February seems like it was about five years ago, given the world has ground to a halt! The month of Feb marked my 30th birthday (I definitely don’t feel adult enough to be 30, but what can you do!). As per usual, a big birthday meant J,H and I had to uphold our tradition of heading somewhere far flung, locking ourselves away with all of the food and wine, and of course a hot tub (check out our trips to Iceland & Prague!)
After much trawling, we located the perfect Air B n B with amazing views. Whilst I love holidays that are full of culture and exploring, the holidays I have with J and H are always, always exactly what the Dr ordered. We pretty much drop off the face of the planet, and spend 3 days laughing and relaxing, so this post’ll be a lot of scenery, and not much culture!
We arrived at J’s the night before where the girls had prosecco ready and waiting, as the all-essential birthday crown (another tradition, if its your birthday you do indeed get a tiara that must be worn at all times – I don’t make the rules.).
A round of pizza and some beautiful gifts from the girls we hit the hay early doors to catch our 6am flight. I’m pretty terrified of flying – but sunrise views like this over London always feel pretty special!
We had to hire a car to get to our Air B n B and whilst it was perfect for 3 (me sharing with H, J down stairs on the camp bed 🙂 ) it would be a tricky set-up if you were two couples as the property doesn’t afford much privacy.
Once we landed in Sweden, we headed straight to collect our car, pick up a food shop and then an alcohol shop [in Sweden alcohol isn’t sold in supermarkets but specialist licensed alcohol retailers – much like in Iceland]. After stocking up we went on our way driving out into the rolling landscapes of beautiful Sweden.
It’s hard to describe just how beautiful Sweden is; fir trees stretch for miles, the Baltic Sea snakes in and out of the archipelago meaning you often stumble across incredible views, even just driving down a dual carriage way.
Our Air B n B was very remote, although the hosts house was pretty nearby, Markus let us do our own thing and was very helpful – he described loads of amazing things to do in Stockholm and we found ourselves quickly regretting not staying for a few days longer to squeeze in some touristy stuff, but, after the whirlwind of Christmas and New Year, and insanely busy Januarys for all 3 of us, we just wanted to relax and take in the view – oh and of course, ease the blow of me turning 30 ;).
The next morning saw our first full day – we decided to let the sunrise be our alarm, and we weren’t disappointed, the view from the bedroom was amazing….
We cooked a big old fry up that first morning, sat on the deck and watched as the cruise ships slowly rolled by. With nothing but time to relax on our hands we decided to jump in the hot tub and put the world to rights!
Later that night, after a good day of doing nothing, the girls sent me upstairs (which I bizarrely didn’t question!) and when I came back down, they had decorated our Air B n B, and had one final, beautiful gift for me; a photo album of all our memories and silly times together.
The effort the girls went to was just so special and the memories from over the years had us all laughing, crying and occasionally pulling little shocked faces of ‘I can’t believe we did that…’ We’re lucky we’ve been to so many amazing places together but I could have an amazing time with these two if we were stuck in a nuclear bunker together.
It was time to pop some more prosecco and head out in freezing temperatures (no, literally, below freezing) and take in the view of the Baltic Sea, cruise ships sailed idly past throughout the evening as we continued to reminisce about all of our funny memories over the years.
We woke up the next day and decided we ought to do a little exploring, so we went for a drive to a nearby nature reserve where we had to hop on a ferry – I think we had slight illusions of grandeur that this island containing the nature reserve would be… I’m not sure – but essentially we ended up on a very long, very hungover drive. Still – the scenery is pretty beaut, so you can’t complain too much…
Another fun thing about Sweden is the architecture – I mean, would you look at how bloody adorable these houses and their shutters are?
Not to mention this super cute number:
On our way back we parked up a little way from the house and went to explore the surroundings in a bit more detail…
Finally, we returned home for one last jolly into the hot tub and to watch the boats pass us by [even as three 30+ women we never tired of shouting ‘Cruise ship!’ when we spotted one – not that you can miss them… we’re losers, we know!]
And before we left the next morning I decided to get a little time to myself and watched an early sunrise make its appearance before heading down to the deck to watch the whole thing in full flow….
She did not disappoint…
Just me, the cruise ships, and a coffee
Reflecting on a weekend of laughter, lots of love, and beautiful scenery, I felt like the luckiest 30 year old on the planet, especially as my two best pals slept off a few weeks of hardcore work, album making, gift-planning, tiara-purchasing, air b n b decorating – all to give me one of the most special birthdays of my life.
Love you J&H.
PS – if you head on over to my Instagram @_findingkate_ I’ve got a little sun rise timelapse video up 🙂