the hill from Anita and Seppo. The homes aren’t enormous due to current size restrictions, but they have so much character and are very neatly kept. They all have triple thick windows to save energy, especially important during the winter. (Sorry, no photos of these homes…I was trying to be less tourist/more low key guest.) Lillan has a great sunroom with lots of fruits, vegetables and flowers growing, including two enormous cucumbers, lemons and (I don’t know the name of the flowers). 

Anita, Lillan and Seppo prepared a feast for everyone later that day. Ribs, steaks, small golden potatoes baked to perfection, salad, watermelon, Béarnaise sauce, and fresh bread with butter and something akin to Parmesan cheese. I think we ate for over an hour, maybe longer. The steak was very flavorful and the potatoes were divine! 

The hospitality was amazing! Many thanks to all of Rajne’s family, Jan, Gittan, Bengt, Ula, Molin, Moa, Viktor, Linda, Sture, Anita, Seppo, Lillan, Janne, Ann-Lousie, Johan, Joakim, Nena, Harley and William! I really enjoyed meeting and spending time with everyone! Special thanks to my honey, Rajne, for an amazing trip! Thank you for planning everything down to the last detail! 

  
    
    

Castle ruins along a gigantic lake…
  

We passed this hotel several times. It’s creepy and in the middle of nowhere. Looks like something out of a horror movie, so I had to get a picture.   
    

Me and Bengt in the park near his home
  

A local skating haunt

  
   

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