Mamma's School

Home Education Adventure

Tag: living abroad (Page 1 of 14)

Ronneby Naturum – A Nature Based Learning Haven

Ronneby Naturum is set inside Ronneby Brunnspark – a huge outdoor nature area, with many walks, woods, play parks, ponds, and a swimming pool.  The nature centre itself literally took our breath away.  It is filled with fantastic exhibitions for both young and old, but what grabbed our attention and made it so great for the trio, was that it is so interactive, hands on, and there is nothing out of bounds to little fingers that like touching everything!  We have been to Ronneby Naturum a few times now, and one rainy afternoon we spent the entire time in there together with our nature journals, merrily sketching away.

As you enter Ronneby Naturum you immediately come across a very striking and visual exhibition (see the photo!) about lynx in Sweden.  My three just stood their gawping!  We have moved to a country with wildlife that really grabs their imaginations; bears, wolves, wild boar, älg (moose), and lynx are just some of what is here.  However, these are all very hard to see in real life, especially with three young children who give the wildlife plenty of warning that they are approaching, with their noise levels 🙂  So, to walk in and see this life sized lynx was fantastic, and really brought it home to them what is lurking out there.  We spent some time learning about them and looking at the areas where they live around and near us before being drawn further into the centre.

Another favourite was a transparent operational bee hive, which had an entrance/exit to the outdoors.  This was so good for the children to watch the bees so close up.  The emphasis is very much on being able to interact with exhibits.  This may take the form of sticking your hand into a container “blind” to work out what’s in there with just a written clue, feeding the fish in the tanks, pressing buttons to hear various animal/bird sounds (twin 1 can never resist a button so he was in his element), or just picking up and handling various exhibits that are laid out.

In our county (Blekinge), we are surrounded by water, with islands everywhere making up the archipelago we live on.  So, naturally there is a big exhibition about the coast and the marine life around our area.  The older ones can learn more about the geology, the biodiversity, why it is such a sensitive area of nature, and how we can fish or sail whilst protecting it.  Part of this exhibition is a sail boat which the children can board and pretend to sail the high seas.  It has moving parts to handle, sails to move, and benches to lift, under which reside very cute and fluffy cuddly mice and seals.  This was a revelation to us being allowed to climb on board such an exhibit, and when the staff saw my good old English reservation about children clambering over exhibits, they came and said the children must climb all over it!

The “lab” is another highlight of Ronneby Naturum.  This is a separate little room that you can lose yourself in for a good few hours!  It is full of stuffed wild animals from the forests, and exhibits you can pick up and handle.  Anything from snake skins, to stag beetles, to animal bones, animal antlers, and a whole heap of samples you can examine under one of the microscopes in there.  There are also a couple of aquariums in there.  It is such a lovely place, with so much to see, and it is also very cosy!

I thoroughly recommend a visit to Ronneby Naturum (but check the opening times first as they alter drastically day to day, and season to season).  You can easily spend a day in the park, with a visit to the naturum as part of it.  You can wander the woods blueberry picking in the early autumn, have lunch on one of the fire pits, and feed the ducks also.  There is also an ice cream kiosk serving delicious tasty treats too 🙂  Plus there is no charge for the park or its naturum.  Ronneby Naturum is a place we will be returning to many many more times.

Ronneby Naturum, Ronneby Brunnspark, Nature based learning, nature, home education, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Sweden – 15 Things I Have Learnt Living Here

We have lived in Sweden for 1 year now, and throughout that year I have been on a very steep learning curve.  I thought I would share with you the 15 main things I have learnt along the way so far 🙂

1. Everything takes time:  The Swedes are very laid back and they rarely hurry.  This might be over a break at work (fika at work is very important), or installing a phone line and wi-fi (I think this took around 3-4 months after we moved in).  So, to avoid frustration, adapt quickly, chill out, and go with the flow….it’ll happen one day.

2. You can’t buy Marmite or spray furniture polish here:  Plan in advance and get visitors flying out to see you to bring it, in bulk preferably, whether you need it or not.  Then you can guarantee an ongoing supply.

