Bring Your Baby to the Movies!

Featured

Image courtesy of SFBio.

I’ve always enjoyed watching movies at a theatre. I used to go a lot, pre-baby, and when I was back home – since movies in Sweden are pricey. I love watching movies from the comfort of my home too, but going out to the theatre is always a treat. Now that it’s the post-baby chapter of my life and I am enjoying Mammaledig (maternity leave), I wondered if it was possible to bring your little one to the movies.

After searching, I found that in Sweden this DOES exist and the theatre is right in the centre of town. Note: It also exists in Canada, but theatres that offer this seem to be mostly outside the centre of the city.

Walking to the movies on a beautiful winter day

I took my daughter to a Barnvagnsbio or ‘Stroller movie’ of the film, “Hidden Figures”, on International Women’s Day. She was very well behaved compared to a few other babies who cried. She was watching at the beginning of the movie and after a change, I rocked her to sleep and she slept soundly until the very end of the film 🙂

One ticket for me and one for baby

At a “Stroller movie”, you can feed them, the volume is quieter, and the lights are just dimmed so you can see the stairs if you need to step out. They also add a short intermission, if needed (they ask before the movie starts). It was funny watching a movie and hearing babies crying or making cooing noises. While I was standing, one baby was staring and talking to us. His mom turned around and saw us and realized he was just trying to chat with us haha. Too cute!

If you’re on mammaledig or pappaledig (parental leave), and your bundle of joy isn’t too fussy, why not check out a movie? Nice to take advantage of this activity while your little one isn’t walking around yet 🙂

Popcorn is already pre-boxed here. Not as fresh as theatres back home?

Tips for going to the movies with your baby:

  • Come early so you have some space to park your stroller and change your baby if needed. There was only 1 change table in the main bathroom, the other bathroom that was labelled with skötbord (change table) didn’t have a change table in it anymore – guess they were renovating it.

“Drink is best at the movies” but you can bring your own milk for baby of course 😉

  • The movies change each week, check if it’s in English, otherwise the subtitles will only be in Swedish and that’s hard if you aren’t fluent in Swedish yet.
  • If you baby is eating snacks already, bring some for them.
  • Choose an aisle seat so you can get up easily.
  • Invite other friends to join!
  • Don’t forget to get a ticket for your baby – which doesn’t cost anything and is just for safety so they know how many people are in the theatre.

In Göteborg, there are 2 movie theatres that offer Barnvagnsbio or ‘stroller movie’. One is the Biopalaset right in the centre of town and the other is the Bio Roy on Avenyn.
Check out the theatre websites for more information on cost and movie times

BarnvagnsBio at Biopalaset
BabyBio at BioRoy

“Movie together with your baby”. Image courtesy of SFBio.

Enjoy your movie!

Advertisements

Thursday Only Means One Thing…

Featured

20170216_125121

…Pea soup and pancakes!

During the colder and darker seasons of Fall and Winter, when it’s Thursday, the lunch option (Dagenslunch) in Sweden includes Pea soup and Pancakes (ärtsoppa och pannkakor)!! This comes from an old Military tradition of eating both the soup and the pancakes.

Most of the time the pea soup is made from yellow peas and includes pieces of pork and ham. At some restaurants and even the grocery store, you can get vegetarian pea soup. If you get it at the grocery store, it will come in a tube shape like many other food items in the grocery store.

I’m not really a fan of the pea soup but I do enjoy the pancakes! Just a dollop of whip cream and some raspberry jam and you have yourself a tasty treat 🙂
20170216_123836Pancakes and coffee make a great combination!

Dagenslunch or ‘Today’s lunch’ usually has 3 options, a meat, a fish dish and a vegetarian dish. Lunch at most places in Sweden, includes salad and coffee and cookies (dessert). When it’s Thursday, the dessert is replaced by pancakes!

Note: Swedish or European style pancakes are thin like a crepe but doughy unlike the thick American kind.

Instead of topping with butter and maple syrup, these pancakes are topped with whip cream and some kind of jam. Strawberry and Raspberry are popular choices.

20170216_123513

When it comes to All-U-Can-Eat, ‘serve yourself’ pancakes, it’s not unusual for people to skip right to dessert!

20170126_125633Happy Thursday and enjoy your pea soup and pancakes today!

Fettisdagen!

Featured

20170208_140634

Fettisdagen or Fat Tuesday is here! It’s the day before the Ash Wednesday fast and in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, it’s the day Swedes enjoy Semlor or Whip cream buns. Those little (or big treats) can be found at cafes all over the city. Similar to a Hamburger but instead of a beef patty, it’s a bunch of whip cream and almond paste in the centre of a cardamom bun. This treat can be quite filling.

