Coming home and celebrating Christmas in Sweden

The way back home went smoothly, it was just very long. I arrived early morning at the bus station in Sao Paolo the 17th, hung around for a few hours before heading to the airport where I did nothing for another few hours (about 10 hours) until I finally boarded the airplane. I fell asleep that same second. (I did wake up later to eat dinner and watch a movie too).

I changed flights in London, and hung with a half Brazilian- half italian drummer, Celso, who lived in Netherlands. He spoke portugese and I spoke Spanish (portuñol). I notice now that I really will miss the Portuguese! Then I had a few more hours before landing in Sweden.

And what do I see when I go out from the arrivals?? My favorite fencing girls, Carro, Sara and Jannica!! They had all bunk off work and school to meet me there, with a big Welcome home-sign and flowers. I was truly surprised! Of course the ones I expected was also there, my mother and my grandmother. Lovely! Couldn’t had asked for more. Well, yes, snow. Apparently this is one of the warmest winters ever, it’s like +6*C. A little bit sad actually to not have a white Christmas!

Finaste mötet på flygplatsen!

Finaste mötet på flygplatsen!

Came home to my apartment where I have two lodgers, a couple. And damn, it was messy. I barely recognized my own home, stuff everywhere, and my own stuff had been put away god knows where. Also, I had asked them to take out a package I sent when I left Argentina, and they hadn’t seen the letter from the post office, or the reminder letter… I arrived the 17 of December and the last date to pick up was the 20th of November… I quickly ran to the post office but the package had left back to Argentina. So 10 kg of winter clothes, bracelet-stuff, Christmas gifts, mates, souvenirs… And the post there isn’t really that reliable. I don’t know if I ever see that again. :(

I spent about 2 days trying to organize my home a little bit. Barely see my lodgers. But anyways, it felt good to be home! My own room, my own bed. :)

My kitchen - ah, I love!!

My kitchen – ah, I love!!

My christmas corner at home ;)

My christmas corner at home ;)

I took a shower and woooooow, such a great shower!! The water pressure is really hard (adjustable) and the water really hot (adjustable) – and the best thing of it all – neither the hot water or even the water never ends!! :)

I uploaded some pictures, and woooow, internet is really really super fast here!!! Can’t believe it. Haha. Also I have really missed spotify!

AND TO BE ABLE TO CROSS THE ROAD EASILY!! Haha. I went to the super market and it felt so weird that the cars stopped even before I had reach the zebra crossing – they knew I was crossing and stopped before to wait for me to cross. In south America they don’t even stop if you are on the zebra crossing before them, you have to run over between the cars that never slow down for you!

Another thing that feels weird – I can throw toilet paper in the toilet!! Haha… still about 50% of my toilet paper ends up in the paper bin anyways just because I’m used to it now.

Oh and one more thing – I have so much stuff and so much clothes! I can’t believe that all of this is mine. All furniture and all the things in this apartment. It’s really amazing how I can have all this. And so much clothes!! For the first time in a year I didn’t know what to wear – just because I had so many options!!

Anyway, it feels good to be home. I thought I was going to feel depressed about being back to the “cold” and the dark, but it feels great actually. I have missed home. It’s just that we are so spoiled. But sometimes that is good too ;)

Well.. That’s a small update of the first things that have chocked me when going back to Sweden. So what have I done then? Haha. I have had something planned for everyday!

On Friday I met up with some friends at Theodoras, then I slept over at Carros new apartment which is at walking distance from there. In the morning she invited me to have a birthday breakfast, yummi! We watched “Torka aldrid tårar utan handskar”, great Swedish tv-serie of 3 parts (we only saw 2).

Having a few beers and swedish potato chips before heading out to meet people :)

Having a few beers and swedish potato chips before heading out to meet people :)

Mime, me and Carro :)

Mime, me and Carro :)

Together with Adam, Sinan and my friend from Mexico Alejandro, and his friend.