3. All food is delicious, but you will eat your own body weight in cinnamon buns within weeks of arriving here, and you will still want more.

4. Candy:  This is very important here in Sweden, especially on a Saturday (lördagsgodis).  To integrate fully here you need to take a bag at the pick and mix, and fill it every Saturday.

5. The seasons are all amazing, but they can change rapidly – overnight!  One day you will be wearing your shorts, the next day autumn will have arrived, with no gradual run up to it.

6. The people are really friendly.  They want to help you, and you will need their help too in order to navigate some of the systems in Sweden.  For example, booking a doctor’s appointment or how to repaint your wooden home.

7. EVERYONE speaks English.  This is good when you are struggling with Swedish, but hard to learn if you are a little lazy.  They speak it very well too, but will apologise for not finding one word in a sentence, when I can’t even remember what I was going to say at all in English!!  They are very good at it.

8. Google translate will be your best friend.  You will have the app on your phone to read parking signs, help with the grocery shopping, and so that you stand a chance at doing your child’s reading homework.  You will use it on your computer to translate all the school emails, and other emails that come your way from various places.

9. Predictive text will become your enemy, as your phone doesn’t know what the hell you are trying to write, and what language you are trying to type in. Until, that is, it starts memorising Swedish words along the way (no one wants to type out “Försäkringskassan” or “Länsförsäkringar” more than necessary!).

10. Hard cash is surplus to requirements (unless you need a trolley – 10 SEK coin, or a swim locker – 10 SEK coin).  EVERYTHING is done either by card or phone.  There is none of this 50p charge for under £5.  If you by a 1 SEK sweet (about 10p) you don’t need cash.

11. Hot dogs (korv med bröd) are a staple in your diet in Sweden.  Sunny day on the beach?  You make hot dogs.  End of school term?  You meet and cook hot dogs.  The Prime Minister visits the island?  Free hot dogs. You go out on a hike? You cook hot dogs.  You get the idea?!!  You always need an emergency stash in the freezer, it’s prevented me being caught out a few times now!

12. You need to bulk buy your alcohol.  The state run off licenses, Systembolaget, (the only place you can purchase it) are only in certain places (our nearest is about 20km away) so there is no “just popping out for a bottle of wine”.  They’re also closed a lot, especially at weekends and holidays….so stock up, or as I do, make your own!

13. Send all your children’s clothes to school (and more!).  They will need standard clothes for the day, they will need outdoor gear (I mean proper stuff, like full sets of waterproofs, or complete snow gear etc).  They WILL be going outdoors – both for play and lessons.  There are dryer cupboards, but it is helpful for them to have complete spare sets too…..and I mean complete…gloves (they get very wet through in the winter, even ski gloves with little people), socks….you get the picture! You will be taking a lot of clothes backwards and forwards, oh and boots!!

14. Fika:  This is very important in Sweden.  It’s a chance to just enjoy each other’s company, but does usually involve coffee and a sweet treat.

15. Throughout December it is perfectly fine and normal to drink mulled wine (glögg) and eat thin ginger biscuits (pepparkakor) every day…..perfect and my idea of a cosy December!!

I hope you have enjoyed those facts, and learning a little more about Sweden 🙂

Sweden-15 Things I Have Learnt Living Here, Living in Sweden, Swedish habits, Swedish customs, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

Living In Sweden – A Year After Our Dream Move

Today sees us celebrating one year since I flew all three children, myself, 3 car seats, and four overweight suitcases, over to join Dadda to start our new lives together living in Sweden.  It seems a good time as any to weigh up the pros and cons of this move, and to look at whether we feel we are here for good (hopefully, barring any silly Brexit shenanigans!).

