Around here: Another week closer to spring...

We hadn't made that many plans for this weekend but the schedule quickly filled up when Fanny decided to spend the last weekend of her spring break in Kalmar. She came over before lunch on Saturday and we began our weekend of "babysitting" by feeding the birds in the park by the castle (something we had meant to do anyway ever since I discovered that that's where the birds reside these days). It was such great fun to watch all those birds devour our leftover crackers and muffins!

Once we ran out of crackers we drove out to the mall where we browsed the shops and had lunch. In the evening we went out for dinner with P's parents at a Thai restaurant and then we all watched the latest Swedish comedy Små citroner gula at the cinema. It was really funny, very much like the film we watched in January. Two good Swedish films in the span of a month, I don't recall the last time that happened!

Yesterday we had a lovely breakfast complete with freshly baked bread and homemade smoothies. Mum and Jenny joined us for a walk by the castle and then we all went to IKEA and the mall. Once the three of them went home I bought a new lens for my camera that I can't wait to try. It was a sort of impulsive decision because I didn't think I'd end up buying it yesterday but at the same time I have been thinking about it for a while because I feel like I've outgrown my other lenses in certain ways. I hope I'll end up liking it as much as I hear others do. It's actually quite convenient that I got it now because my photography classes start this Thursday.

In other news, now that it's a new week I can say that I leave for Thailand next week. It still feel quite surreal, mostly because it'll all be so new to me and I don't quite know what to expect.

Around here: Sunday sunrise.

There are few things that could convince me to get out of bed before eight o'clock on a Sunday morning. The promise of a beautiful sunrise is one of them. This Sunday, we got up just before half seven and headed to the beach. We got there just in time to see the sun rise above the horizon on the other side of Öland. It was definitely worth rising early for.

I love how the waves have frozen. It's as if they're just waiting for spring to continue on their path towards shore.

Would you believe that this weekend was my first time ever actively watching a sunset and a sunrise? I mean, of course I've noticed that the sun has risen or set hundreds of times, but I don't recall actually seeing it disappear behind the horizon or rise above it before. It's almost embarrasing to admit. In my defense I can say that I spent the first nineteen years of my life living in the forest. Then I moved to London and after that I lived in Lund for five years. There was a lack of wide open spaces. Even though I've lived by the sea since the summer of 2010 I haven't truly felt close to it until I moved here. And it's not just the sea, ever since I moved here I have felt closer to nature in general. Somehow the season changes feel more palpable here. Or maybe that's just due to my different lifestyle - before I really didn't have much time to pay attention to such things. Although, I think that, above all, I have to thank my camera for opening my eyes to the beauty of the world.

On Sunday we also had time to go back to Svinö for a walk. It looked quite different from last time we went. Back then the sea still hadn't frozen. Nevertheless, despite the ice I could feel that spring is getting closer. The light is different, brighter. On that note, would you believe that the days will be almost two whole hours longer here than they are now by the end of February? I find that so fascinating.

Outings: More Kastell + Aboda Klint.

The weather last week was exceptionally grey but the sunshine and blue skies we were blessed with this weekend more than made up for it. We didn't have any particular plans for the weekend to begin with and the weather wasn't looking particularly promising on Saturday morning so needless to say I was more than a little bit apprehensive. Thus, when P. suggested we drive north I was all for it.

We ended up going to More Kastell, a 7 km long canyon hidden away deep in the forest. We took our time getting there, driving along the coastline through sleepy little villages that I made a mental note to revisit in the summer. For the first hour after we left the city behind I kept exclaiming that I'd seen a little glimpse of blue on the grey sky even though I wasn't so sure. However, little by little it did clear up and by the time we reached our destination the sky was all blue and the sun was shining brightly. There was nobody else in sight by the canyon which wasn't surprising considering how isolated it is and the time of year. Bracing the snowy narrow roads was totally worth it though:

We climbed down to the bottom of the canyon in one place to take a closer look at the frozen creek. It was quite chilly down there where the sun rays didn't reach but up on the edges it didn't really feel much like winter at all but almost like spring.

On our way home we passed by Aboda Klint and of course we couldn't pass up an opportunity to see the sunset from the tower up there, especially considering that we'd missed out on it last time we went there due to it being so cloudy. It was cold, but the view made up for it.

In the evening we came back home, cooked a nice meal and fell asleep super early from all that fresh air :)

(Sunday update to come.)