No snow in Sweden Posted by Katja on Jan 4, 2014 in environment, Living in Sweden
It is the first week of January, and still no snow. Of course some areas in the most northern parts of Sweden have had some, on and off, but mostly no more than a sprinkling that has disappeared within 24 hours.
Umeå is Norrland’s biggest city, Sweden’s 12th biggest and the capital of culture this year. It is also called the city of birches because of it’s many birch lined avenues. And about the winters here, snow is a huge part of the culture. People skate up and down the river that runs through the city exploring several Swedish miles worth of nature from the ice. Cross country skating is a highly social event since it isn’t uncommon meeting people out on the wilderness of the ice. Neither is it uncommon to be invited to join strangers fikastund (fika time, fika being a sort of snack) out on the ice. Not to mention that people usually go skating in groups.
Another dominating part of activity during the winter months, which people longingly look forward to during the rest of the year is all the winter toys like the snow scooters.
Others fill their time with cross country skiing or the somewhat faster version: downhill skiing, slalom. Many families spend hours out on the sloops with pulkas, skranas, skärtlappar and bobbar. See the post about these winter toys here.
Since all these things are such a big part of everybody’s lives I can’t help but to wonder how things will turn out if the years to come won’t be white anymore. How long will the snow scooters be stored in sheds along with the cross country skis and the ice skates before these activities are nothing more than happy memories?
This was the first year in 20 that there hasn’t been any real snow. Not only is it sad, but it might change a whole way of life in the northern parts of the world, let alone Sweden.