Together with Adam, Sinan and my friend from Mexico Alejandro, and his friend.

Ran into Aston and Tomas at!

Ran into Aston and Tomas at!

Breakfast at Carros!

Breakfast at Carros!

Then I had to head back home to my mother, where I was going to celebrate my birthday with the whole family. She had it all Christmas decorated, so nice. Supergood food, dessert, gifts, company.

Birthday dinner at moms :) All very serious.. haha

Birthday dinner at moms :) All very serious.. haha

Hanging out at my mothers house at my Birthday

Hanging out at my mothers house at my Birthday

Next day, the 22nd, we celebrated Christmas Eve at my aunt, uncle and cousins house. They wont be at home for the regular Christmas, so we had glögg, Christmas lunch and gift opening for 7 hours the 22nd of December instead.

Our christmas tree and all our gifts. Took 7 hours to open them all!

Our christmas tree and all our gifts. Took 7 hours to open them all!

Having some glögg and pepparkakor, typical swedish christmas drink and sweats

Having some glögg and pepparkakor, typical swedish christmas drink and sweats

MmmmM!!!!!!!

MmmmM!!!!!!! Cheese, bread and crackers, sallad, sill…

MmmmmmMM!M!M!!!!!!!

MmmmmmMM!M!M!!!!!!! Some traditional swedish chrismas food :)

My plate! LOVE our veggie christmas food!!

My plate! LOVE that there is so much veggie christmas food!!

Christmas lunch!

Christmas lunch! The grown up table ;)

Can't really say this is the childrens table anymore since we are all over 18 years old, haha. But the youths table at least :)

Can’t really say this is the childrens table anymore since we are all over 18 years old, haha. But the youths table at least :)

Usually me and Tove (my cousin) are the same height. But then she decided to climb up a chair, leaving me alone, as the shortest one in our family.

Usually me and Tove (my cousin) are the same height. But then she decided to climb up a chair, leaving me alone, as the shortest one in our family.

The 23rd I worked at my old work, Ljud och Bildmedia. Also so much fun to be back and do something. It was also really calm and about a forth of the people that usually works there, since it’s Christmas time they have all taking vacations to visit their families around in Sweden.

After work I was invited over to Erik & Eriks for some julfika (christmas fika). They live really close to the work. We had some glögg and Swedish chocolate, soooo good. It is the best chocolate in the world. Erik also gave me a birthday gift – or better said two – DVDs that seem to be really good. SO SWEET!!

At Erik and Eriks house having some julfika!

At Erik and Eriks house having some julfika!

Eriks gifts for me!

Eriks gifts for me!

The 24th  of december I spent the whole morning cleaning my apartment, then I went over to my mothers, had a light lunch before heading to the super market to buy Christmas food for Duilio to try when he arrives. Then we watched Donald Duck (a tradition in Sweden), opened a few more gifts and had dinner.

Moms christmas tree with a few gifts for todays christmas ;)

Moms christmas tree with a few gifts for todays christmas ;)

At my mothers on Christmas Eve, having dinner, only us three. :)

At my mothers on Christmas Eve, having dinner, only us three. :)

Lightning a tomtebloss!

Lightning a tomtebloss!

Love them!!

Love them!!

Today, the 25th of December, my boyfriend Duilio arrives here in Stockholm! He has now a residence and working permit for 2 years! I have looked forward to this moment for soooo long now. Can’t believe it is actually happening!!

So yes, summa summarum, I went abroad for a year, and came back with the love of my life, who is literally leaving his whole life behind to come to live with my for a few years to start with. He will start a blog too where you can follow his journey instead ;)

Now it’s time to say good bye for this year.

I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new years!!!

Here comes a video of my family during Christmas, singing a ”snapsvisa”, a Swedish traditional drinking song.

