Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pancakes versus Semlor

As today is Shrove Tuesday I will be celebrating later by eating as many pancakes as possible, however Swedes celebrate 'Fettis Dagen' a little differently by eating a semla (plural semlor). Semlor are cardamon flavoured buns which are split in half and filled with a marzipan paste and whipped cream. Swedes rave about how wonderful they taste, and even though they should traditionally only be eaten today, many shops sell them from as early as January, but to me are most disgusting tasting thing in the world!! They taste like dry, stale rolls filled with masses of cream and almond paste - eeeuuurrrgghhh! Give me a pancake with sugar and lemon juice anyday! Happy Pancake Day!


(To read about semlor from someone who likes them go and see Marie!)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Flat hunting

Yesterday we drove down to Gothenburg again to have another look around areas we might like to move to. We drove around Hisingen, which is the area across the water, slightly away from the centre of town. It is actually a large island which is separated from mainland Gothenburg by the Göta älv river, which then continues to run up from Gothenburg to Trollhättan where we live now. Hisingen wasn't quite as pretty as the other areas of Gothenburg we visited last time, but there does seem to be more flats available there and most of them are slightly bigger and cheaper than those in the centre of town.

The system of looking for flats to rent in Sweden is very strange, as you actually have to be selected by the landlord/lady to even go and look at a property. For example, we've registered with a letting agency and have applied for 134 flats in the last month and we still haven't been selected to go and view any of the properties! Some of the flats have had over 2000 applicants, so I think it could take us a bit longer than the afternoon it look us to find our flat in London!! Keep your fingers crossed for us!!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

It's that time of year again...

Saturday saw the start of one of the most important events in the Swedish calander.... the first heat of Melodifestival!! For those un-initiated in the world of Eurovision, Melodifestival is a 6 week long competition to find the singer/band who will represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest. The Melodifestival consists of 4 heats, a semi final and a final with each show being broadcast at primetime on Saturday nights for about 2 hours!! A little bit different from the 1/2 hour 'Making your Mind up' show they have in England to decide who will represent the United Kingdom!!

After winning Eurovision several times before (1974 ABBA, 1984 Herreys and 1991 Carola) Sweden came an amazingly bad 19th place last year, meaning that they now have to compete to get into the Eurovision final in Athens rather than being allowed straight through like in recent years. Despite last years winner being Greek, Sweden still managed to claim the victory as its own as the singer currently lives in Sweden!

I'm not a huge Eurovision fan but I just find it amazing how seriously Swedes take the whole event and I can't help but get caught up in all the discussions about it!!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Snowboarding





Daniel and I have spent the last week snowboarding in Stöten, which is about 450km north of us, just on the border to Norway. It was absolutely freezing (-21 one day!) but we had lots of new snow and bright blue skies to make up for it. We were staying in a little stuga (Swedish for cabin) right at the bottom of the slopes.



I had only been snowboarding for 3 days before, so 6 whole days of snowboarding nearly finished me off (I can barely walk today!) but by the end of the week I felt as if I'd finally cracked it! Daniel was a real show off and started practicing his jumps, but I think I'll save that until next time!

One afternoon we went out on a scooter safari up the mountain which was great, although my face got soooo cold I thought it might actually fall off! It was only us on the safari with a guide so we were able to really zoom along without having to wait for any other scooters behind us.


To see the rest of out photos click here.