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Life in Sweden, Snippets of life, Travel Tales

Swedish Summer in the Time of Corona

This year has definitely been a strange one for everybody. Canceled plans, paranoia over a virus, lots and lots of bad news, and perhaps the biggest change of all: a new way of living, traveling, and even eating.

Living in Sweden, perhaps the changes aren’t as drastic as those in other countries. There has never been any lockdown, for a start. Nor has it been a call to wear a mask. There are only recommendations: to keep distance, to avoid public transport when possible, to work from home.

I’m not gonna lie, the lax measures make me feel paranoid. Despite the reports that they’ve done more testing and the number of new cases has decreased, and the ICU capacity has increased, I’m still terrified. There’s a 50-people limit of gathering here, which seems… a lot. The other day I saw a group on Facebook created a meetup at a bar in town, something I usually attend without second thoughts. Not this time. I shudder at the thought of 20, perhaps 30 strangers in an enclosed space, sitting shoulders to shoulders (and yes, I shuddered even more when I saw photos from the event, fitting the above description).

When the sun is out, everyone is out – that’s the way it is in Sweden. We’ve been lucky with a sunny spell in the last few weeks, and it seems like everywhere we go, there’s always people. Lots of them. Downtown, beaches, lakes. When I finally pushed myself to go out, I got irked by how most people don’t seem to follow the social distancing guidelines. So for most of the summer, I’ve stayed home, even when the weather teases me to go out. Seeing photos on social media, of packed beaches and lakes, gives me mixed feelings. Envy and a little bit of FOMO, but also, horror.

It was only when we rented a car for a week that I felt at ease. We went to places that were not easily accessible by public transport or a bit far from the city, and it was amazing. We saw no people in the immediate vicinity for almost the entire time, and I finally, finally could enjoy the best of Swedish summer in all its glory.

Perhaps those are the only great memories of summer this year, but it’s enough. So I thought sharing the few idyllic lakes outside of Gothenburg that we went to during this time (and thoroughly enjoyed).

Stora Rämsjön

Stora Rämsjön is definitely a hidden gem, located about 2 km from Lake Aspen, a bigger and more popular lake. Stora Rämsjön is a ribbon lake that’s also on the Bohusleden hiking trail. It’s a pretty small lake, and we were alone for almost the entire time. Perhaps it’s because there weren’t many flat surfaces to sit comfortably, but it’s good enough for us. There’s also a camping ground nearby with barbecue pits, rain shelters, a hammock, and an outhouse, perfect for anyone who wants to set up a tent to enjoy this beauty for a longer time.

Säven

I’ve blogged about our blissful in a lakeside getaway cabin in the previous blog post. Much of the bliss was thanks to the stunning cabin and Säven lake, where we spent most of the time swimming and rowing. The lake almost felt like ours, save for the occasional joyful shrieks from kids on the other side. It was absolutely stunning and tranquil, all that we could ask for a getaway vacation when we needed to decompress while staying away from people.

Lygnern

We initially went here to see Ramhultafallet, the waterfall located in the northwest part of Lake Lygnern. At the peak of summer when we hadn’t had any rain for days, the waterfall itself wasn’t much of a view. But the lake below that, Lygnern, was definitely a treat. Plenty of flat rocks and grounds to sit on, and it was perfectly quiet.

The waterfall, Ramhultafallet.


When it comes to preference, I’d rather go to a lake than a beach, anytime. It always feels more idyllic, perhaps because it’s often surrounded by forests (at least in here they are). And it’s fresh instead of salty water (I hate the sticky feeling on my skin after swimming in the beach). And for lakes, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better place than Sweden.

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6 Comments

  • Reply Phebie | Life Essentially

    What a beautiful places. Glad you guys enjoyed the trip.😃

    August 23, 2020 at 11:56 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Thank you Phebie! 🙂

      September 20, 2020 at 10:02 am
  • Reply Bama

    I share your sentiment every time I see pictures of people gathering without implementing proper health protocols. We are living a very unusual and strange times these days, so we must not take things as how we would before this pandemic, at least that’s what I think. I miss traveling and exploring, terribly. But we must also think of those health workers who have been dedicating their time for saving people’s lives, although I do understand how a lot of small businesses have been struggling to survive this year because of government restrictions. I’ve been looking for places for a quiet getaway from Jakarta, just like what you wrote about in this post (I envy those clear blue skies!). But I have yet to find one that suits my risk appetite.

    September 1, 2020 at 7:45 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Yes, it’s stressful and worrying. I read the news about the situation in Indonesia every now and again, and it breaks my heart. Hope things will get better soon, and hope you will find a quiet place for a getaway that suits you. I miss traveling too and it seems like I won’t be doing that anytime soon, so a short getaway really helps. Hope you stay safe and healthy Bama 🙂

      September 20, 2020 at 10:07 am
  • Reply #justinindyo

    Lucky you Dixie there’s still places to go without worry about the crowd. Di Jakarta, tempat begitu ya rumah sendiri. Dan memang mau gimana pun dibilang aman kondisinya, tetep horor kalau gak pake masker, gak social distancing, tetap keluyuran, dan dampaknya bisa gak terduga. Keep the good track Dixie, sehat sehat selalu yaa kamu sama masnya.

    September 5, 2020 at 12:51 am
    • Reply Dixiezetha

      Di Jakarta pasti lebih tricky yaa, kebayang pasti waswas kalo keluar rumah. Makasih ya Justin udah baca, semoga kamu dan Nindyo juga sehat2 selalu.

      September 20, 2020 at 10:08 am

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