Mushrooms, Berries and Moose

Sitting on a boat cruising up a fjord in Norway, reminiscing about a lovely week spent in Sweden. We visited friends, Alice and Arvid, who live on central Sweden. I always thought of it as the area where there are lots of lakes, but another look at the map reminds me the most of Sweden is covered with lots of lakes. It is pretty remote and like Australia there are some long distances between townships. Well not quiet as long as home but significantly greater then in southern Europe. As we headed off to Norway the other day Alice reminded us that there would be several stretches of road along the way with hours between settlements so prepare as if we were heading across the desert.


 Alice and Arvid live in the middle of the forest, a couple kilometres outside of a very small village and about a kilometre away from a small lake where they go ice fishing in winter and swimming in summer. It’s the classic Swedish lifestyle with the red house with white trim and the Swedish flag out front. Cross country skiing in winter, hiking in the forest in summer, preserving the summer crops to eat during the winter, its just idyllic. 


We were spoilt as both Alice and Arvid were on holidays and they spent the week taking care of us, feeding us beautiful meals, helped us with the children and showing us the many delight of this part of the world.   Many many thanks to Alice and Arvid for taking such great care of us, we are very tempted to come back in winter to have a go at the ice fishing.


Alice asked me prior to our arrival what it was we wanted to do in Sweden, and my response was ‘berry picking and walking in the forest, just the simple things.’ Craig and I have such fond memories of our previous visits to Sweden and the simple delight of walking thru the forest picking and eating wild berries, I wanted the children to experience this.


I realised while talking with Alice what it was that made the berry picking experience such a memorable one. I think its because it gives purpose to wandering in the forest, you aren’t just heading off to escape the busy, noisy everyday, you are doing something productive and purposeful. As often as you’d like in a day you can head out and seek some solitude and sustenance. Alice says she goes out most evenings in summer to pick berries and I miss having the excuse I had when we had a dog to walk, to get out in the bush each day. Additionally Alice value adds to the berries by making a range of delicious preserves with wild strawberries, raspberries, lingonberries, black currants, blue berries and cloud berries each summer that last them through the winter.


It was wonderful to have a quiet week with out the usual crazed running around seeing things (helped by the car being at the mechanics for most of the week for a new set of bearings), it was the perfect place to be still for a while. Thanks again Sweden, Alice and Arvid.

  1. Wild strawberries.
  2. Sarah picks wild strawberries. She has renamed Sweden, Berryland.
  3. Cate in the berry patch.
  4. Will’s invention test. Take 1 garden strawberry. Cover in a scoop of vanilla icecream, place a scoop of fresh cream on top and set a garden strawberry in it, crumble a shortbread over the top and then sprinkle with wild strawberries – 9/10 from the judges.
  5. The pram parade. Emmaljungas for all.
  6. Beaver hunting. Snapped at dusk…. 1015pm!!!
  7. Canadian Geese and Goslings, Grundsjön Lake.
  8. Water lillies, Grundsjön Lake.
  9. Grundsjön Lake.
  10. Swimming, Grundsjön Lake.
  11. Claire’s invention test. Wild strawberry icecream made in the Thermomix with wild strawberrys sprinkled on top, again 9/10 from the judges.
  12. Claire fitting into Swedish culture.
  13. Forest adventure.
  14. Cate discovers another Blueberry patch in the forest.
  15. Will on the trail of a Moose.
  16. Farewell from Nordmark.