Monday, August 04, 2008

Simrishamn, Sweden Part 1

After saying goodbye to Claire and Denmark, I boarded a train for Sweden. I arrived in Simrishamn on a bright, sunny day, and I made my way to an open kiosk to buy something so I could have change to call Martina and Jouni to say I arrived (no telephone at the station). Thankfully, the woman at the kiosk spoke English, so I could ask her where the nearest phone was. Unfortunately, her answer was, "I have no idea." So, off I rolled my little suitcase down the cobbled streets laughing at how I tell my Girl Scouts they are not allowed to bring rolly suitcases-only backpacks. Such a travel hypocrite! With change in my pocket and a juice box in my hand, I walked a block and dead in the middle of the little village is a phone box. I felt a bit like Harry Potter going into the Ministry of Magic or Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, but I made it to the phonebox and called them. Jouni answered, said Martina was at the station and talking to him on her cell phone, so off I went and met her. Ah, what would we do without technology?

Martina and Jouni live in the small village of Simris just outside Simrishamn. The have a lovely little house that overlooks a field and down the field the sea. Last night for dinner I picked us Cilantro from the garden and tasted a fresh tomato. I really am a disgraceful vegan. I should be trying not to kill plants in a garden. I met the 20 month old twins-Abbe and Vida-when they woke up from their naps. They are two blond haired blue eyed Swede-Finnish babies! They laugh and giggle and cry with equal abandon. We went for a walk out and around their village then drove to a nearby village so the kids could paddle in the sea. They kept squatting their bare bottoms in the sea, then up, and down into the water and sand again. As I slept last night it poured rain, the first of the trip. I like when it rains and I don't have to tromp around in it with a backpack and suitcase (especially since I optimistically didn't bring my umbrella...).

This morning I woke up to Martina playing lullabies on the piano to Vida and Abbe pounding around. It was quite a fun way to wake up. Seriously. I wouldn't want to do it long term, but it's the first day so it seems cute! We ate breakfast, then second breakfast, and the rain kept coming down. We decided to head to the nearby medieval castle of Glimmingehus. With stormy clouds but no rain, we enjoyed a perfect castle day. It's a small castle, but it dates from 1499 and full of interesting little details. The castle isn't furnished, but the passageways were lit with candles and there were three people walking around in costume. (Yes, Claire, this small little rinky dink castle in Skäne, Sweden trumps Kronborg Slot by three costumes and a heck of a lot more character). After the castle, we traipsed around to a few local antique shops, making it home just in time for the rain to pummel down again.

Martina and Jouni are putting the twins to bed, so the crying has stopped for the moment. I'll wait until tomorrow for more shouts of "Maweeeeeen" (followed by a giggle as I'm still a novely). So, until the next Sweden entry and tales of the blond twins, I leave you all to a pleasant day wherever this finds you!



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