Summer holidays and Amsterdam

July is when Sweden goes on holidays. Businesses are closed for the summer (quite a few of them, anyway), people take time off work, the weather doesn’t suck. Usually people tend to go away to other countries, which to me is ludicrous because after all that snow and cold these months are finally when Sweden gets warm and sunny. I guess I’m kind of fibbing - I get it. You want to get out and see other places during your vacation.

So we went to Amsterdam for two days this month. It was great, but too short. On the last day we almost “forgot” that we had a plane to catch that night and considered maybe just “accidentally missing it”. It’d be an adventure, that’s for sure. But as the day went on I actually got excited about coming back home to Sweden. Amsterdam is great to visit, but there’s nothing there that makes me feel like I’d rather be there than in Stockholm. One big thing I did take away from it though was the desire to bike far more regularly instead of catching the train. I think since we got back we haven’t gotten on a train to Södermalm once, opting to cycle instead.

We didn’t take our laptops and put heavy restrictions on internet use. Mostly we just wanted to disconnect and relax. It worked, although I kept thinking about snails, taking notes, etc.

When we got to the Amsterdam airport we saw the TVs in an electronics store talking about a flight and showing disturbing footage. Through a store clerk who translated for us we learned that flight MH17 had just been shot down by terrorists in Ukraine after leaving that same airport that same evening. We were in shock for a while, with no idea of what was happening. I finally got to wifi to be able to read some English and Russian-language news. I hope that the terrorists - and anyone sponsoring them - are brought to justice.

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