The epitome of Swedishness

Every summer, many Swedes take a month’s holiday to relax and get back in touch with nature – and themselves.

They enjoy long light evenings in summer cottages with outdoor plumbing (and sometimes no electricity)  in the middle of the woods.

You may remember that we did this very thing two years ago when we hired some little red cottages out in the countryside.

We are repeating the experience this year – but in a little timbered cottage with an actual toilet (a dry closet) inside!

We got the keys to the house at the weekend. It was like visiting a fairytale cottage.

A few snowdrops waved in greeting while they enjoyed the spring sunshine.

A short walk away, there is a beach on the shores of a sea inlet.

Right now, it’s covered in snow and ice, but I can just imagine the sand and the sea, can’t you?

Oscar is guarding the wooden playhouse. The bigger house with the veranda (see photo below) is the guest cottage with room for four people.

The brown wooden building between the two is the guest toilet.

After all, even if you have indoor plumbing, there are some traditions you just shouldn’t change!

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73 responses

  1. What a wonderful way to get away!

    March 21, 2011 at 16:55

  2. It’s like a dream world!

    March 21, 2011 at 16:56

  3. Do you go alone or with another family? I can imagine the snow melted and how beautiful and green it will be soon. I’m sure you can’t wait.

    March 21, 2011 at 17:13

    • We are renting it just by ourselves. The garden is huge, but the main cottage and guest house are small, and the kitchen tiny. We do intend to have lots of guests over though…

      March 21, 2011 at 17:58

  4. Lovely pictures. I must remember to mention this phenomenon of Swedishness next when someone asks me about typical Swedish behaviour and customs. Sommarstuga….aaahh!

    March 21, 2011 at 17:30

  5. Oh, I wish I could tag along! Looks and sounds wonderful! At least I have your photos to look forward to!! (I wish this would become an American custom!)

    March 21, 2011 at 17:46

  6. Looks like the perfect place to get back in touch with nature! Really lovely!

    March 21, 2011 at 18:27

  7. oh wow what a lovely place to retreat to…i need one of those…

    March 21, 2011 at 18:39

  8. Looks fantastic! I bet you can hardly wait for summer now.

    March 21, 2011 at 18:43

    • Well, even just a snow-free spring day would be great! ;-)

      March 21, 2011 at 19:09

  9. thanks for your coming to visit my blog!
    Your blog is amazing.
    very beautiful images of everything that surrounds thee.
    congratulations for your blog
    Congratulations for your pictures.

    March 21, 2011 at 19:04

  10. I’d choose that as a getaway destination as well. So close to nature. I am picturing it all dressed in summer fineries.

    March 21, 2011 at 19:10

  11. Great spot, Ladyfi. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

    March 21, 2011 at 19:22

  12. I am sure your time in this charming cottage is going to be great this Summer, but I do have to say I love it with it’s winter face on ;-)

    March 21, 2011 at 19:39

  13. Blu

    Looks really fabulous!.. we are heading for a weeks camping South of France in September!

    March 21, 2011 at 19:39

  14. What a lovely cabin! You’re going to have a wonderful summer vacation.

    March 21, 2011 at 19:46

  15. Your photos make me homesick! I should like to go to Scandinavia again like we always did, when my husband was still alive.

    March 21, 2011 at 19:48

  16. it really does look wonderful, I can see why you love being there.

    March 21, 2011 at 20:04

  17. LF…it’s like a fairytale! Can’t wait to see pics in the summer when you’re there!

    March 21, 2011 at 20:46

  18. Beautiful and so true…
    Thank you for bringing the magic of my teenage years back with those beuatiful and so very Swedish images…
    And thank you for your very kind and thoughtful comment on my today’s post.:)
    xoxo

    March 21, 2011 at 20:46

  19. Looks like a great place to relax and unwind for a while. :0)

    March 21, 2011 at 21:18

  20. Even though I am tired of the snow, your pictures look very pretty. Thanks for visiting my blog!

    March 21, 2011 at 21:41

  21. All I can say is: When are “we” going and can I use the inside toilet? It looks magical, Fi – what fun you’ll have!

    March 21, 2011 at 21:47

  22. lilalia

    It is out of a fairytale. Lovely cottage and grounds. All the best to you and your family, including the dog, for a fantastic spring, summer season. Looks fantastic. Can’t wait for the photos!

