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This year we went north for Christmas. To the town of Sundsvall in the middle of Sweden. With a population of 51 000, just shy of 100 000 in the whole municipal area I would describe it as a small town, but for Sweden it is a mid-size city. Although being a university city the population fluctuate considerable between semesters and school breaks.

Located just a stone’s throw north of the 62nd parallel this is a snow assured location for Christmas.
To give you an idea on where we are, the 62nd parallel North cuts through places like Alaska, Hudson Strait, South tip of Greenland, Faroe Islands and Siberia.

For me this was not so much of an adventure – I grew up here, this is my hometown. But for Miss Z this was a very exotic trip. She has never seen this much snow outside of a TV screen and she finally understood me when saying, “It doesn’t matter where in Mexico you live it is never really cold”.
To think you are prepared for a Swedish winter just because it is a couple of degrees below 0 during the colder seasons in Mexico’s highland is humorous.


Photo: Dan Freed

I haven’t spent Christmas with my family for quite a few years, but Miss Z took me to her hometown Teapa in September so it is no more than fair to take her to the north, snow and my family.
I have some thoughts about going back, but some things are better left unsaid, or at least kept for the deathbed.
However it was nice to see the family again and we had a enjoyable Christmas dinner.

This was most of all a trip to the snow and nature, we spent a lot of time outside. Miss Z was frozen, but happy walking around with big eyes.

Sundsvall is located in a valley between two small mountains, the South Hill, 240 meters, and the lower the North Hill, 155 meters at the peak.
The South Hill is a ski resort complete with luxury hotel and spa. Tracks for cross country skiing and a downhill slope with a big jump and a halfpipe. 1992 ladies Alpine World Cup was held here.
Summer time it is a popular area for hiking.

The late evening we were up here it was no more than 15 degrees (Celsius) below 0, but it was freezing cold winds. With shaking hands I had severe problems shooting sharp photos. It is not as I drag along a tripod in the snow.
I prefer the North Hill. Not as luxurious, just a simple hostel to stay at. The whole area is a like a big museum with log houses, traditional Swedish red crofts with white corners and old fenced farms from long past days.


Photo: Dan Freed


Photo from Wikipedia

It is also here we find the Skvader at the Norra Berget museum.

Happy travel and keep your gloves on.

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