Something Swedish

First Snowfall: Första Snöfall

18 Comments

When many people (Read: Americans) think of Sweden they think of snow. And Polar Bears (Which there are none of). A snowy winter is how I know Sweden to be, not only because of that stereotype, but because I have spent all of my visits here during Christmas time.

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I’ve always loved snow, but I welcomed this snow with extra glee. It doesn’t snow nearly as much in the Southern tip of Sweden as in the rest of the country. Yesterday was my first “first snow” in Sweden, especially because I finally have something to compare “Snowy Sweden” to. The best part of the first snow early in December? Saying goodbye to Dreary Grey November. I’ve never experienced a Swedish November before, and I have to say it was the worst. On December 1st the sky finally opened up and revealed it’s blue self again, and then gave us snow to brighten our long nights as we hung decorations.

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This will be my forth Christmas in Sweden, but my first full winter. My visits were usually barely enough time to enjoy Christmas and New Years. I’ve never been here long enough to enjoy Christmas shopping, Christmas Markets, Lucia, or Advent.

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I was surprised to see so many cyclists out braving the weather. I could barely walk without falling. There are more tire tracks than footprints in the snow.

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An interesting difference that I find in Sweden is the lack of shoveling. As soon as the snow accumulates at all in NYC you hear the whole neighborhood shoveling as its still snowing. And then again an hour later, and early in the morning. The sidewalks are COMPLETELY shoveled. In Sweden – not so much. I didn’t see or hear a single shovel, nor see a shoveled sidewalk. Instead, we just walk on the bumpy and slippery snow and ice on our way to work and school and try not to fall down. I guess it is also a different mentality than “If someone falls on my property because I didn’t shovel they can sue me” which is pretty unlikely to happen in Sweden.

In Sweden, instead of using rock salt before it snows or right after, there is always a layer of gravel on the ground from December – April. I guess it gives traction and breaks up the snow a bit, but it doesn’t melt snow and ice like rock salt does. And it looks so messy for months!

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Some photos of the beautiful sky we had today, taken from the new bridge that goes over the train tracks (2:30pm). I couldn’t quite capture it. To see photos of today’s picturesque sunset from a great view, visit this blogpost: MovingtoSweden

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A snowman I found outside my apartment, and a soda can – perfect way of measuring snow!

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Vocabulary:

Snow: Snö

Snowman: Snögubbe

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18 thoughts on “First Snowfall: Första Snöfall

  1. Hmmm . . . sunset at 2:30 pm? I’ll bet the winter solstice is a big deal in Sweden!

  2. That’s so funny! When I was in Sweden in 1993-4, the bike paths were always plowed (and yes, I biked all winter along with everyone else!). Maybe it differs from area to area?

    • It sure does! My SFI class was discussing this yesterday, as soon as you get out of our area the streets and sidewalks are much better. It’s a pretty small town 🙂 I think that the mail bike paths get plowed (eventually) but not to the same extent that I’m used to.

  3. I love the snow! Winter is my absolute favorite season. Love the pics!

  4. They got around to plowing one of the bike paths out to Tylösand yesterday but not before Mariette had to push her bike through 4 km of snow to get to work by 7:00! A lot of people have studded bike tires, which I think we will get this year. Sunday’s snow was as much as we had all last winter.

  5. I’m loving my first whole winter in Denmark, too! I also visited every Christmastime, so the winter weather reminds me of back when I was just falling in love (with Andreas *and* Denmark, haha).

  6. we’ve got snow here too & i love it! it’s absolutely beautiful, and yes, it makes a huge difference in the darkness. it’s my third year living in sweden, and i still am like a child when it snows. december is a fabulous month here… enjoy! xo

  7. I’ve only ever experienced Christmasses in Sweden, too, and I’m hoping I’m not going to be shocked toooo much when we move (which might be next year). I don’t think my winters in VA and NYC are preparation enough, but maybe my love of darkness and candles will help me weather it? 😉

    PS. Hi! I’ve been reading for a bit, but haven’t ever commented. Since we’re considering a move, I love reading about your adjustment to Sweden.

  8. I’m beyond jealous right now… 8-|

  9. We do use a lot of salt on the roads here too, but it’s different in different areas. And the salt is debated, since it is bad for the environment, for cars (specially for the brakes if you don’t clean it underneath), and it makes wild animals come to the roads, plus it often just turns the snow into sleet that makes the cars dirty, including the windshield.

    But opinions differ, and both salt, gravel and a mix of both is used.

  10. Aww… I do always love the first snowfall. It looks lovely there.

  11. NO SHOVELING?? I’M MOVING TO SWEDEN!!

  12. Pingback: How Swedish are you? | Something Swedish

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