Hanging onto summer


We drove south to Vättern again yesterday, to our new favourite swimming place, the spot just south of Olshammar which M affectionately calls, “The Lagoon”. Old friends from England have been staying for a few days and we wanted them to experience the wonder of the clear waters, the smooth bouldered shoreline, the forested slopes, the wide vistas. The weather wasn’t quite as wonderful as last time we were there, barely two weeks ago. The sky was on;y intermittently blue, and dark clouds scudded across the sky, even a few squally showers hammered the roof of the car as we drove southwards. There was barely another soul on the banks of the little inlet where a fortnight ago there were people scattered everywhere, soaking up the sun. The day was breezy, and when we plunged into the water we recognised lurking winter. The water temperature must have dropped 3 or 4 degrees since our last visit.

But it was as beautiful as ever and we were as revitalised as we were last time, though the day was less “lazy” than before. We stayed not as long, and after packing our lunch leftovers and picnic rugs and squelching back through the forest to the car we drove to the little village of Olshammar for a glancing stop at Olshammar Herrgård (manor house), the childhood home of a famous Swedish poet, Verner von Heidenstam. Then we drove around the top of Vättern and stopped again, this time at Hargebadet, our other discovery of this summer. The beach was almost deserted but our intrepid kids and M took the plunge, and the waters were not so icy as the Lagoon. As afternoon became evening the wind dropped and the sky cleared. Sam and Isak couldn’t resist the high diving board and we watched, from the warmth of the jetty, as they plunged 4 or 5m down into the deep clear waters of the lake. Hanna was soon captivated and joined them, but the air was getting cooler and the lateness of the day meant we soon had to pack up again and head home, a brief stop in Askersund on the way for pizza.

And now another week has begun, the kids are off to school, and despite a brilliant blue sky, the air is a crisp 10 degrees and the feeling of autumn is in the air. I wonder of there will be any more weekend swimming trips as we desperately hold onto the last vestiges of summer…

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