On my way home from Italia, I decided to zip up to Sweden to visit some family. My great grandparents immigrated to Canada many, many years ago so the family in that part of the world is many generations removed. However, my aunt has made several trips to this part of the world over the years which have kept our ties strong. Our Swedish roots have always been enthusiastically celebrated, especially during the holiday season, this is a trip I have been excited to do for several years. I’m so grateful I was given the opportunity for this visit this part of my heritage.

The hospitality extended by all of the family was unrivalled. I had only met a small handful of these relatives while visiting Canada when I was much younger, but each one welcomed me into their home with open arms. Furthermore, everyone was so kind to speak English to me…in their own country. Us English speaking travellers are so fortunate.

I hope you’ve enjoyed following along for my little European adventure. I’m so excited to continue exploring, there is so much more to see. But in the meantime, I am refreshed, inspired and ready to dive into the craziness of wedding season!

Thank you EVERYONE!

Of course I loved the red houses dotting the Swedish countryside. It is no coincidence that they are all red, I was interested to learn the history.

This was the home where my great grandmother Svea was born and raised. It is still in the family. As a girl who grew up in a home and yard that my parents built from the ground up, there is so much family history in the Hajom area.

When my great-grandparents left their home in Hajom, they departed on a boat from this pier on Lake Lygnern. And then they got on a train. And finally a ship across the Atlantic. What a journey! A few years back the community held a fundraiser and locals could purchase engraved planks. The Svenson family gifted one to my aunt Marian who has always been fascinated with the story.

These giant cinnamon buns are a signature cafe offering in the Haga neighbourhood of Gothenburg.

Svea is my middle name [after my great-grandmother who I've mentioned a couple times earlier in this post] …the name was everywhere in Gothenburg!

These white flowers are a sign of spring in Sweden. Usually they just blanket the entire fields. Many people mentioned that 2013 has been the longest, coldest winter…everyone is ready for spring! I hope the fields have finally bloomed!

Lots of very old family photos!

These ones are of my grandma and her siblings taken on a trip to the Rockies many moons ago and then sent back to a family member in Sweden. Like myself, my grandma just loves the mountains and has always told me happy stories of family trips to Banff!

I got to visit an amazing textile factory.

Filip and I didn’t speak the same language [he hasn't started learning English in school yet...and me, well unfortunately I certainly don't speak much Swedish] but he wanted to show me the fort he and several friends have built over the past few years. No help from parents, very impressive!

And lastly, my very lovely hosts! Dan and his son Sven-Ove will be spending 5 weeks in Canada and USA this summer, I can not wait to have them visit us in Canmore!

Behind the scenes of the entire trip can be found on Instagram: #juliesveagoesabroad

5 Responses to A WEEK IN SWEDEN.

  1. Such an amazing collection of stories and bonds. I love all the Svea signs too! I’m so happy you got to do this…

  2. I just love this post, thank you for sharing your journey!

  3. We traveled to Sweden a few years ago too, and had a wonderful experience. My grandfather left Sweden (Svea’s brother) from that pier. Was such an emotional moment when first seeing it. Glad you had the opportunity to visit our heritage. We are looking forward to Swen-ove and Dan’s visit too.

  4. Lovely photos! I live in Chicago. My ancestors also came from Hajom. They lived near a lake just to the Northeast of your ancestor’s lake called Lake Bårredsjön. Maybe they knew each other! We are planning our first visit to Sweden soon. Cannot wait.

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