Sweden before the lock down

Norwegian Forrest Cat

There is a saying, and I am sure you heard it, don’t postpone to tomorrow what you can do today. It is great advice and I didn’t adhere to it when I postponed my trip to Sweden to see friends and family. In my defense I had no idea that a global pandemic was lurking, about to affect and change our lives.

Instead of going in November I booked flights mid March.

On the way to the airport and my outbound flight I had a message from British Airways that my flight had been cancelled. I had come so far there was no going back so I went to the airport and asked them to check my whole trip. No problems they said, it might be an error. I didn’t think any more of it and boarded my flight.

Every time I land it feels like coming home, perhaps more so because everything is so familiar. I have the same feeling when walking around in my home town. I always try to plan having a few hours to just go for a walk and feel the city. It is familiar but the longer I am away the more it is changing and this time I felt some discord, every here and there it didn’t feel like home, maybe it is slipping away.

Something that always feel like home is when I see friends and family.

view from a window

It was cold and rainy outside but it was warm and cosy inside and I was so happy to get a great start to my trip.

It was serious catch up time with a friend who is recovering from cancer. She has lost lots of weight and each bite needs to be as calorific as possible. I offered to cook a few meals. I did a roam around the kitchen cupboards and went to the local grocery store.

I ended up making this prawn bake for lunch.

Creamy leek & prawn bake

preparation time 5 minutes

cooking time 25 minutes

oven 180C/356F

serves 2

Ingredients

  • 300 gr/10.5 oz cooked, peeled & frozen prawns
  • 1/3 leek, sliced fine
  • asparagus, peeled and cut
  • 1 1/2 dl or 3/4 cup cream
  • a pinch of salt, pepper, herbs provencale and paprika
  • 1 wholemeal roll cut in to small cubes, more to serve
  • butter to grease the dish

Grease the dish and place the frozen prawns in the bottom with the sliced leek and asparagus.

Pour the cream over the leeks and prawns.

Mix the cubed bread with the spices and sprinkle over.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and serve with more bread.

Prawn bake

It was such a simple dish but delicious.

The next day I went to see another friend. She had the afternoon off so we hunkered down on the sofa and it was catch up time. I couldn’t help taking a few photos of her incredibly fluffy and gorgeous Norwegian forest cats. They are very inquisitive and liked to look at me, from a distance at first but purring on my lap before I left.

Norwegian Forrest Cat
Norwegian forest cat

We had a nice big family dinner with lots of laughter, we went down memory lane and made plans together for the future.

The following morning my friend went to work and her daughter, my god daughter and myself went to brunch.

I was following Egg & Milk on social media. I was finally in Gothenburg with time to go, and with company as well! Egg & Milk is an American diner, the concept is great and we managed to grab the last available table and ordered.

A stack of fluffy pancakes was a must, as was a bagel. It was a great catch up!

american pancakes
bagel

We both live our food so after some window shopping we did what everyone in Gothenburg does, we went to a cafe. Sweden is in the top three most coffee drinking nations so there are plenty of them. You can sit for hours and sip your coffee or tea, there is always food if you are hungry and no matter if you are on your own or with friends, it is a way of life.

Every cafe was selling the Swedish pastry semla. A semla is a round cardamon bun. The top is cut off and some of the inside is scraped out. The inside of the bun is mixed with an almond paste and then scooped back in to the bun. Whipped cream is placed on top, the cut off top is dusted with icing sugar and placed back on top of the cream.

A semla is quite filling and I couldn’t help taking a photo when I saw a mini semla! What a great idea.

semla

In the afternoon I meet up with another friend and we headed to Nääs Fabriker where we had decided to spend the night. Nääs Fabriker is an old, lakeside, cotton mill that has been converted to retail and office space and an hotel and spa.

Lake at Naas Frabriker Sweden

As we arrived the sun was setting over the lake and it made for and idyllic view.

The whole purpose of checking in to an hotel was to talk without any distractions. We talk about everything and anything under the sun from the moment we wake up until the moment we fall asleep. There is never quite enough time. The building is beautifully converted and the views stunning.

lakeside at naas fabriker
naas fabriker
naas fabriker hotel room

There is a spa, we had so much to talk about we didn’t feel we had the time so bought some snacks to the room and stayed there until dinner. Boring? We didn’t have time to be bored and there is always room for a snack.

snacks

After much deliberation we ended up with a take away, for once I wasn’t there for the food.

This is the view in the morning when I opened the window. It was a gorgeous day.

naas fabriker hotel room view

Breakfast was great and my favorite is Kalles Kaviar. Check out the fancy dispenser! Kalles kaviar is a part of my life and no boiled egg is ever the same without this cod roe mix.

kalles kaviar

We went to Nääs Slott, a national building memorial and a nature reserve, it’s history can be traced back to the bronze age.

naas slott

There is a range of activities and the stables are full. I remember I used to come here sometimes when I was young to ride a friends horse. The stables are still full.

naas slott stables

The views are impressive.

view naas slott

After Nääs Slott we stopped at a shop that used to be a high end interior shop, it was a bit of a surreal experience to realize that it has become an all year Christmas shop.

All year Christmas shop

After this we stopped for lunch. I decided to check in for my flight the following day only to discover that the flight back, that British Airways had checked at Heathrow before I left, was cancelled. It was also impossible to re book as the only message I got when I logged on was that my flight home had already been taken, despite the fact that I was a day early.

British Airways don’t have any representation in Gothenburg and it is impossible to get through on the phone. The chat function wasn’t working and there was no response via social media. Denmark was closing it’s boarders due to Covid and I was unsure if I could get home by train or if I would be stuck. In the end I had simply buy a new ticket, at great expense the same night to be sure I would be able to get home.

I have flown a lot over the years and I have never seen the airport so empty.

landvetter airport

I just made my train home when I landed and breathed a sigh of relief.

British Airways refused any compensation except for the flight they had cancelled, much cheaper than the one I had to buy and they even cut me off when I asked for an explanation claiming they had done nothing wrong.

Maybe I will take the train next time but I have a feeling it will be a while.

Take care and be safe!

Comments
2 Responses to “Sweden before the lock down”
  1. I’m glad you’ve managed to stay a while with the family 🥰
    Stay safe! 🌸

    • petra08 says:

      hi Ribana, thank you. I am glad I went but it was oh so close and I have to admit I was very happy to be able to make it back! Stay safe too! x

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