Hot Swedish Summers

Sthephany Vasilopoulos van Oordt

What is it about the summer that makes us go jolly?

Could it be the warm weather, the humidity that makes our hair look like poodle fur, or the sun rays that burn our skin to a crisp? I think it’s a mix of all of the above, and more! Summer is a time when people everywhere feel happy, are active, and enjoy the finer things in life.

However, summer in Sweden is more like a lifestyle makeover!

In the winter, Sweden is known for its dark days and mountains of snow. In the summer, it’s complete vice-versa. Stockholm basically goes through a 180 degree transformation. Even at 12 degrees Celsius, Swedes are out in tees, rainbow coloured shorts, and boating shoes. Note: Stockholm street style does not involve ugly middle aged women flip flops, that’s more like a fashion disaster.

People ride bikes, indulge in ice cream, and there are an endless amount of cafe’s, restaurants and pubs with a patio-only entrance fee. However, the main characteristic is the sun. Swedes absolutely love soaking up on some rays. During the summer months, every park in Stockholm is filled with people tanning. Girls in bikinis, and guys in tiny little European swim shorts. Yet there is no beach in sight. Think of a beach, with people tanning, playing boule (not volleyball), kids running around and slapping on tanning oil; however, there is no ocean. Just a river depending on the location. I guess after 6 months of 19 hours of darkness a day, you feel the need to enjoy every possible ray of sun.

But what exactly is the most common activity? Biking of course, the EU’s official method of transportation. That little Dutch bug tends go far around this continent. But when you think about it, it’s great! There is not a better way to see the city and do some exploring of your own, which is why I have purchased my very first Stockholm city bike card. And so, I am slowly becoming svensk. As opposed to riding the tube everyday for 7 stops, I now only ride for 2, then grab a bike and head into town. To be honest, it’s making me enjoy the city so much more. Luckily, I have found a great biking route and have one of the best views in town every morning and evening!

Biking in Europe is as normal as taking out the trash. The comical part about it is that people ride their bikes as a mere method of transportation. That means, you see men in suits and women in long skirts and heels riding their bikes into town.

I haven’t quite mastered the high heel ride yet but I’m getting there.