Sweden. Day 11. What a difference a day makes.

Today the temperature went up, it was sunny and 6 degrees Celsius outside. A lot of the snow around had melted and one could have a better idea of how idyllic this place can look during summer.

I walked with a fellow artists to the coast of Simpnås. I had been there before, but this time instead of going towards the dock and the museum, where I had been, we turned left towards where there is a small natural reserve.

We walked over large rocks by the sea, some still partially covered with ice, but not as much as before. After gazing for a few minutes at the breathtaking view, instead of going back through the road, we returned crossing the forest. It was not always a straight path, but the melted snow had given way to a lush green moss, and it was easier to move around.

One thing that was interesting to notice were the different patterns created by Nature that look almost like abstract works of art — fungi, moss, rock formations, frozen algae; after days when the main colour was just white and grey, now everything seemed to have become more colourful and intense. I can only imagine how this forest must look in spring.

One of the pleasures of traveling is to observe the little differences in the people, in the culture, in the food, but also in nature. Birds, trees, plants, everything changes and it is a pleasure for the eye and the year to see or feel something unusual or new.

The landscapes here tend to be very different from the ones I am used to, and that is always interesting.

As we were leaving the forest and returning towards the village, we saw a couple of slightly creepy Barbie dolls hanging from trees, near a house. A local decoration representing fairies? Maybe, but they had their hair cut in a strange fashion, were hanging in an unnatural position and wore strange little woven clothes. They didn’t seem particularly decorative to me, and believe me, Swedes know how to nicely decorate a place if they want to. Of course, it doesn’t mean that it was some type of local black magic, but I really don’t know what it was. I asked a Swedish friend, and she said this is not a typical Swedish habit.