Camping, Running, and Floating to the Finish

After our core course week, it was a whirlwind to the end of the semester. For me, that meant finishing up classes with projects, essays, and exams, while also spending time with friends. During our last weekends in Sweden, my friends and I went camping in Tyresta National Park, ran a half marathon, and went timber rafting down the Klarälven before a final hurrah to Birka with all the students at DIS.

I love how easy it is to find nature so close to the city. My friends and I took the bus to Tyresta with camping gear (borrowed from DIS and our host parents), and then we walked to a lake and found a great spot to pitch a tent. Fires were only allowed in the few designated fire pits, which was actually quite perfect, because nearby was a whole store of dry, cut wood—for free! We sat by the fire and ate our korv (sausage) and s’mores (although Swedish s’mores aren’t quite the same), and had a lovely evening. It was cold, but not too cold. I was quite skeptical of the camping idea at first because it was still freezing at night, but our sleeping bags were warm, and with my vest protecting my head, I slept great.

  • Half Marathon

It was Elsa’s idea. We organized and ran our own half marathon around Edsviken, a lake nearby Elsa’s host family’s house. It was fun trying to keep up with my friend, but the best part was definitely the post-run fika that was prepared by Elsa and her host family. I ate a lot.

The best adventure I would’ve never done. Build your own raft and disassemble it too! It took us about four hours to build the raft from our pile of logs and boxes of rope, and then we floated away! It was the silliest and greatest experience. We spent three days on the river and floated 30 kilometers. Occasionally we paddled to avoid rocks and trees or to get into the current, and when we weren’t busy avoiding obstacles, we were usually cooking a meal or having a fika. There wasn’t much to do besides talk and eat. Although sleeping on the raft would have been quite something, we slept in small cabins for two nights and in tents for one night instead.

We named our raft Freya. Isn’t she pretty? The only sacrifices she required on our journey were Joost’s plate and Christian’s phone. Joost was pretty bummed about the plate.

To end our semester, we all took a ferry to Birka for a guided tour of historical sites on the island, and afterward, we had a great lunch at the restaurant (outside! thank you sunshine). Birka was fun to see, and with a boat ride on a beautiful day, it was a perfect good-bye to all the people at DIS who made this term so great.

We definitely made the most of our time!

Hej då och ha det bra! 🙂

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