The Pure Colors of Sweden: A Photojournal

Sweden, and the colors of their flag and land and sea

“Sweden is the home of my ancestors, and I have reserved a special place in my heart for Sweden.”  -Carl D. Anderson, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1936

 

My whole life, I have heard stories about my ancestors coming over to the United States from Sweden, in the early 1900s. They were a hardy clan, and pursued the wide and open land far out in the Great Plains of Western Kansas. The first winter, they managed to survive in a sod embankment in a dried-up creek bed. The years after that, the families pitched together and built sod houses on their land. Finally, when they could afford to build a house and barn, they built a “frame” house, like the one where Dorothy lived in the Wizard of Oz. I cannot imagine their continuous struggle to make a better life.

One hundred years later, the family farm still produces wheat, mainly, thanks to the hard efforts of so many strong people in my family–Swedes who settled in search of a better life in America.

Sweden, and the colors of their flag and land and sea
Sweden, and the colors of their flag and land and sea: Gold and Blue

As one who loves stories and imagining the struggles behind the stories, I have always wondered about Sweden. What was it that caused my family to leave their land, travel far by boat to Ellis Island, and set off for Kansas? Why did they leave Sweden? Was it similar to their new land in Kansas? Or was it the wasteland that I imagined Sweden to be, frozen and tundra-like, virtually uninhabitable?

If you’ve read Stieg Larsson’s books, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and sequels, set in Sweden, you may wonder what Sweden looks like, too …

When my husband and I and our three boys moved for my husband’s job to Prague two years ago, I held my breath, hoping and wondering if we’d get to see Sweden before we would return to the United States. Our Swedish friends in Prague rave about Sweden at the peak of summer. So, we hoped we’d get to see Sweden in July. This summer, that dream came true.

They were right. Sweden is AMAZING in summertime.

Certainly, we didn’t venture to Stockholm or to the Northern rugged land of Sweden. But Sweden’s Southern Skane region (where my family emigrated from) literally took my breath away with its beauty. The colors are so very rich there, although I’m not sure why. And truly, Sweden was a million times more than what I imagined it would be.

Here, the pure colors of Sweden, a photojournal:

At Trelleberg, the Bed and Breakfast where we stayed in Skane
At Trolleberg, the Bed and Breakfast where we stayed in Skane

 

Summer Colors in Sweden, Kaseberg
Summer Colors in Sweden, Kaseberg

 

A Narrow Passage, Trelleberg, Sweden
A Narrow Passage, Trolleberg, Sweden
Sweden's rolling plains, an old church
Sweden’s rolling plains, an aged church
A first glimpse of fields and Sea, Sweden
A first glimpse of fields and Baltic Sea, Sweden
Charming Seaside town of Kaseberg, Sweden
Charming Seaside town of Kaseberg, Sweden
Ale's Stones, ancient Solstice markers, South Sweden
Ale's Stones, ancient Solstice markers, South Sweden
Swedish house and artist's residence
Swedish house and artist's residence
the Breathtaking Baltic Sea, Sandhammeren, Sweden
the Breathtaking Baltic Sea, Sandhammeren, Sweden
Colorful Summer fields, Sweden
Colorful Summer fields, Sweden
Spinnaker and Sailboat on the Baltic Sea, Sweden
Spinnaker and Sailboat on the Baltic Sea, Sweden

 Sweden, Fields and SeaSweden, Fields and Sea

Sailboats, Baltic Sea
Sailboats, Baltic Sea

The natural beauty of Sweden lingers in my mind through the richness of color — marine blue, verdant fields and forests of green, shining gold, and burnt crimson.

Question for you (leave a comment below): Have you been to Sweden? What do you (or did you) imagine a country in Scandinavia to look like in the summer? And, for fun, which photo should I use for my next painting :o) ?

Thanks for sharing in the journey!

Published by Jennifer Lyn Art

About Jennifer Writer Author Photographer Artist Corporate Marketer Happy Wife & Mom World Traveler Grateful.

8 thoughts on “The Pure Colors of Sweden: A Photojournal

  1. Any of them would be great for a painting Jennifer. Try the dog! Just teasing. I love the perspective on the one with the church in it. I love your pictures, you are so talented and I love seeing the world through your lense. Tell everyone hello from us!

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    1. Thank you, Regan! When I saw the church at sunset, I had to wonder who in my family had been there long ago. Chuckling about the dog photo, because my boys loved all over that Goliath of an animal — slobber, droopy eyes, matted coat and all. He was a sweetheart. Say hi to all your guys for us, too! xo

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  2. Jennifer

    Wow – a great opportunity you have been given to explore the world with your family. I enjoyed the writing and photos; you have a way of inviting the reader along for the journey that makes it easy to imagine the setting. Visiting your family’s homeland is a gift that you will treasure for the ages to come; I got to visit my Irish roots this year and loved the land, the history, the traditions, the folklore and the people.

    I always enjoy travel photos but I must say my favorite photo of this group is the one titled A Narrow Passage, Trolleberg, Sweden. It invites the viewer into the photo a leads the imagination to what is around the corner – it looks as though there is a secret in the light. I love that fact that curiosity leads us along many paths we just have to choose which path – odd as it sounds this picture reminds me of Alice in Wonderland.

    Take care,
    Jill

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    1. Thanks, Jill!

      It is amazing to get to explore the world with my family — we are very grateful for the opportunities. It’s wonderful that you made it to Ireland. Congrats!

      I like the reference to Alice in Wonderland. Thanks! It was a beautiful and fantastical place.

      Thank you! JK

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  3. I can’t ever imagine leaving a place like that! Gorgeous photos.

    As far as your painting goes, I love passages and doors, so my vote is for “A Narrow Passage, Trolleberg, Sweden.”

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    1. Thanks, Erika! It was tough to leave Sweden. I think part of the reason is that Sweden really does have color to it, whereas Czech still basks in the drab Communist gray. The gray is especially noticable after being in a Western country. Grateful for those times to recharge!

      And, thanks for the vote for the painting. I guess I’m going to go for the Passage. Mounting a new canvas on the easel tonight. :o)

      -Jennifer

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  4. Dear Jennifer I look forward to your blogs each week because they are so interesting and the pictures so beautiful. You must paint two pictures; Summer Colors in Sweden, Kaseberg, and Colorful Summer Fields. With their long dark winters, it is no wonder the people love bright colors.
    I once spent a day in Sweden on our Baltic Sea cruise and that day was one of the highlights of the cruise. Do you think colors are brighter in Europe? Did I think that, just because we have been on holiday or is it lack of pollution?

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