20170126_133714There are different ways to eat this bun. You can take the top off and use it to scoop up the whip cream then bite it. I’ve also heard that you can soak it in milk before eating it.

Fork and knifing it or just pick it up to eat like a burger although I haven’t seen this one as the majority of Swedes I’ve seen still fork and knife their hamburgares (hamburger in Swedish)

There are few different Semlor or semla singular that I’ve noticed this year:

The Muffin Semla

20170204_114802The Muffin semlor are on the second to last level of the desserts above

20170306_123547

More muffin semlor with different flavors – instead of whip cream it’s cream cheese.

Semlor with colored buns

20170208_140625

7-Eleven in Sweden has an impressive baked goods selection compared with the 7-Elevens back home! With brownies, swedish cinnamon buns or Kanelbullor and even different chocolate cookies. They also offer a new Nuts semla.

20170212_130818

But the Traditional semla of course is a soft cardamom bun dusted with a little powdered sugar.

20170123_165727

Mini semlor are also available!

20170212_130823

You can even get them at a grocery store! Dahl’s is a bakery that sells their semlor in various Hemköps around the city.

20170210_141534

Happy eating and enjoy your semla or whatever huge meal or dessert you will eat on Fat Tuesday!

I cannot believe it’s our 4th year in Sweden. Here’s a look back at a previous Fat Tuesday blog

How Swedes Celebrate Fat Tuesday

Featured

20140307_180550

It’s that time of year again, when the Swedes celebrate Fettisdagen (The Fat Tuesday) or should I say, when Swedes stuff their faces with whip cream buns called ‘Semla’! They always make sure to have a bunch of Semla at work on Fat Tuesday and then everyone tries hard not to fall asleep right after Hahaha..

20160205_132338

“Celebrate Fat Tuesday with us! Order already now!” Beautiful window displays of Semlor all over the city!

Semla or Semlor (plural) are available at one of the many bakeries or konditori around town, at grocery store where they are usually sold in packages of two or even at the
7-Eleven, which has some really nice desserts btw. Nothing like the 7-Elevens back home.

My first couple of years in Sweden, I always made sure to have one (or 2)… but I have since learned my lesson. Those buns can be quite filling!

20160205_133554

20160205_133550

They come in different sizes from mini to huge and they are all pretty delicious (and fatty lol)

Aside from the delicious whip cream, semla also have some vanilla and almond paste. The bun itself, of course, uses the spice, cardamom. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Swedish pastries…most of them use cardamom..which I and a few other expats decided we aren’t so fond of , now that we’ve realized how much Swedes like it in everything 😉

20160210_191001

“Cream with love” Coffee and Semla only 30sek (which is about $4.50)

20160208_174627

An evening view of the Göteborg canal on Fettisdagen

Happy Eating!
(Hope you enjoyed Fat Tuesday and celebrated with whatever food your heart desired!)

Cold, Rainy Weather? Head for your nearest Swedish Sauna

Featured

IMG_-e0eru8An apartment building with facilities that include the sauna, isn’t so unusual in a place like Sweden, where they love their sauna time.

Our building is a great example of a typical Swedish apartment with a courtyard, several community laundry areas, neighbours who only exchange a ‘hej hej’ as they go about their way and of course the Sauna (or ‘bastu’ in Swedish).

The sauna area is private and you must book your timeslot. It includes a big jacuzzi tub and it’s actually pretty nice.

When we first moved in, almost a year ago now, I never thought I would use the sauna. The jacuzzi tub yes, but the sauna… that was too Swedish for me. Haha. Fast forward to now and it has really grown on me.

I can see why Swedes love their saunas. It’s great for your muscles, good for blood circulation and clears your sinuses. Even just 15min is enough to relax and unwind from the day. It’s also quite nice to go from the rainy and cold outdoors to sitting in the hot room to sweat. I think we’ll be using the sauna more often now that the temperature has dropped and winter is just around the corner.

OK, so this isn’t a public sauna and you don’t have to go nude. But this is even better in my opinion because it’s private haha. When in Sweden, one must try the sauna. Maybe you will actually grow to like it too.

The Beautiful Swedish Archipelago

Featured

IMG_6387

One of my favorite things about living in Sweden is being so close to Gothenburg’s southern archipelago. Here’s my first blog about visiting the archipelago when we first moved to Sweden.

The islands are easily accessible by ferry from Saltholmen (which from the city centre is a tram ride away). The ferry operates under the same transportation company as the trams so you can use the same ticket. In under 30 minutes, you can be on an island of your choice.

20150927_133636 There’s Styrsö and Donsö, the most developed islands which are connected by a bridge.