First off, living in Sweden, we gained 4 seasons!!  The photos depict us losing/gaining various layers as the year progresses!  We love being outdoors, and immersed in nature, and now we have the chance to experience all the seasons fully.  It also makes you appreciate the summer quite a bit more.  When the cold and snow came, life needed a little more planning (like digging the car out), but living in Sweden it does continue (unlike back in the UK where it stops just because it “might” snow!).  The children have embraced everything that has been thrown at them weather wise, and we live with the motto “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”….we have a whole outdoor shop’s supply of outdoor gear now 🙂

The great outdoors, and the Swedish ethos of outdoor living, was a huge attraction for us and for living in Sweden.  Don’t get me wrong, we did live in a beautiful part of the UK, but over here it is all much more natural, wild, and rugged.  Being a larger country, with fewer people in, the natural spaces and wildlife are left well alone and thrive without such a heavy presence of mankind.  There is wildlife and space all around you.  You know that while you are sleeping, the local älg (moose) are checking out the golf course up the road, or the deer are stealing the carrots from your children’s snowmen in the garden!  The public right of access allows everyone to roam freely, as long as they respect the land and nature. We have got to grips with outdoor fires, and enjoy using the regularly placed outdoor fire pits on our hikes.  The beautiful landscapes, the freedom to roam where we want to adventure, and the provision of fire pits in the wild, have definitely fulfilled this reason for moving here.  I think it is fair to say we have been taking full advantage of it all so far!

Let children be children!!  I need to let them run, climb, and explore.  In the UK, this got me a lot of frowns (especially in parks) when I deliberately made a choice not to helicopter parent any of them, as well as letting them use apparatus how they wanted to (provided no one else was affected!).  Plus in the UK there are a lot of expectations of how children should behave, often making them suppress a lot of their childhood instinctive behaviours, and in turn dampen down their spirit, curiosity, and excitement about life.  Over here it is a lot different.  Children are expected to want to make a noise, run around, and climb.  It’s quite common for my little lady to climb the trees in her playground, or twin 2 to be found dangling upside down precariously from a high bar, whereas in the UK those were a definite no no.  They are outdoors in all weathers, not cooped up because of some wind and rain.  The Swedes have clocked onto the fact that children don’t want to, and won’t sit still like statues, but instead they expect them to be moving.  The best bit….no one’s looking at your parenting skills or your child and seeming to be criticising them, when children are just being children.

Living in Sweden we have all left lovely close friends behind.  Only yesterday I opened a lovely parcel for the family from some close friends in the UK that made me a little weepy…..of the happy sort!  A year on though and we have met some very special people here who have helped us to settle in and go out of their way to help us.  They have become very good friends.  Also, our summer was very busy with close friends from the UK visiting, and the whole year has seen many friends and family coming.  There are five more sets of visitors booked for the next four months already!  It was hard leaving family and friends behind, and we do miss them a lot, but we are so grateful for those who have offered us friendship here  in Sweden 🙂

Having left a pressure cooker education system behind that has children exhausted, in tears, and feeling a failure, we are more than happy to embrace the Swedish positive approach to learning.  School is important to us here as a place for the children to meet others their age and learn the language, coming from an English speaking household, so it serves us well too.  It’s such a lovely environment….oh, apart from the no shoes indoors policy….I have to keep a better eye out for the holes in the socks situation!  But on the flip side they love running and sliding down the corridors 🙂  The lovely island school has turned out to be just what we wanted for our trio, and more.

With three children, life can easily start feeling like a hectic race from the moment you get out of bed, until the moment you collapse into it at the end of the day.  A huge reason for moving here was to slow right down, and commit to a much simpler way of living.  It just seems a lot easier to do here.  We have moved to a small island community, you can’t just pop to the shops to spend frivolously (the nearest are about a 30 minute drive), and there are no other material distractions, so life is lived at a more leisurely pace.  We’re no longer sucked into things like a weekend chocca full of children’s parties, activities, or shopping.  Instead it is full of family time, hiking, exploring, and lots of play!

The language is another harder aspect of living abroad.  Our trio are now immersed in it during the week at school, but they are still on a very steep learning curve.  Dadda and I are trying to teach ourselves.  We are making a little headway, understand a lot more than we used to, and can make ourselves understood…albeit with a lot of gesticulation too.  It’s hard learning a new language, but we try and at least begin to speak to the locals in Swedish (we’re lucky that so many are great at speaking English).  The trouble starts when people then respond in Swedish, and we sometimes lose the thread of the conversation, but at least we have made some baby steps.  With this comes other things that are very hard…school homework, when it does come home, takes twice as long as we have to understand it before we can help her with it.  Everything takes longer due to translating along the way (very slowly) and sometimes this can be very frustrating.  Something that is usually an easy task can seem to take forever.

