North West for East(er)

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So, this Easter we backed our bags with our hand-knit socks, filled the car with skis and yarn (mine) and turned the car North. We drove for many hours and when we stopped there was snow around us. We’ve been here in the summer, but this was my first time during spring. The landscape is so different when there is snow.

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We’ve spent a marvellous Easter in H√§rjedalen. We started out early the first morning by a snowmobile tour up on the mountain. With us was our friend, driver and excellent guide Frej who showed us all the nice places that are too far to walk, especially in the snow. Mum sat behind Frej on the snow mobile and Julle and I were in the sledge. We felt like we were at an amusement park, it was so fun.

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Sure, it doesn’t look like that much snow and you can even see some bare spots but let me tell you something about snow crust. Snow crust is a wonderful thing. At least till it gives up under your weight and you find yourself stuck in the snow up to your hip. Then it’s a treacherous thing. You never know which step will be okay and which will give in and on at least two occasions someone had to help me up because my leg was stuck so deep I couldn’t bend my knee and thus get up by myself. The second time we also had to dig a little in the snow because my boot threatened to come off my foot and stay there, far down in the hole.

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Later in the day we would go out skiing and I’m not a downhill skier, I’m a cross-country skier. And why shouldn’t I? Just look at the view!

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Every now and then we took off our skis and sat down in the sun to warm our faces. It’s not even imaginable how strong the sun is, and with the reflection in the snow you have to be careful not to get sun-burned.

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It was so warm you really didn’t need much clothes and instead it was a great opportunity to sunbathe.

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Snow is and interesting thing, both beautiful with great opportunities but it can also be dangerours. In this picture you can se a small snow bridge. They are developed over creeks and streams and you can find them in the spring time. The look like they are strong enough to walk on (not this little one obviously but there are much bigger ones too) and sometimes that’s true but after a few days in the sun they are fragile and you fall right trough and into the water if you try to cross.

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It wasn’t all snow, mostly I’d say it was food. Easter, like any festivals in Sweden, is mostly about food. Of course there are eggs but also pickled herring, salmon and lots of other good things.

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And as icing on the cake, literally, there was my Easter cake, creamy chocolate cake with chocolate and raspberry ganache, decorated with marzipan chickens and in the middle a marzipan Easter witch. In Sweden we don’t have a tradition of trick or treating on Halloween, even though there has been some of that in latter years, but instead we have Easter witches. On Thursday before Easter kids dress up as Easter witches. They don’t look at all like a Halloween witch, but are wearing dresses, aprons and a shawlette over their heads and they have make up consisting of big red cheeks with black freckles on them. They go from door to dorr and hand out Easter cards that they’ve made themselves and in exchange for a card they get candy.

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Speaking of eggs, I’ve become very interested in poultry

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sociology. We visited the poultry in the hen house and it was quite the thing (and very Easteresque). Two of the hens were sitting on eggs and in a week or so there might be chickens! I’m so excited I almost want to go back next week just so I can visit them. We used a special lamp to try to shine through the eggs to see if there are any chickens in there but we weren’t able to tell and I really hope there are chickens.

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This is Ella Fitzgerald – the hen. I managed to take a picture of her just as she opened her beak to sing (actually, she needs to work on here skills if she’s going to live up to her name, the sound she made was more like sawing in metal than actual singing).

If I wasn’t living in a condo in the city, and if I were more interested in getting my hands dirty (literally) I might consider having a hen house myself. Till that day arrives, (if it arrives, I’m pretty sure I will never be comfortable touching, or even be near, sticky and dirty things (I’m not saying that hens are neither sticky nor dirty but hen feces is)) I have to settle for visiting the hen house when I get the opportunity.

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The last morning of our stay we Went up on the mountaing by the snowmobile, to have breakfast. It was pretty Amazing. Can you imagine that’s the same bench that I sat on this past summer knitting (or trying to knit, it was a little windy).

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It’s quite a difference when it’s snow all around. Much easier too, to get there by snowmobile rather than foot. I Think this just prooves that H√§rjedalen is an Amazing place all year round.

As I told you Before Easter, I hoped to have a lot of knitting time and even though we’ve done things all the time, I still managed to finish not just a hat but a baby cardigan and half of a toddler pullover. Not bad, if I may say so myself.