Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saunas, Oceans and Onion Domes

This past weekend we decided to venture into our homeland Sweden. This sounds like it would be a big deal and to us it was! However, the 30 min train ride meant that it was closer to us than Squamish is to Vancouver and is ideal for a day trip!

Saturday we woke up and had the regular debate of whether to stay for Etta's first nap or leave before her first nap. We decided to leave before her nap and head to the train station. On the train Etta was smiling and charming all the passengers. That is until it was naptime, on the train. This was the only moment all day that I felt stressed. Cam took the role of chilled out dad saying 'don't worry honey' as we tried to put her in the stroller. Our thought was that she would just fall asleep like she does at home in her crib for an hour and a half. Did this happen? Nope. 4 agonizing minutes went by of her crying and I caved. Off into the carrier she went and immediately crashed for a short 30 min nap. Phew! Following this I remembered to change my mindset to be easy and go with the flow. What I needed was hygge*.

Anyways here is the rest of our Saturday in pictures.
Etta having her 30 minute snooze in Malmo, Sweden. Cam and I are so excited to be in our homeland. I can't stop saying 'I can't believe we are actually in Sweden" and I keep thinking of dad, Leonard and Crystal doing one of their
 Sven, Ole and Lena jokes with a Swedish accent. These jokes were frequent in my childhood and occasionally they would be performed at gatherings when I was little. 

├śresund is the famous bridge behind Cam and Etta. This is the train that goes across and in the ocean from
Copenhagen, Denmark to Malmo, Sweden. Riding this train offered beautiful views of the ocean. Spectacular!
We stopped by this castle so that Etta could have breakfast. It was a beautiful day which made it easier to do things with Etta. Etta was hungry and we could easily take her out of the carriage and feed her without worrying about
finding somewhere indoors. The other day when we were at the little mermaid statue we did not have this luxury and therefore spent alot of time in the washroom. Today the problem was the 30 ducks surrounding us who then started squacking at invading birds. Needless to say Etta loves ducks and therefore we enjoyed a good hour eating breakfast outdoors with those ducks.

On our way to the beach, in the distance,
we saw the Turning Torso.
The only tall building in Malmo and
a popular tourist destination. We were not so
 interested in seeing all the sights in Malmo.
What we really wanted to check
out was the saunas.
 So we just continued towards the beach area.
The beach in Malmo. There were hundreds of people either running, playing in the park or partaking in an exercise work out on the beach. I was once again in a euphoric state loving Sweden and my homeland. I am now understanding where my inner need for physical activity and exercise is rooted from. At this moment I was immediately disappointed I did not bring work out gear to go running while Cam was in the Sauna. 

This is the Sauna. Probably our favourite thing to do since we have come out to the Nordic countries. This is how it works. You go into the sauna that overlooks the ocean for about 15 minutes. Then you go into the ocean by the stairs that lead into the ocean. This seals your skin so you stay warm. Then you sun bathe on the deck. You repeat this as many times as you like. There is a men's only section, a women's only section and then a co-ed section. Since we did not take Etta, Cam went first for an hour. After his hour was up he was pretty pumped with how awesome it was. I was definitely skeptical as I do not usually like saunas all that much or cold water however... it was probably one of the coolest experiences being in a sauna looking at the ocean and then sunbathing in 8 degrees weather without being cold!! 

While Cam was in the Sauna Etta and I played on the beach!

Having a beer!

After having spent time in the sauna we had to make the decision of whether to return to the sauna after lunch. This was a clutch time family decision and we decided that it would be best to have lunch,
walk around Malmo and then head back to Copenhagen. As much as I was sad to say good-bye to the sauna for the day it was a game winner decision!
The end to our day in Sweden. Back to Copenhagen, Denmark.

Sunday we decided to have a more 'normal' day and I will keep it short. Since we were both missing church and had finally felt settled, we decided to go to the Russian Orthodox Church in Copenhagen.

A couple of nice surprises were that the church is on the tourist list of places to go which means that it was beautiful. There was a wide range of different cultures because there are many different people from different countries that move to Denmark. There were also many children, young adults, adults and seniors. It felt like being back at church back home minus the Russian. It was really beautiful to be halfway across the world praying and meditating with the Danes knowing that our church was doing the same. We are looking forward to returning to the church in the future.
The Orthodox Church in Copenhagen, Denmark

*Hygge is a term by the Danes that reflects not only a state of being but a way of life. Apparently the term is originally Norwegian but has been seen in Danish writings as early as the 18th century. "Hygge means creating a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you." This means even enjoying doing your laundry by reading a book while waiting for it do be done. In my case it was enjoying the my family in whatever situation we were in. This information was derived from people we have met here and the website linked above!


  1. Hi, I just stumbled on your blog and it is great. We are also from Vancouver and my family and I are also considering an extended stay in Copenhagen in the late summer or early fall. I'm just curious, I have heard Copenhagen is an expensive city and I was wondering what the prices for diapers and formula are like? Is it comparable to Vancouver? I usually pay about $30-35 a month for pampers at superstore I don't want to try and pack several months worth of diapers, but I might have to get creative if the price is ridiculous.

    1. Copenhagen is about 20-30% more than Vancouver! Yikes indeed! But just like anything you can find ways to adjust by finding the cheaper grocery items. (Like a pasta sauce we love for $1.50 which you can get at a grocery store called netto.) Netto is one of the cheaper grocery stores and happens to be almost anywhere. Depending on the size of your baby you can get 40-80 diapers ranging from $8-20. My husband thinks we have gotten our 80 diapers for $16. Here is a website for groceries in copenhagen to give you an idea. You should be able to translate page. Also 5 danish kroner is about $1.
      Superbest: shows some of the diapers.


      Also other international parents say there are good diapers at a grocery store called Aldi

      Don't hesitate if you have any other questions

  2. Hi guys! It's Tim and Meaghan... we've been following the blog - wow what a trip!!!

    First let me say this 1$ beer tastes good thinking about how much beers are in Denmark. Heck I probably don't even like there dumb euro beer, I'm starting to like that light american crap more and more... Benjamin is 11 weeks old now and as you know from Etta, growing rapidly.

    We had Benjamin out climbing in Skaha (Penticton) on spring break and he's been skiing behind me (Tim) in the chariot regularly. Last weekend we took him up to the grown up crag; I think I'm the only dad passionate enough (or dumb enough?) to haul a crib up to the climbing area! You should have seen the looks on those others climbers faces! Actually I know one other dad that would do something like this and his last name is MANG!!!

    Annika we really enjoy your anecdotes about parenting in general...awesome girl, keep it up!

    We both look forward to the next updates. Stoked to hang in the summer...

    Love Tim, Meaghan, Benjamin and Cedar Mang

    1. Loved the message. Sounds like Benjamin has gone on some pretty epic adventures already! Babies love the outdoors though. Connecting with nature is what we are supposed to do :) Cannot wait to meet him. I feel like Etta and him will have alot in common by the end of the year. Definitely jealous of the $1 beer.......