Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bus trip north to Ämäl--nope, not by Greyhound

July 25, 2013
One more missive before off-line.

Time is rushing by. I am riding the Swebus from Göteborg to Åmal to visit with all Sindsjö families. The ten days in Göteborg went quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with everyone in Karin's family. All are warm and friendly and are family. Peter provided the backdrop of checking in mornings and afternoons and by phoning to and fro to confirm plans. I had a wonderful balance of alone and together time.

As I write, when I know the Swedish words, I automatically start translating, but vocabulary continues to be limited, as evidenced by my continued challenge to understand any more than rudimentary conversational sentences. Yet I am understanding more and more general phrases, for example, posted advertising messages--so gratifying.

Pretty scenery, so much like Northern Minnesota--rolling, rocky, wooded hills, disconcertedly interspersed with Southern Minnesota flat farmland--a Jacob's ladder of Minnesota topography. I love the red painted farm buildings with white trim. Many homes are painted a goldish yellow as well as the red/white combinational;  I refer to that palate as ketchup and mustard, which I figure is a sharp and welcome contrast to long, dark, snowy winter months. When home, people fly a long Swedish blue and yellow pennant from a flagpole or from their porch. 'Tis a nice overcast Seattle-like day. Spots of blue and peeks of sun; temperate temperature (nicely redundant words!); comfortable. The highways are fenced against älgar/moose, which are smaller than US moose, but just as lethal when run into by a car--or vice versa. Many people walk and bike, as we are being encouraged to do in Seattle, but the walking/biking trails are separated from car traffic, much like the Burke Gilman Trail, but were not a former train track.

This trip is almost 3 hours, a nice transition time. I sign off for now to enjoy the scenery.

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