Learning to drive on the other side of the road, in a car set up the opposite way, was another challenge too.  You’d think a year on we’d be OK, but the other night I drove about 500m on the wrong side before realising, so some habits are hard to kick.

There has been a huge downside though, and that is the lack of grown up time for Dadda and I.  There are no baby sitters here (yet, cross my fingers!), and we have moved abroad knowing there would be no one-night escapes to get a yearly lie in, or no time alone without the presence of our three cheeky monkeys.  As much as I know the younger years fly past in the blink of an eye, I wouldn’t ever say no to some peaceful calm time together, enjoying something as a couple outside of our four home walls.  However, for now, we will have to take the evenings collapsed on the sofa once we’ve tucked the trio up in bed.

If this family adventure does end up with us returning to the UK, at least there will be no “what ifs”, and so no regrets.  We will have tried living in Sweden, and given it a go.  The children will have experienced the world classroom, and a different culture, language, and lifestyle.  Although I really hope we are here to stay now, as this was how we planned it.  I think we have all adapted pretty well so far.  We seem to be integrating a little.  I can’t say enough though about how much we love living here, and I feel that maybe we have found our place in the world that we can call home 🙂

living in sweden, living abroad, moving to sweden, moving abroad, Sweden, www,mammasschool.co.uk

Our First Summer in Sweden-The Blog Returns :-)

Good morning!!!  So the loony trio have returned back to school in Sweden, full of smiles and giggles…..the little lady at the age of 9 heads into year 3, and her first proper start of the swedish school year, and the mini men start their förskola klass which is 5 mornings a week….I feel like I don’t whats hit me after nearly six years of 24/7 double trouble!

This dangerous few free hours every morning has allowed me to think, in which direction I wanted to head with my blog.  I have come to the conclusion that it will return, but on very different terms. My terms, not the numbers game terms of “getting you blog out there”, and everything associated with that.  Life here in Sweden, and our big move here to Sweden, was all about adopting their way of living, and their slower paced, more nature loving way of living.  I felt my work on the blog was contradicting this and I was drifting away from the original reasons I started it, and I do love writing it when the reasons for doing so are right.  The blog is supposed to be all about trying to inspire people to reach for your dreams, get outside in nature, and educating children outside the box.  So, with that in mind, I will now be posting just twice a week, on a Tuesday and Thursday.  However, over on instagram we are making full use of the insta stories function almost on a daily basis and doing daily “mini blogs” with our photos….so head over to https://www.instagram.com/mammasschool/to follow us on our one big Swedish adventure and see what we get up to.  The stories only stay on there for 24 hours. We will also still share our instagram photos over on the facebook page too, so you can follow there as well https://www.facebook.com/Mammas-School-1078629212158924/

We’ve had an amazing 10 weeks of summer holidays here in Sweden, exploring our new home.  We have camped, visited outdoor viking museums, had many boat trips around our archipelago (including one with a friend we have made on the island, in his own boat).  We’ve hiked loads, eaten lots of smokey fire pit food, geocached, hidden our own geocache, made LOTS of various fruit wines (and food), been to our first music festival, taken a trip up the west coast, finally managed to stop the ice cream van (those that visited and live here will know what a challenge that is), I’ve repainted our cabin (a whole new lesson and steep learning curve in maintaining wooden living areas), grown, foraged, and picked lots of food, and celebrated midsummer’s in great style!  We have been fortunate enough to see the coming and going of four sets of visitors too, and spent some really treasured times with these family and close friends.  We hope they will return again.  So, adieu until Tuesday, and I will leave you with “Our Summer in Photos”….enjoy 🙂

Ales Stones – A Megalithic Monument

The last stop on our day’s adventure to Skåne, was Ales Stones.  This is an acient monument that dates back to the Iron Age.  Ales Stones is made up of 59 huge stones, that are placed in a 67 metre long outline of a ship.  They are located in a beautiful setting, 32 metres above sea level, overlooking the Baltic Sea and Österlen’s hilly landscape.  The vista is amazing once you have completed the climb up to the monument.  It is Sweden’s best preserved ship tumulus and was built around 1400 years ago.

