You don't pronounce it how it looks!!
03.09.2013 - 06.09.2013 22 °C
Much earlier in our trip, Nick's friend Annika who he used to work with many years at Paul Smith has since moved back to Sweden and she had invited us to stay with her. Now she lives in a small town called Båstad which is actually pronounced Borstad, something we learnt after booking our train tickets and getting a few funny looks!
Annika met us at the train station though and it was so lovely to see her again as it has been a couple of years at a mutual friends wedding. Her flat was only a short walk from the station (as is everything in Båstad as it is so tiny!) and after dumping our things in her beautiful (and very Scandinavian looking) home we realised that she only had one bed and that she was going to be sleeping on her own sofa! We were of course mortified and had no idea that this would be the case when she had made the offer. We of course protested, but she was adamant and it turns out she slept really well on it!
Annika suggested that we all head out for a picnic and to enjoy the last of the evening sunshine before watching the sun set which sounded like a great idea to us. She gave us a short tour of the town explaining we had arrived about two weeks too late to miss the Summer Season before heading down to the marina and settling down for some food and Prosecco and watching the sun set into the Baltic Sea.
The next morning Annika was up (very) early to go to work, so we had the day to ourselves. We decided to stay local and explored more of the town stopping for brunch at a cafe Annika had recommended before going for a walk along the coastal path and simply sitting on the end of a pier watching the world go by. It was very overcast and stormy looking but with perfectly calm waters so was beautiful and was somehow fitting for both of our moods. We were both feeling rather home sick at this point in the trip due to some sad news we had received while we were in Berlin and we were really starting to feel the distance of being away from our family and friends for so long, so it was nice to simply take some time to be together without feeling the pressure to do and see everything.
That evening Annika cooked us a traditional Swedish dish of which I can't remember the name of, but it was a sort of chicken casserole in a creamy tomato sauce with warm bananas and peanuts served with rice which sounds very strange but delicious!! As all of us felt rather full, we decided to go for a walk along the seafront to get some fresh air before going for a beer and talking the night away. We were all a little shocked when we realised it was gone midnight and poor Annika has to be up in 6 hours to go to work!
Our final day in Båstad and Annika was going to try and finish work early to meet us and had suggested we take the train to the nearby town of Helsingborg; another sea-side town, but on a much lager scale. Nick and I woke up late, so by the time we arrived there is was already 14.00! Wearing our most colourful clothes, we set off to explore on our own for a while before meeting up with Annika and heading for coffee at an amazing, award winning coffee shop http://koppi.se where we spent ages chatting and waiting for Annika's boyfriend Patrick to meet us, before heading for food at a Mediterranean restaurant which was really good food and surprisingly cheap. Sadly Patrick had to leave after this, so the three of us headed for a stroll along the promenade for yet more coffee and to watch the sunset over the sea. It was the perfect ending to our time in Båstad and our stay with Annika.
Unfortunately we had to do our goodbyes that night as Annika was up (stupidly) early again to be at work for 07.00, so we had the morning to ourselves - just enough time for a final walk by the sea (in glorious sunshine this time) and buy some thank you flowers for Annika before heading up to the train station (the hill did not seem that steep walking down it!!) to board our to Gothenburg to continue the Swedish leg of our trip!