At the time I’m writing this, I just got back from a short getaway to a lake house. The post-vacation blues is in full swing (although technically I’m still on vacation), and I can feel the bliss from the lake slowly dissipates as we ease back into city life. But let’s talk about this place.
With all the vacation plans this year canceled, I wasn’t too excited about the prospect of having to spend my annual leave in Sweden. I was so desperate to go somewhere; explore new places, try new cuisines. Summer in Sweden is the best, people say, so I half-heartedly start my search for a holiday rental around the country when I found this lakeside cabin on one of the booking platforms.
After an hour of driving from Gothenburg, we arrived at this place. From the outside, it looked just like another Swedish cabin with its red walls and white windowsills, but the minute we opened the door to the cabin, we were blown away. The short hallway behind the door leads to a bright open space, with the kitchen area on the left, and living room on the right. The walls inside were painted white, adorned with big windows. But the pièce de résistance of this cabin is the window wall in the living area that overlooks the lake. From anywhere in the kitchen and living room, we have a grand view of the lake.
At the center of this wall is a door that opens to a spacious deck. The deck was where we spent most of our time in the cabin. Forget the dining table inside, this was where we had breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We’d read and watch the sunsets here, soaking in the peace and quiet. Moving beyond the deck, there was a barbecue pit, a path down to the lake, and our own boat to use. We had our ‘private’ bit of the lake, far away from people. It was perfect.
Our favorite spot, the deck.
The path down to the lake.
Life here was simple and blissful. We woke up, had breakfast, then went down to the lake for swimming and rowing. We’d go back for lunch, then go back to the water again, or if it was too hot, read on the sofa inside, while glancing up once in a while to see the lake and vast sky through the windows. I’d alternate between reading on the sofa or by the lake, where I could dip my feet to cool down. Then came dinner time, and we’d hang out on the deck. Every day, we would watch the sun went down ever so slowly. We marveled at the stunning, subtle change of the colors of the sky, as if it was operated by a dimmer switch.
Left: A breakfast treat that I only allow myself on vacations and special occasions, Indomie (plus Teh Sosro!). Right: A cozy reading nook in the cabin.
I tried my hands on rowing for the first time here. I did kayaking before, but rowing is a whole different game. And man, it was HARD. First I did it the wrong way (gently told by H, “Why are you rowing forwards? You should be rowing backwards. Pull the oars to the back, like you do with the rowing machine in the gym, remember?”). And when I finally did it right, the boat didn’t move at all. I gave up doing it properly in the end, and tried different ways that worked for me.
“Whatever floats your boat,” he said. Pun absolutely intended.
With the newfound confidence of getting the boat to move (albeit with wrong techniques), I told H that I’d row to the next island (it was probably just 200 meters away). He decided to swim behind, and we reached the island almost at the same time. That’s how slow I was rowing.
This rowing session (or rather, me sitting on the boat while H rowed) turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the vacation. We found tiny islands on the other side of the lakes that would be perfect for a smuggler’s nest in the Famous Five‘s world. We’d dock the boat on a flat rock and ‘explore’ the island (it only took 3 minutes, it was that small).
The Famous Five-esque smuggler’s island.
On the highest level of the
A little yellow cottage (or maybe storage place?) we found on one of the boat trips.
On our last evening, we decided to go for one last rowing session at 7:30 pm, far later than we’d done before. It was tranquil, and the golden hour proved its magic as I took countless photos of the view. We stopped rowing in the middle of the lake, just floating there and watched as the sky changed colors. Blue that was fading, with violet and orange hues. It was so calm and relaxing, and I felt a pang of sadness. This vacation has been a great escape from months of feeling low and anxious, and the thoughts of going back to Gothenburg the next day left me feeling forlorn.
I always say that I’d return to a place at the end of a vacation, but this time, I really mean it (we’re already looking at booking it again in the fall, and next summer). I felt the blues coming even before we left. My consolation is that this place is only an hour away, and we can go here whenever we want (provided we could get free dates for booking, because apparently it’s always booked solid in peak season).
One last swim before leaving this paradise.