This was our last stop of a long and exciting day.  The children were tired, but it still did not stop them competing against each other to get to the top.  The weather was now starting to get very windy and more chilly, so I think they were spurred on by the need to keep warm!  The walk up was not too long, but very steep, and the views back down to the harbour as we climbed up were nothing short of stunning.  As is so often the case here in Sweden there was no charge for the privilege of seeing this wonderful piece of history, and no barriers either.  This meant that once we had reached the top, the children could touch, feel, and move in amongst the large boulders, really gaining a sense of perspective of how big it all was.  There are sheep and cattle grazing in amongst the monument too, adding a sense of calm and tranquillity to the area.  I realise perhaps these monuments in Sweden are not as busy as some back in the UK (I think we all know of a similar one I am referring to), but to not have to pay extortionate entry fees, and to be able to wander freely amongst the monument whilst respecting it, is a very lovely thing.

So what are Ales Stones?  Some think it is a burial monument, while others think they were an astronomical clock.  They are placed so that the sun sets on the northwestern stone in the summer, and the sunrises on the exact opposite stone in the winter.  They are erected in a ship formation (67m long and 19m wide at the widest point), and it is believed to originate from the early Iron Age (500-1000 AD).  The views from the top were also stunning, and very large!

It was such a lovely place to be, so it was a shame it felt like we were in a bit of a rush.  However, the wind was really picking up, and temperatures were starting to fall quite quickly, and the children were tired after a lovely, but long day in the outdoors and fresh air (not to mention a LOT of walking/running).  So we descended down with the eldest having to get a piggy back from Dadda, as a stumble made her shed tears of tiredness, and got back to the car.  We strapped everyone in, and started the 2.5 hour journey back home through the Swedish countryside.  It was very quiet from the trio, and Dadda and I were left to admire the Swedish landscape.  Another time, it would be nice to dawdle at the top, and then enjoy the fresh fish restaurants at the bottom, but I think that is more a summer experience!!

Ales Stones, Ales Stenar, Iron Age Sweden, Sweden Monument, www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

Stenshuvuds National Park – A Biodiversity Gem

Stenshuvuds National Park, Sweden National Parks, Sweden www.mammasschool.co.ukStenshuvuds National Park is an area in southern Sweden that brings together many different natural environments within quite a small area.  Stenshuvud is actually a hill located in a relatively flat area of Sweden, so the views from the top are magnificent. It faces the Baltic Sea.  The Stenshuvuds National Park contains forest, meadows, open heath land, swamps, and beaches…you can’t get many more forms of environment in one area!!  With the rich diverse environments, also comes a rich and diverse array of animal and plant life.  Close to the top are the remains of a 5th or 6th century fortress (which we didn’t visit this time round).

We arrived at Stenshuvuds National Park with the aim of taking a nice afternoon hike in a loop, taking in as many of the different environments as possible.  We started out in the forest, with a boardwalk over the more swampy areas.  The children loved trying to balance along the edges, and being the first real warmish day of spring, we were able to ditch the hats and over trousers, and enjoy the freedom of just being in thick jumpers and coats!

Once we had emerged from the wooded area, there was an open slope down to the wide and open stretch of beautiful white sandy beach.  This area of Sweden is known for amber washing up ashore, so we were on a treasure hunt immediately!  The rocks and stones were so beautiful.  Many different colours and patterns, and soon the children were collecting them and stowing half of Sweden away in their pockets.  They had a lot of favourite ones, and there were some tough decisions to be made about which few could come home with us, after they had lugged them a good way along the beach!  Unfortunately we didn’t manage to locate any amber, but we did enjoy the stunning beach, its views, and the windiest part of the walk.  The boys loved racing the waves in and out, standing on the verge of the water and then running backwards before the next wave could soak their feet:-)

After the beach it was up through the heath land and admiring the views on the way up, as well as the few hardy flowers that had been brave and already opened.  Then it was back into the forest again to head towards the car.  It was so nice to finally feel we were out in spring sunshine and the walk had amazing views.  A truly beautiful place, and as the park describes themselves “a biodiversity gem”.

