Wednesday, June 8, 2011

National Day of Sweden

Yesterday was Sweden's National Day!  Their National Day can be likened to our Independence Day.  According to Wikipedia, "The tradition of celebrating this date began 1916 at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium, in honour of the election of King Gustav Vasa in 1523, as this was considered the foundation of modern Sweden."  To celebrate, the Kermanshahis and Petersons all headed over to Trollhattan's waterfall, where water is released every year for special occasions, such as Sweden's National Day.

We walked over around 3 PM in hopes of being able to take a tour of Trollhattan's Church of Sweden and of making it early enough to find a good seat for the releasing of the water (which was to take place at 5 PM).  We were disappointed to see that the church was not open (last year we toured the church and then they gave us "fika"--aka snacks--and I was hoping for a repeat).  Not to despair!  we thought.  We'll just enjoy the Swedish nature for approximately...two hours.  So, that's we what we did, assuring ourselves that the wait would be well worth it as surely hundreds of Swedes would show up any minute, and we would have the prime view of the falls.  Ha.

So we waited.

And waited.

And Swedes failed to show.

Finally, a voice over an intercom announced that the falls would be released in approximately thirty minutes.  A few of us decided to hike a ways so that we could get an even better view of what was sure to be a spectacular event.

We waited anxiously on a decently high lookout.  Below, there was no crowd to be found.  Only our relatives and perhaps a few other tourists had come to celebrate.

Then, slowly, ever so slowly, a dark cloud began to hover closer and closer.  And right as the moment we had been waiting for finally arrived, it seemed as though the locks and the clouds burst open simultaneously, one soaking the rocks below and the other soaking us humans above.

I really didn't mind it a whole lot.  It was actually pretty exhilarating.  Until I saw lightning and realized we were up high, surrounded by trees.

And that's when we ran back down, as fast as our sopping wet legs would take us.

We still had to walk back home, and by the time we got there we were all drenched.  But, as Don and Sheri said, we were memory-making.  And, as my cousin reminded us, that's a Swedish summer for you.

At least we got to see the church from the outside.

Before.  We look so happy.

Waiting on the lookout

When it rains, it pours.

After.  Pay special attention to Hanna's shoe.

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