    March 21, 2011 at 22:56

  23. beautiful. looks like a perfect getaway. your photos never fail to amaze me.

    March 22, 2011 at 00:00

  24. Oh, this looks like a wonderful experience!

    March 22, 2011 at 00:09

  25. The more I learn about Sweden, the more I think they do things really right.

    March 22, 2011 at 01:03

  26. I love these photos. especially the first one. They look so familiar; I swear I house-sat a place with a deck and “lawn” just like that red cottage one! And the little snow-bound cottage! Just beautiful!

    One of these days …

    My memories don’t originate in Sweden, though, but from Bella Coola, on BC’s north coast. Similar terrain, and a Norwegian settlement, with neat, squat, sturdy log houses. And lots of snow.

    March 22, 2011 at 01:07

  27. How lovely!

    I love in cottage country in Ontario!

    http://mymuskoka.blogspot.com/

    March 22, 2011 at 02:00

  28. What a charming place Fi. I’m sure you enjoy it there – Dave

    March 22, 2011 at 02:15

  29. am jealous.

    in a friendly way of course :)

    March 22, 2011 at 03:40

  30. cherry blossom

    Did you say a month?
    Wow! :-)
    In that case, I’d lounge the same way your beautiful dog did in the first photo!

    March 22, 2011 at 03:50

  31. It’s lovely, and I imagine very peaceful. Nice to unplug and get away from life static for a while.

    March 22, 2011 at 04:05

  32. I could take it when the snow was gone and the beach beckoned but not in the snow and having to retreat outside. :)

    March 22, 2011 at 04:37

  33. Oh, how delightful! I have to admit that I’m a bit envious! Such a delightful place! And I love your dog! Marvelous captures! Hope you had a fantastic time!

    Sylvia

    March 22, 2011 at 06:14

  34. Beautiful winter images. Those cottages are wonderful.

    March 22, 2011 at 06:20

  35. Beautiful winter wonderland! The place looks peaceful, very ideal for a month-long getaway.

    March 22, 2011 at 07:48

  36. that´s right , we do that. Did you hire that cottage for a longer period? I mean, it is winter now and hardly warm and cosy.

    Seems to be a great place though.

    March 22, 2011 at 09:18

    • We’re renting the cottage for six months.

      March 22, 2011 at 09:46

  37. This is how a cottage should be!

    March 22, 2011 at 11:48

  38. A real life fairy tale!

    March 22, 2011 at 11:51

  39. Are you sure the snow will be gone by then:-)
    Looks more like sheds. And remarkably like our first home, when visitors from abroad would say “Where is your REAL home?” That was complete with outdoor loo too.
    Pretty, but slightly taxing in day-to-day life. I fell for the 17th century prettiness and we stood it for eight years. Come take a look and smile and enjoy the great comforts in your real home.
    I speak in jest of course: it is a great idea and lately we have been doing the same. Rather a shed than a caravan any day.

    March 22, 2011 at 11:56

  40. I have a poster. It’s a Swedish village consisting of mostly wooden cottages. Actually, it was given to me by a Swedish pen pal.

    Every household has a flag pole in front their house.
    Swedish flags are everywhere in that poster!!
    Talk about patriotism! ;)

    March 22, 2011 at 13:54

  41. Wonderful place for a vacation.
    A dream cottage for me. :)

    March 22, 2011 at 15:37


  42. · What a wonderful place. I want to go there but… its too far from Spain.
    Lovely photos. Pine trees and snow, a good combination.

    · regards

    CR & LMA
    ________________________________
    ·

    March 22, 2011 at 18:18

  43. Beautiful summer cottages. Such a wonderful activity Lady Fi.
    Thank you for the info and for sharing.

    BTW Oscar is so cute.
    Have a great day.
    xo

    March 22, 2011 at 18:40

  44. What a beautiful spot. We had a modest lake cabin in northern Minnesota where my siblings and I all learned how to live with outdoor plumbing, no running water (we got water at a nearby well), and gas lights instead of electricity. We were pretty proud of ourselves. These days, I’m just as happy to have indoor plumbing, especially at night. PS, I love your site; haven’t been here for a while.