 

Kiviksgraven – A Bronze Age Monument

Kiviksgraven, kungagraven, bronze age grave, Skane bronze age www.mammasschool.co.ukOn our recent trip to Kivik, we decided to visit Kiviksgraven.  This is a large Bronze Age grave monument, and one of the most remarkable bronze age monuments in Sweden.  There is a very large cairn on the top of the ground, marking the grave’s location, that is 75m across.  Underneath there is a burial chamber, with a passage leading into it.  In the centre of this burial chamber are 8 slabs.  It had always been thought that an important person or king was buried in there.  In the early 1930’s there was archaeological work done inside the grave, and although they thought they had found the king’s remains, it turned out they were probably several teenagers buried in there throughout a period of 600 years.

The Kiviksgraven is situated where people had lived 6,000 years ago, living off what the forest and sea gave them.  Then 3,500 years ago, the place took on some sort of spiritual significance and the Kiviksgraven was built.  The stone slabs inside the grave are adorned with bronze age drawings of ships, horses, and people.  There are now a lot of other burial mounds and standing stones too in the area.  The Kiviksgraven was discovered when back in the 18th century workers started using the stones for construction purposes.  Whilst doing this 2 men fell down into the chamber and the grave was discovered.

We paid our 25 sek (£2.50) for each adult to enter (children were free) and headed on in.  We thought this was a bargain considering the expense going anywhere with all 5 of us usually entails.  Plus you could get right up to the stones, and look at them properly.  This is a lot nicer for children who are not much good at looking at stones from a distance!  The drawings were in really good condition and the whole tomb was a little surreal to be inside.  After visiting inside the tomb, we walked round the whole of the outside. We had some difficulty trying to keep the trio off the cairn as it resembled one giant fun play area in their eyes, but eventually they understood.

These monuments don’t take that long to visit, and after a 2 hour drive to get to it, we needed a little refreshment before we continued on our tour, so we headed inside to the very Swedish and very lovely wooden hut cafe.  The children also had a little play in the garden area.

This was such an amazing piece of history to see, and really well preserved.  It was lovely to be able to get so close to it as well 🙂

Chokladbollens dag – Chocolate Ball Day

Thursday 11th May (torsdag elfte maj) was chokladbollens dag….yes, that’s right, they have a whole day dedicated to eating chocolate balls!  The longer I live here, the more I feel this country is the perfect place for my sweet tooth to have taken residence.  It seems there is always a yummy treat to spend a day officially celebrating!  So, in order to show we were integrating well into Swedish culture and life, we whizzed up a batch of these no-bake treats (like we really needed a reason!!).

So what do you need to make this gooey treat for chokladbollens dag?

250g soft butter

400g rolled oats

175g caster sugar

4 tbs cocoa powder

4 tbs strong cooled coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

desiccated coconut.

This made around 30 balls, but I think it should easily reach 40-50 if you don’t have a 9 year old chocoholic deciding the size of them 🙂

Whizz all the ingredients together, apart from the coconut, and then pop into the fridge to allow it to go a little firmer.  Once firm, roll into small balls, and then roll each ball into the desiccated coconut to cover it.  They should keep in the fridge for around a week….ahem….if you haven’t got me living with you!!

These are very easy and quick to make, and perfect for little people who enjoy “helping” in the kitchen.  Although to be fair my little lady is actually a help now rather than a hindrance.  As for the twins……….!!!!

 

chokladbollens dag, chocolate balls day, sweden www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

 

Twin Mummy and Daddy

Sandhammeren Beach – The Carribean in Sweden!

