Terry and Inga Loy flew to Sweden to visit Inga’s family and to escape from the summer heat. Their last visit was four years ago when they attended Inga’s nephew’s wedding.
They began their quest for cooler weather by visiting Inga’s brother and family at their home near Gothenburg for a few days and then enjoyed a road trip along the western coastline, called Bohuslan, north of Gothenburg. “Bohuslan is most popular for its sailing and fishing sports. There are cafes everywhere.” said Inga.
The road trip included stops in the scenic towns of Smogen, Skarhamn Harbor and Hunnebostrand. “Swedes have to have their coffee and sandwiches at least two or three times a day between breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s a daily ritual called FIKA,” explained Inga. “It made the trip a little slower having our FIKA every few hours, but we met people from all over Sweden and Europe and they all wanted to know where Canyon Lake is.”
After their road trip, the Loy’s traveled by train to visit Inga’s step-mother on the family farm in Gunnarn and her sister and other family members who live nearby. After spending a few days on the farm, Terry and Inga, along with her sister and brother-in-law, drove to the Arctic Circle for a photo op and then on to Jukkasjarvi, a small villiage that is home to the world famous Icehotel.
“The hotel is next to the Torne River. It’s the largest river in Sweden and runs an impressive length of 520 kilometers or 323 miles,” said Inga. “The river freezes in the winter and provides the ice for the reconstruction of the hotel. When the ice art and parts of the hotel melt, the water returns to its source.”
After a cool night in Jukkasjarvi, the Loys traveled to the town of Kiruna where the midnight sun shines for 50 consecutive days and nights throughout the summer. “Kiruna was our turn around point. We started heading south to avoid the reindeer traffic we had previously encoutered while driving north,” Inga said. “The reindeer have the right away, so we had to stop and wait several times.”
After crossing the Finnish border and another photo op at the Finnish Arctic Circle, they headed back to the family farm for a few days. Inga said, “Large moose were frequently spotted around the farm and are magnificent animals to see. During the winter months on the farm, the northern lights are common and fascinating to watch.”
Before heading back home to Canyon Lake, the Loys enjoyed a stay at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm and a harbor cruise.