Thursday, January 15, 2009

Childhood Summers

AA Pic of the Week 125 w In the middle of winter, with lots of snow and freezing temperatures, I thought it was appropriate to put up a picture from a sunny summer's day 28 years or so ago.

When my son was little we often took a week to go canoeing and camping in a province called Dalsland in Sweden. There you can find vast areas of nature for anyone to explore. There is a law in Sweden giving everyone legal right of access to private land (open country), as long as you don't cause any damage. So you just fill your canoe with tinned food, tent and sleeping bags, and off you go.

Dalsland offers a large area of inter-connecting lakes in a densely forested landscape, so you can go for a long hike without seeing too many houses. One excellent feature of the canoe is that it carries all the weight; you just have to paddle at your own chosen speed. It does not matter whether you are a strong athlete or a weakling, you'll get there in the end.

In those days the water in the lakes was so clean that we used it for cooking and even drinking. We always brought frozen (initially), tinned orange juice. Then, in the middle of the lake, we took a big plastic container with the concentrated juice already in it, and lowered that into the water. The air inside the container rose to the surface in the shape of bubbles, and lovely, cool water started filling the container; and hey presto, we had our drink.

Every evening, after having put up the tent, we had our dinner by the camp fire in the sunset. Doesn't that sound tempting?

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GutsyWriter said...

What a beautiful memory. Is that actually your son and your canoe? Does your adult son bring up those memories today?

oreneta said...

That all feels like Canada too, though I wouldn't drink the lake water straight...beaver fever...yech.

swenglishexpat said...

GW - It is my son and our hired canoe (from Laxsjöns Friluftsgård). We talk about it sometimes and he remembers some of it. Great holidays.
Oreneta - Canada yes, but in Dalsland there are not as many bears and the moose are called elks. The lakes were very deep in the middle and there was no pollution "upstream".