Sandhammeren beach lies down in southern Sweden in Skåne, and is one of Sweden’s finest beaches.  The long stretches of white sand there can rival any Caribbean beach.  On our recent adventure into this part of Sweden, Sandhammeren beach was on our “to do” list, and we were not disappointed.  The beach stretches for miles and miles and miles, the sand is white and soft, the sea is blue and clear (and cold in late April!), and there are the most amazing sand dunes as the back drop to this fantastic landscape.

As As soon as we released the trio from the car they ran straight for the dunes, and were racing up and down them for ages, giving Dadda and I ample time to take in the gorgeous view and use a leisurely pace to head towards the beach.  The children were just running and running.  The huge expanse of dunes, meant total freedom for further than they could have stamina for (a perfect win for parents!).  Once we caught up with them, we headed onto the beach.  Here the sand was so white, soft, and beautiful.  We were there on a windy late April day, but in the summer the sea will be a lot calmer and warmer for swimming in.  Today the children were happy just to chase the waves, and again run, run, run enjoying the freedom.  We didn’t meet another soul along Sandhammeren beach, and could see either way along the beach for miles.  Our little lady seemed to favour playing down on the shore line, enjoying splashing, running in and out of the waves, and writing her name in footprints on the sand.  It wasn’t long before the wellies were discarded in favour of bare feet as the waves had gone in over the top anyway.  Where we used to live in the UK we had a shingle beach, and whilst she was always to be found barefoot (the best way to be), it was always with an uncomfortable hobble.  So, to say she enjoyed sinking her feet into the soft sand is an understatement.  After a long winter of being all wrapped up in hats, coats, gloves, and second pairs of trousers, I think we all felt a sense of freedom with the shedding of the layers!

Meanwhile the mini men seemed to favour the dunes immediately behind us, running up and down them, before finally persuading Dadda to leap off them (he doesn’t need much persuading!!).  They had so much fun going up and down, and in an out of the grasses.

An action shot of Dadda and our little lady jumping off the dunes

We spent a good couple of hours just exploring this gorgeous beach, and shoes and pockets were filled with sand by the end of all the fun.  We headed back towards the car through the heath and scrub on the footpath, meandering our way a bit more chilled out by now.  Once we were back in the car park, the children had a quick obligatory tree climb and play on the rope swing, before climbing back into the car, with a little less energy than they got out of it with!!  We will definitely be returning to Sandhammeren beach during the summer to have some fun in the Swedish summer sun here, as we have totally fallen in love with the place!

Sandhammeren Beach, Skåne, Skane beach, Sweden beaches, white sand, www.mammasschool.co.uk

Two Tiny Hands

Kivik – The Apple Capital Of Sweden

Since moving to Sweden, I have started compiling lists of where to visit and what to see.  Somewhere not too far from us is the county of Skåne.  This county is known for its huge expanse of sandy beaches, its proliferation of apple blossom in the spring, and lovely old villages.  So, with far too much on my list to achieve in one day, we chose 5 things to do on a bright but chilly and windy spring day.  First up was the village of Kivik, but we will no doubt be returning many times to this lovely county to do more exploring!!

Kivik has an old part of the town near the harbour and seafront.  It has lovely old buildings and cobbled streets, and is very beautiful.  It has lots of unique little shops, restaurants, and cafes.  It is very early in the spring here, but we got a taste of how it would come alive in the summer months, and how people would be jostling for space at the fresh fish restaurants, and enjoying the sandy harbour area.  It also has one of Sweden’s oldest cinemas there, but we did not locate that.

The area around Kivik is also very renowned for its apple growing.  The climate seems to favour this fruit here, and Kivik is the centre of Swedish apple cultivation; the apple capital of Sweden.  In fact, there is so much going on, that the blossom season is a sight to see in its own right, and we had set out on our adventure aiming to see this.  A month ago when we visited the UK the blossom season was in full swing, and I thought we may have been OK visiting it here in Sweden now, but I think we were a little early, but only by a week or so.  Some of the trees had started and others were ready to burst open with blossom, and it hinted at the spectacle of what was to come.  It was still very pretty, but we were a little too early in May for our visit.

Kivik - The Apple Capital of Sweden, Visit Skane, Osterlen, apple blossom, sweden www.mammasschool.co.uk

 

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