Midsummer in Luleå

The city of Luleå is nearly deserted on Midsummer Eve as I arrive thirteen hours after leaving Dubai – just as I had expected. Everyone who can has opted for the country.  Now, for Midsummer Eve you need nice summer weather, herring and schnapps, and Luleå can deliver on the second and the third of these requirements. With 11C, it’s more like autumn. 

When the sun is out, it actually feels quite warm though. My cousin Thomas and his wife Bodil have gone all out on the food and drinks side of things; we have a large number of herring options indoors (when there’s no sun) and barbecued entrecôte outside (when the sun comes out). 

After eleven months of the Emirati deserts and mountains, all greenery around me is like an explosion of colour. I’m kind of worried my brain will grow tired of firing green electrical charges or whatever it is it’s firing. Thankfully, my brain keeps up with the colour onslaught and the surroundings stay green. 

Everybody keeps talking about how extremely and unseasonably cold it is. It’s actually exactly like the first week of July last year when I was here.  It was 11C then as well. Luleå definitely has summer potential, though it’s on hold at the moment.

So how do you celebrate Midsummer when it’s when it’s on the cool side outside? Answer: eat well, drink well and enjoy good company – and move outdoors when there’s a 15 minute slot of sun appearing. 

I can’t finish this post without mentioning how much I enjoy all the spectacularly beautiful interior designs I come across here in northern Sweden. I told my hosts they ought to charge an entrance fee to let people see their home. This kitchen corner is the perfect place to sit down and do the mindfulness thing.


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