Ashwin's colleague Anders graciously invited us to stay the weekend with his family in Jönköping. This was the first time we were going to stay with a Swedish family and I was really looking forward to it. We drove down Jönköping with Anders on Friday about 300 kms from Malmo. Its a small town, the 9th largest in Sweden with about 125,000 inhabitants, in the county of Småland which is charecterized by gently rolling hills topped with dense coniferous forests. The landscape is really stunning, so thickly wooded. Its a steep little town with pretty houses perched on the slopes of the hill around the lake Vättern. And what view from the house, man!!! Can't believe they wake up to that view every day !!
Anders and his wife, Camilla have 2 children Ellen and Jonathan, 2 cuties who were a lot of fun & quintessentially Swedish- blonde, blue eyed. Jonathan took a fancy to Ashwin and stuck to him all through the stay. I don't think its ever happened before :-). The family really went out of the way to entertain us, taking us out around the area, then to their summer house. Especially the ever enthusiastic Anders, a coffee lover. He even owns his own coffee machine and was churning out great cups of cappuchinos for us.
We, first visited Gränna, a town with traditional old houses and numerous candy factories which attracts a lot of tourists. Saturday is "candy day"for the children in Sweden, so the town was full of tourists, the old and the young variety alike!!
The summer house was very very charming, in a very picturesque setting - by a peaceful lake and in a thick forest of pine trees and nearly no one around. We both wished we had one. The Swedes really know how to live!
A traditional Swedish house or a summer house for that matter is always a red-painted cottage with white borders. Anders' was really well built, it had everything.
He also had a raft ! We sailed on the tranquil lake just before it started pouring. That ride with thick connifers lining the banks was so so peaceful.. and so still.. as if nothing was moving around us. It felt like some remote island when it was actually just 15 mins from the town.
Had a barbecue for dinner in all that rain- grilled salmon ! Went down well and fast with Ashwin, for sure !!