It was the fourth of June, 2015, and I was twenty-five. Sweden was the experience I had fantasized about, but never in my wildest dreams dared to think could be a reality.
We did everything I had been wary of doing. We held hands, we kissed, we had our arms around each other’s shoulders and waists as we stumbled through Gamla Stan in the night searching for kebabs.
We hopped on a ferry and rode it to the end of the line without knowing anything about where we were going. Three-and-a-half hours later, we stepped onto Finnhamn, a speck in the deep of the Swedish archipelago. Apart from a snug and welcoming restaurant and several cozy-looking cabins near the dock, the island was completely immersed in tranquil Scandinavian wilderness. We came across an empty but heated sauna, or bastu as they called it around here. It was small, red, and wooden with a discrete access to the open, brackish sea.
It was one of the best days of my life, and one of the most natural, most sublime, most romantic: watching the dim orange glow of the summer sun finally recede behind the horizon at eleven o’clock; soaking in the warmth of the sauna and in each other’s embrace. We loved, and when we were done, we made a dash for the chilly waters. It was as if for a brief evening, all of heaven itself had descended upon this little Eden called Finnhamn in the Swedish archipelago…our own private heaven.
In the morning, we soaked up more of the sun in each other’s arms. We fooled around in the forest and got bitten by creatures. We ate köttbullar and pyttipanna. And not even twenty-four hours later, we boarded the ferry back to Stockholm city.
“Minns du den sommar? Ängen stod grön.”