 

Visiting fascinating Grâmado & Canela in the Serra Gaúcha

Today Rafa was taking me to the Serra of Gaucho. The gauchos are very proud of it and of being Gauchos too (argentina, uruguay and rio grande do sul are Gauchos) In my head, I was imaging me going to the mountains with horses and ranches, so it was a bit of a surprise to get to Gramado!

We started out by going to a place that has been serving ”continental breakfast” for over 100 years and is famous there. I went to the bathroom, and when I got back, the table was literally filled with breakfast stuff! I WAS LIKE: W000000T? I knew we were going to try local dishes, but I thought you ordered them apart, not that it was a whole package.

Having contintental breakfast!! 100% Luxury!

Having continental breakfast!! 100% Luxury!

Hahaha. I was so damn surprised. I’ve never ever seen so much food!!! And it was not only the food on the table, but they also went around and served other sweets and meats, ice-cream, cakes, drinks and coffee…. Amazing. We ate all we could but still had so much left!

our leftovers :(

our leftovers after 2 hours :(

Where we had our Continental breakfast

Where we had our Continental breakfast

 

So after a couple of hours there we went downtown in Gramado… and wow there too. Gramado is an important tourist resort in the Serra and draw many visitors each years. Mostly Brazilians and mostly gauchos. The whole town was christmas decorated and the architecture of the whole town is inspired by the german enxaimel. When you build a house there, it’s obligatory to follow those mandatories to keep that style there. It was so weird, I felt I was like in the alps or something, just that the snow was missing! Haha.

The shopping street in Gramado

The shopping street in Gramado with the christmas decorations

An enxaiel-architecture and tim burton inspired building :)

An enxaiel-architecture and tim burton inspired building :)

 

Big Santa Claus!

Big Santa Claus!

Me and Rafa in front of the church built of stone in Gramado

Me and Rafa in front of the church built of stone in Gramado

They really care about the details here!!

They really care about the details here!!

 

Amazing mall...

A mall…

Also the streets were filled with christmas music, at first I thought I had passed it came from the store we passed by, but no, it came from speakers underneath hanging flowers along the street. Nice touch!

The speakers playing christmas music in the hanging flower pots along the shopping streets

The speakers playing christmas music in the hanging flower pots along the shopping streets

The level of life there is very high and generally the people who lives there are very rich too. You don’t see any poor people there at all.

One thing that I loved about here is that the pedestrians have the right to cross the street before the cars, yes! The car stops waiting for you to cross…. Lovely!! didn’t believe that would be something I would miss, but I really have!!

We also visited ”Vila Natal”, which is a small ”village” in full preparation for christmas haha. So weird to see!

Vila Natal. Fixing the christmas tree!

Vila Natal. Fixing the christmas tree!

Christmas village!

Christmas village!

Later we went to the famous ”Lago Negro”, which is the most visited green area of Gramado. We took a pedal swan boat ride around the lake and enjoyed the good weather.

In our swan :)

In our swan :)

In Lago Negro

In Lago Negro

Hello something similar to swans!

Walking around the lake we had visit from something similar to swans! :)

Me and Rafa in Lago Negro

Me and Rafa in Lago Negro

After that we went to the neighbourhood town Canela, where we visited the national parkParque do Caracol”. Beautiful landscape and waterfalls there!

Caracol Waterfalls in Parque do Caracol in Canela

Caracol Waterfalls in Parque do Caracol in Canela

Me in Parque do Caracol

Me in Parque do Caracol

 

In the small waterfalls :)

In the small waterfalls :)

Haha :)

Haha :)

When the park closed we went into town of Canela, which is very similar to Gremado. Both attracts many tourists every year, both in Christmas (they are known for making their own christmas decoration by recycled material by local residents) but mostly during winter (june,july) when its cold.

We visited the church in Canela and had a nice coffee in a coffee place nearby. Then we started our journey back.

Church in Canela, also made of stone.

Church in Canela, also made of stone.

