Day 7 - Umeå, Sweden
|Friday, November 8, 2013: We headed back to Arlanda airport nice and early. Debbie couldn't resist a picture of this Melodifestivalen 2014 ad.
|Debbie sat with the luggage while Tom waited to meet Jill as she exited customs. She had flown from Indianapolis via New Jersey overnight to join us for the next part of our trip.
|With Jill and her luggage collected, we headed to Sky City which connects the international and domestic terminals. On the second floor, there's a McDonald's, and that can only mean one thing: ...
|... Swedish pancakes! The three of us all had breakfast, ...
|... then we built a little fortress out of our luggage so Jill could sleep on the bench seating in the corner of the mostly empty restaurant seating area.
|We had a couple of hours before our next flight, so we passed the time enjoying the airport wifi and Debbie had a second helping of Swedish pancakes.
|At 11:25 AM, we flew to Umeå, rented a car, ...
|... and drove through town to our hotel, while passing the Scandic hotel where we had stayed on our previous visit in 2003.
|We booked two rooms at the OK Hotell north of the river. It's nearly impossible to find hotel rooms for three adults, so we had a double and a single room next door to each other.
|Jill went straight to sleep so we headed out to do a little sightseeing. We bought a skagenröra sandwich at the gas station next door, ...
|... then drove out to Umedalen Sculpture Park, which turned out not to be as much of a park as of a large collection of buildings with sculptures scattered among them. This collection of posts is one of the sculptures, ...
|... and this interesting metal thing is another.
|We discovered the next day that one of these buildings is the dorm where Debbie's second-cousin-once-removed Edvin lives. There a small figurine sculpture in the center of this picture, and we never did figure out if the comfy chair on the right was a sculpture or just some furniture that got left out in the snow.
|We stopped here on our drive back and stocked up on lots of Swedish Lipsyl (the best brand of lip balm ever!), some Christmas stuff (paper glögg cups, God Jul ribbon), and drömmar (Debbie's favorite Swedish cookies).
|We headed back to the hotel, woke Jill up, and then drove out to Sävar ...
|... to visit David and Elina, the husband and daughter of Debbie's second cousin, Kristina. We had a quick and tasty dinner of pasta, then jumped in David's car.
|We drove to Örnsköldsvik to watch Edvin play innebandy (floor hockey). It was an 80-minute drive and we talked the entire time since we had 10 years to catch up on since our last visit in 2003.
|We found seats on the top row of the arena. Tom and Debbie got hot tea and Jill and Elina got coffee and chokladbollar (chocolate balls), then we settled in to cheer on the visiting team.
|Edvin attends a high school for very gifted innebandy players.
|His team, RIG Umeå, plays in several innebandy leagues to keep in top shape.
|This league consists of high school players their own age and the home team was very outmatched.
|Debbie got lucky and got a shot the moment Edvin scored a goal (the ball is a tiny white blur in the upper left corner of the net).
|Here's the coach talking to his players during a time out.
|David has probably watched his kids play hundreds of matches, but he still enjoys it and so did we.
|This player was in the penalty box, marked by a plywood figure next to the bench holding his hands up.
|With just 18 seconds left in the final period, the score was 11-0, ...
|... so when the final buzzer sounded, the RIG Umeå surrounded their goalkeeper to congratulate him on a shutout.
|There was the customary shaking of hands between teams and then we jumped back in the car for another 80-minute drive.
|When we returned to Sävar, we went to the cemetery at the Sävar church to visit Kristina's grave. She passed away a year earlier at the age of 50. This was Debbie's first chance to say goodbye and it was very sad, but good to be near her again.
We returned to David's home and spent a little more time with David and Elina before driving back to our hotel in Umeå.
Copyright © Deborah Schilling/Thomas Bundy