IMG_6583IMG_6597Vrangö, the island furthest south that has a great little cafe with crayfish(when in season) and nice rocky beaches.

IMG_6569

IMG_6549

Then there’s Brännö with some really nice beach areas as well and Gälterö which is where the sheep are left to graze. Gälterö is connected to Brännö by a foot bridge.

20140621_175728 20140621_190956There are also smaller islands that are mainly residential. We once got off on a smaller island and the ferry staff asked us if we knew where we were going! The majority of people only get off on that island if they live there haha.

Except for maybe an island van, all of the islands in the southern archipelago are car free and residents get around by biking, walking or using these island vehicles.
IMG_6410

We decided to take advantage of probably the last somewhat warm and sunny day a few weeks ago and visited Brännö and Gälterö.

We had a great lunch at one of the 2 cafes on Brännö, which was actually closing up for the season that day so everything was discounted.
20150927_140959

The smoked mackarel was delicious!

20150927_143747 20150927_144445This was a summer comedy theatre production. The Swedish guy with us said that translated to “Good Screws in the Archipelago” Hahaha

20150927_153220

While exploring the island, we found ourselves at this ‘Bad’ or bathing spot. We climbed up a rocky hill to get this fantastic view of the beach!

20150927_183816

It was a sunny day, but had previously rained and Galtero’s hiking path was pretty muddy. I think everyone left with wet shoes that day.

Visiting the an archipelago is on the must/do list if you are visiting Gothenburg or even another town in Sweden. Stockholm, Sweden’s capital, has it’s own archipelago as well. It’s hard to believe how close Gothenburg’s southern archipelago is to the city. Once you are there, it’s like you have been transported to a completely different place, a remote quiet island town.

It’s busiest in the summer of course, when there are many Swedes living in their summer houses and tourists visiting for the day. Which island you choose is entirely up to you, but they are all similar so you don’t have to visit each one. With traditional Swedish style houses, quaint little cafes, beautiful landscapes, lots of nature, and even swans, whenever we have out of town visitors, we make sure to recommend a visit to the beautiful Archipelago.

More information about the islands of the Archipelago can be found here.

Note: There is also a Northern Archipelago with it’s own islands. To get there from the city, one must drive or take a bus and then a car ferry across to the islands. We have visited the Northern Archipelago once and the islands we went to were much larger and more developed with cars and a bigger town centre. However, there are also some little islands near them too.

Chocolate, Gummies, Licorice and More

Featured

20150624_194443

When we moved to Sweden, it was hard not to notice all the Bulk candy or Smågodis(small goodies) everywhere – the grocery store, the gas station, the 7 eleven or Pressbyrån (Swede convenience store),  even at stores that ONLY sell bulk candy like 4-gott and Sega Gubben. Swedes absolutely love their bulk candy.

20150926_141038

A colleague once told us that when his wife was pregnant he got her a kg of candy and it was gone in a couple of days. But it’s not just pregnant ladies or kids either, you’ll see adults and teens in the bulk candy aisles too, filling their paper bags with whatever candy they crave that day.

Saturday Candy or “Lördagsgodis” is apparently a Scandinavian tradition where kids get treats on Saturday. They are permitted to visit a local store and buy a bag of this sweets. It was thought that one day a week as a treat is a way to keep kids from getting cavities.

20141124_173241

A whole store dedicated to sweets!!

You can find all sorts of candy at a bulk or pick & mix candy store. At a place like Sega Gubben, one can find an amazing candy selection. You can find different chocolates, sours, gummies and more. Of course there are also many types of licorice candy to choose from – a Swedish favorite but not for me. Sega Gubben is also in our neighbourhood so it’s a bit dangerous if you love candy.

20150624_194023

Sega Gubben also offers candy from different countries
and often prices are cheaper than other stores. 

Just being able to get a few pieces of candy to satisfy your sweets craving is actually a great idea. Pick & Mix is the perfect snack for movies at home or just whenever you want. You won’t get bored if you have a variety to choose from and you don’t even need to buy too much.

20150624_193915

Sega Gubben even offers self-serve frozen yogurt! Heavenly good for sure!

20150624_194425

I’ve heard that Gubben is a nickname for an old man and Sega of course I know as a Japanese video game company lol. We were really surprised when we discovered a store with this name. However, in Swedish, Sega means ‘chewy’. So Sega Gubben translates to ‘Chewy Old Man’. What a name for a candy store! Let’s just say it’s referring to a gummy candy man like in their logo hahaha.

Note: There is also Pick & Mix nuts at grocery stores that can be a healthier option if you just feel like snacking and don’t want candy.

20150926_140513

Sega Gubben
website

Enjoy your godis (goodies)!