Following Ben’s visit this weekend, I have concluded that March is perhaps the ideal time for winter enthusiasts looking to experience snow AND sun, a very rare and coveted combination in the far north. Though the temperature took a little dip for a few days, down to 5°F at night, Umeå is up to almost 12 hours of daylight, a drastic difference from December’s meager 4 (which is a generous calculation considering sunrise almost seamlessly blends into sunset).
Ben arrived Thursday evening and we spent Friday at the Design School – taking lunch at Café Göteborg (highly recommend!), returning to school for multiple fikas,
drinking wine in giving a tour of the Interaction Workshop – before heading out to dinner at our favorite Indian restaurant in town.
On Saturday we rented cross country skis and headed over to Nydala Lake to check out the nearby tracks. Embarrassingly, I’ve only briefly been to the lake since pre-snow season in the fall, and couldn’t believe what I’ve been missing!
After exploring the northern part of frozen Nydala lake, we went to the Nydala cross country ski tracks, where there are maintained 1.8, 5, 6.4, and 10 kilometer loops. As it was Ben’s first time (not that it being my 5th time makes me any better than a Swedish nugget – see image below), we stuck to the 5 kilometer track and ended up skiing it twice. The trails are very nice and a perfect mix of undulating terrain. While the entrance point appeared consistently crowded, skiers were fairly evenly spread throughout the tracks, so that we felt primarily alone, letting Ben experience the serene atmosphere I love so much about cross country skiing.
Perhaps the single largest road block we encountered while skiing was the odd noises Ben’s skis made, which can best be described as resembling laser beams. Needless to say, I spent a large portion of the time with uncontrollable giggles.
Such a great visit!