    March 22, 2011 at 20:13

  45. Lovely bright sunshine, and I agree, you can just imagine the sea…

    March 22, 2011 at 22:21

  46. Gosh, its beautiful.
    Back to Nature.

    March 22, 2011 at 22:24

  47. Having something to look forward to is always a good thing. It looks like you have a great getaway in your future.

    March 23, 2011 at 02:54

  48. visiting from My World Tuesday…

    following you…hope you’ll follow me back

    here’s my entry

    http://kc2009.blogspot.com/2011/03/escapar-una-isla-hermosa.html

    March 23, 2011 at 09:56

  49. If I imagine the scenery without snow, it looks cute and cosy ! A real nice place for holidays. I can’t see a snowflake anymore, the nature starts blooming now !

    March 23, 2011 at 10:02

  50. De magnifique paysages sous la neige, j’adore ça

    Publicity ;o) Every Friday (and the Weekend), The Challenge “Walk In The Street Photography”

    March 23, 2011 at 11:59

  51. Wow, that could be Mikhail Blomkvist’s cabin…

    March 23, 2011 at 12:57

  52. Ash

    Sounds like the perfect holiday! Gorgeous photos.

    March 23, 2011 at 14:11

  53. TGV

    Great set of images…
    the last one is my favorite

    March 23, 2011 at 16:37

  54. i want to come too!… please:):):)
    xxx

    March 23, 2011 at 20:57

  55. It looks just perfect! What a wonderful place for the summer..I am sure you will have many adventures there..and I look forward to hearing all about them:)

    March 23, 2011 at 21:30

  56. This series of lovely photos of your cottage and your post take me back to my childhood days in Finland when we left the big city, Helsinki, to go explore the countryside.

    March 23, 2011 at 22:52

  57. That sounds heavenly!
    Well, only because of the toilet!

    March 23, 2011 at 23:21

  58. What a wonderful tradition. We Americans stay wound tighter than a three day clock most of the time and just don’t take the time to unwind. We’d be a heather nation if we did!

    Woohoo for indoor toilets! :o)

    God bless ya and have an amazin’ day sweetie!!!

    March 24, 2011 at 01:32

  59. You folks have the exact right idea. What a beautiful photo essay.

    March 24, 2011 at 01:47

  60. Amy

    Looks wonderful Fi, can see it draped in sunshine and green folage…you guys will have a wonderful time and that you’re allowed to bring a dog is wonderful! I’ve looked repeatedly for a cottage that accepts dogs but it’s hard to find…well, maybe it’s easier with only one dog vs five!! Hehehehe…

    March 24, 2011 at 07:58

  61. Pretty. From a (warm) distance!

    March 24, 2011 at 10:37

  62. That looks like a great place to spend the summer to me.

    March 24, 2011 at 15:35

  63. I love that the in Sweden you can take a month off in the summer. How civilized. In my next life I think I want to live there.

    What a beautiful spot to relax and rejuvenate.

    March 24, 2011 at 17:44

  64. Suz

    I do love these cottages! And, I am inspired to think about putting one on our property near the mountains in southern Colorado here in the US.

    March 25, 2011 at 06:40

  65. You might even call it the epitome of Scaninavisness :-)

    March 25, 2011 at 14:23

  66. beautiful series, stunning winter photos,
    such a delightful place!
    Hope you had a fantastic time..

    March 25, 2011 at 17:49

  67. It looks absolutely sublime! Snow and all. And Oscar looks right at home. He’s such a cutie-pie.

    March 26, 2011 at 01:06

  68. You are in for a real treat!!! So much exploring to do all around that place!

    March 27, 2011 at 12:45

  69. What a cool concept — a one month vacation. (We’re on perpetual vacation now of course, but we’re old.)

    Why are you doing this during the winter though?

    March 28, 2011 at 00:24

    • We’re not. We’ve hired the cottage for six months and were given the key last weekend…

      March 28, 2011 at 05:31

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