The train from Malmö to Karlstad needs about six hours. I enjoyed the last part of the trip in a nostalgic old fashioned train, which brought me deeper into the country whose landscape became more and more forested. The weather got worse the further north we came and when my friend Lukas, who I wanted to visit during his semester abroad, picked me up at the train station in Karlstad, it already began to rain.
The following days, Luke showed me around in the neat town that is located at the lake Vänern. A true highlight for me were the traditional midsummer celebrations at Mariebergsskogen, were people danced and sang without a break despite the rainfall. And on top of that we could watch cute farm animals there as well.
Another highlight was the group stage match of the World Cup between Germany and Sweden. I even brought my Ibrahimovic jersey for this occasion. We watched the game at a public viewing event, where also a handfull of german fans had gathered besides the hundreds of Swedes. When their national anthem “Du Gamla, Du Fria” was played, I had goosebumps all over my skin and tears in my eyes.
Even though I’m German, my heart was with the Northmen in this clash. Only in the final minutes of the game, when the departure of the reigning World Champions seemed to be inevitable, I realized that a win for Germany would improve the chances of keeping teams in the tournament, which would have been even better for me personally. This silent wish was fulfilled by Toni Kroos in the most dramatic way and I had to keep my calm to not celebrate the game winner for Germany in my Sweden jersey. I think I don’t need to point out how the road in Russia continued for both teams after that crucial match though.
Things also got dramatic later that evening, when we returned to our dom. Since the sun is never completely leaving in the eternal Swedish summer, the sunsets are often long and spectacular. At least that’s how it was on my last evening in Sweden when the sky looked like it caught fire. A beautiful finish to another wonderful vacation in Sverige.