Sunday, September 22, 2013

New adventures is Sweden

Another week of new adventures in Sweden. We headed to the south end to set up a new apartment in Landskrona. I really like the area a lot. The apartment is spacious with huge windows and a great location. You walk one way to the waterfront or the other way to the central part of town. It is known to have a castle but there was no time to go and check that out. One thing I want to remember about Landskrona is their traffic circles are the most decorative. One has fountains, and another has a bunch of sails from ships. I must mention that I do notice and look for the artistic traffic circles. On the way to the mission office I really like the one with the huge cement whale that has blue lights shining on it at night. And the one on the way to the church looks like a grass roller coaster and then one time we happened by at night and it was covered with tiny white lights - Wow. Back to the apartment ... I just love making a nice home for our missionaries. When Elder Tolley drove to Helsingborg to pick up the elders that were moving in I did the final touches. When they walked in I loved saying "Welcome Home". They were very impressed with the curtains, rugs, nice furniture and right away noticed the big chocolate bars on their pillows. It would be fun to see their faces when they find food in the cupboards and fridge - BUT - we are off to help others. We were going to head home but we got a few phone calls and it changed our plans.

We had stopped in Norrköpping on our way down to fix the sisters bikes that we had found parts for. I just love Sister Merrell and Sister La Fontaine. When they met us they had a bag of cookies for us, and of course I got lots of hugs. The cookies were most delicious. They do not have chocolate chips in Sweden so you buy really good chocolate bars and cut them up for the cookies. I think it makes them extra tasty even though it is a little more work.
We are headed up to Jönköping tonight. We are going to have to get a hotel for the night, as we had received phone calls from two other apartments that needed our help. Since we are staying in Jönköping we had to call our friends, Elder and Sister Coombs. They have settled in nicely in their lovely apartment and invited us to come for dinner. How wonderful is that! Sister Coombs is a wonderful cook so we are excited to have a lovely evening with them.

So on our way to their home, I mentioned to Elder Tolley that we always work, work, work and it would be nice to have a little fun for the first time since we have arrived. So I mentioned to him something that Elder Carpenter (one of the zone leaders from Malmö) told me about Sweden. Looking on the map we could take a smaller side road and stop for an hour and check out Sweden's largest box store in the whole country. I was overjoyed that he thought that would be all right (especially because he is not usually up for shopping). I was convincing him that it was a cultural experience that we would have. As we got close to Ullared where we would find Gekås (the store) we passed a huge field with hundreds of trailers and motor homes. That was something we had not seen here before. We wondered what the attraction was. Then we get to the shopping area - and see the largest parking lot in Sweden with thousands of cars and people. Instead of finding one large store we found a plethora of shopping outlet stores as well. We finally found a place to park and as we were walking to the Gekås store people were coming out with huge smiles and carts and bags full of stuff. Then we noticed big buses loading up people and their shopping bags. This was going to be interesting. As it turned out we only had time to see about 1/4 of the one store. We did find some incredible deals on some things but just watching the shopping frenzy of others was most fun. We will have to return when we have time to investigate more thoroughly (hopefully with my mother when she comes to visit), and our granddaughters would go nuts in the Lego and toy section of the store. I saw Lego Advent Calendars - how fun is that! We did find slow cookers (278 K ) and blenders (199 K - about $30) for such great prices that we will be telling all the missionary couples about it. In fact I called the Coombs that were feeding us dinner that night and they had us buy them a slow cooker and blender. I found some yarn for knitting blankets for my soon to be born grandchildren. So off we must go....
the shopping bag has a map on it so you can find your way back......and it shows all the roads that lead there! It just so happens that this year is their 50th anniversary of being open. An entire city has grown up all around this one store. A must see in Sweden. And notice that the colors are the same as the colors in the Swedish Flag. It is not far from the coast of Denmark - I bet they all come to shop here too.

Other fun things we saw on our side road trip:
Just after this hamburger stand on the roadside we saw a long line of cows coming home to be milked. They were all in single file on a small path along the side of the road with very large udders and knowing it was time to head home. Did I mention that Sweden has the best tasting yogurt? My favorite breakfast is Cornflakes with Musli and Yogurt (Warren calls is Häst Mat - translated Horse Food). I never liked Cornflakes before but it is most delicious with the additions.

And then the beautiful rainbow. More colorful and larger than I have ever seen before. This is only the one end.

This windmill/home is just as we are leaving Helsingborg. It is up on a hill and must have an incredible view of the water with Denmark in the distance.

We drove through the town of Skeppshult. We have to go back there. The special salt and pepper shakers that we had from our last trip to Sweden that were in our home in Kalispell are from there. It is a cast iron company and they have an outlet store at the factory there. How sad I was that they were closed.

I think we will have to take a few more SIDE ROAD TRIPS. So much fun things to see and experience.
We miss you and wish you all could have been with us.

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