Funny that, I wanted to start with explaining what a stuga is – but obviously it is so clear to any Swedish person and so much a part of life that there isn’t even a wikipedia article about it, it’s part of the fritidshus one 🙂 So I’ll wing it a bit: stuga means a small house, in the countryside, with very simple standards (water from a well, outhouse etc.). Many people either have their own or have one in the family and will spend weekends and holidays there to get away from the hectic city life and back to nature. At least that’s my understanding now, correct me if I’m wrong 🙂
As it happens, the brother of my host family’s dad has one of these in the Höga Kusten national park and when the question was raised if I wanted to come there on Saturday, I gladly accepted. It was about 2 hours drive from here and we set off around 9 in the morning. Said brother lives in Uppsala with his family, so for them it had been 4.5 hours drive the day before. The guys were planning to install a chimney for the new wood-burning stove and I got to hang out with Eva and their two boys.
With them, I got a day of adventures and quite possibly typical stuga life 🙂 First, it was putting on life jackets and get the rowing boat out. Their stuga is right by an inlet of the Baltic Sea (if you look on the map, you’ll see a little star somewhere South of Umeå – there!), so the boys wanted to put the fishing net out and hopefully catch dinner with it. If you know me, you know I don’t swim very well and am not particularly chilled when it comes to water… but I got into the boat alright and as it turned out, I was in the best position to put the net out 🙂
When we came back, the next plan was to make a fire down on the beach to bbq sausages on sticks in it. Unfortunately, it had been raining the night before, so it took quite a long time, lots of matches and finally the help of a newspaper to get the fire started. It worked fine for the sausages and we had hot dogs for lunch, not even bothered by the rain that started falling heavily.
Back inside after lunch, we had some tea and biscuits and a chat before the boys wanted to play some games. First it was a game of chess where the younger son beat his mother without much effort 😉 Then they wanted to play a game with questions, a bit like trivial pursuit without the actual board. It was in Swedish of course, but I wanted to take part in it and we had a pretty funny round with the elder son winning.
Dinner was not fish then, but a very nice chicken mango dish cooked by the dad. Afterwards the boys and my host dad went out to get the net in and see about the catch. It took quite some time for them to come back in, apparently they had wanted to put out the net again and then the wind blew them away from the land… In fact, there was one fish in the net, typical for this area an abborre (European perch in English), which we got to take home with us and actually had for dinner today. My first fish 🙂
So life in a stuga is in fact quite fun and I can see why Swedes (and Germans of course) like it so much 🙂 Away from the usual and back to nature, with a stop at Max burgers on the way there or back 😉 I actually took my camera with me there – but it stayed in the car all day and all I have are photos from my phone…
My time here will come to an end soon now, 3 more working days and then off to Stockholm on Thursday – more adventures coming soon, rest assured 😉