Rafa showed me around the university-campus in Porto Alegre where he used to study and work, went home for a shower and then got into town to a pub called Pedrini in the Cidade Baixa neighborhood. We had good brazilian alcohol-free beers and ”pastels” (also typical here) filled with cheese and talked all night about everything.

With Rafa in Perini

With Rafa in Perini

Nice alkoholfree beer and nice cheese-pastels!

Nice alkohol free beer and nice cheese-pastels!

We also visited a supermarket on the way – and they have eeeeeverything here!!! Fruits, coffee, chocolate… mmmmm Rafa made me by the napolitan chocolate and the coconut drink, very typical here in RS, which I had on my bus trip next day.
Soooo sad to leave Porto Alegre and Rafael and his family. It has truly been a pleasure!

I’m so lucky – get an insight in a traditional swedish christmas

I’m lucky to have such a wonderful family, and I’m lucky to live in beautiful Sweden.

When we were younger we used to spend the summers together, when me and my mother were living in Spain, we stayed at my uncles’ house when we were visiting Sweden, and later when we moved here we spend a week together at our grandmothers house or at their caravan every summer. Nowadays, we kids are slightly older, and the family only get together on special occasions like birthdays or christmas, maybe that’s why I appreciate it even more now.

We are actually a really stubborn and besserwisser-family, and we do discuss a lot,  about really unimportant little things. But now that I’m older I start to smile when I hear the typical discussions springing, because it’s so typical us. (not when I’m being attacked myself of course, because in this family everyone think they are right, so sometimes it’s not worth to try to explain for example why you don’t eat meat, of course I can say my opinion but I can never be right (if they don’t already think as me, which they don’t, so…). But still, it’s family, and I love them!

I have celebrated ”real” Christmas here in Sweden with them just a couple of times, we used to have a new-years-eve-christmas instead only because I always spent the christmas eve with my family in Spain. Not this year though, due to some issues there and also because of my trip to South America, I wanted to spend my Christmas here in Stockholm with my mother and my swedish family, and I’m very glad that I did!

Celebrating my 25th birthday at my place

Celebrating my 25th birthday at my place. We ate lots of christmas cookies and homemade chocolate truffles.  And I got santa’s sparkles or whatever they are called in english. :)

Christmas 2012!

Christmas 2012! Our tree (yes, we do give each other quite many gifts!), me, my really good veggie christmas food (which I’m not responsable for), and the gift’s I had wrapped in :)

Panorama picture over Swedish traditional christmas celebration :) Gifts, wrapping paper, glögg, coffee, christmas candy...

Panorama over the living room, a Swedish traditional christmas celebration :) Exchanging gifts, reading rimes, drinking glögg, coffee, eating christmas candy… :)

Some of the gifts I got for christmas and my birthday from my family :)

Some of the gifts I got for christmas and my birthday from my family :) Very happy!!  Almost everything is for my trip! Really loooove the purple sweater! Yaaay!

Swedish winter 2012

The residential area and my balcony this winter 2012. Beautiful!

 

I’m also so lucky because it has been a really good winter so far this year. The last years here in Stockholm you never know how the weather is going to be in December, mostly it changes between being wet and dirty everywhere because of melting snow (yes, we had one period of it this year) and super slippery because the melting snow has frozen again, I was afraid it was going to be like a really cold and dark autumn instead of a white christmas. But nope! There has been loooots of snow! And it hasn’t been that cold at all! Usually, after 1-2 months of snow and darkness, I get really tired of it, but I haven’t this year. I don’t know if it’s because I know I’m leaving and won’t need to stand out with it during january, february, march, probably april, maybe even may….. But, I sort of feel that I actually will miss the beauty of it. But you can’t have everything ;)
It was my wish to have a good real white swedish winter here with my family before I leave, and I feel really lucky to have had it. Thank you!


What makes you feel lucky and happy this time at year?

Merry Christmas and a Happy new year everybody!!!!

P.S Feliz Navidad familia española. Que penita que no nos hayamos podido ver este año! Pienso en vosotros. Besitos y amor!