A Good Day in Värmland

My day started early at 7:30AM for a shower and a bowl of Rice Krispies. I then took the bus with my fellow American Corrine to Karlstad’s Stora Torget, or the city center, to meet with two of the local high school English teachers. We had been contacted earlier to speak to their classes about American culture, and, together with Corrine as well as my other American friends Casey and Leanne, we had decided to do it (This is probably the closest I’ll come to volunteering while I’m here).

After a brief tour of the high school and a pre-class meeting, Corrine and I were put in a class where were drilled by these 18- and 19- year old high school seniors, curious about American Christmas, what stereotypes we had about Swedes, and where to go as a tourist in America. Being a good student, I made sure I had follow-up questions about Swedish Christmas, their stereotypes about Americans (we all psychopath killers who are fat and have huge proportions of everything we consume, thanks American Television!), and where I should go as a visitor in Sweden. They were a great class, but like most Swedes extremely shy and unwilling to step out of the crowd (this was a stereotype we talked to them about), but I still feel like I learned a lot from it, I can only hope they did too! Here is a picture of the class, with Corrine on the left and Jonas, the teacher, on the right.

After class the teachers treated us to a free lunch, and I took some time to take a picture of the campus with the fall colors.

After lunch I took the bus back to my place where I met up with my Dutch friends Marc and Bas for a drive up to Torsby. Torsby is a small town about an hour and a half north of Karlstad by car, and there is a lot of outdoor activities there, plus some indoor activities as well. In particular, they have an indoor Nordic ski tunnel, and for only 380 SEK, you can enjoy 3 hours of artificial snow and getting passed by lots of hardcore skiers from Sweden, Norway, and Denmark. This was, in fact, the main point of our trip to northern Värmland. Here are some pictures from the experience.

Marc, Bas and I inside
My rental skis

Bas and Marc in the tunnel

I also used my handy video camcorder to take a follow cam of Marc on one of the downhills, I hope you enjoy.

After exhausting ourselves with 9 laps around the 1.3km track, we decided to call it a day and drove back to Karlstad. Before we left though I snapped some pictures of the outside of the tunnel as well as some shots of the hills in northern Värmland and the sunset colors.

These piles of dirt cover up the tunnel.
The northern hills of Sweden
Sunset colors from Torsby

I now find myself back in Karlstad after this long day planning to do some homework (maybe). This Wednesday I will be in Oslo for some time at the Viking Museum as well as my first European soccer match with some World Cup Qualifier action between Holland and Norway (of course, if you can’t tell, I’ll be with my Dutch friends and inevitably dressed in orange). I also plan to return to Norway 3 times after Oslo for some hiking, camping, and a showing of the Greatest Ski Movie Ever in Lillehammer. This will almost definitely be the subject of my next post, so check back in two weeks!


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