Welcoming Höst

Running in the fall woods...

Running in the fall woods…

One last glorious day of summer on Sunday — Indian Summer, Brittsommar — followed by a Monday morning turned foggy and fall-like. I rode my bike carefully to work over fallen yellow leaves through the woods, with the smell of pine needles rising from the musty ground.

Last week was a bit crazy:  Stockholm hosted President Obama, and the security requirements shut down the city.  He visited the Great Synagogue on the afternoon of Erev Rosh Hashana, when security would already have been tightened.

On my way home from work, I found myself trapped trying to get to across Valhallavägen, which had been completely closed for Obama’s transit from KTH (Sweden’s MIT? It’s the Royal Institute of Technology, roughly) back to the Grand Hotel (the most expensive hotel in town, across from the royal castle — or wherever he was heading).  I saw the cavalcade go by: tens of motorcyclists, vans, buses, SUVs, and the limo with the American flag at one corner.

All the way down Valhallavagen, garbage cans removed for the President's visit (bomb security) were replaced by piles of trash...

All the way down Valhallavagen, garbage cans removed for the President’s visit (bomb security) were replaced by piles of trash…

I noticed later that all of the garbage cans had been removed from the walking path down the middle of the street. By Sunday, when I ran a 10k in the park, piles of garbage had accrued — boxes of sport drinks and assorted detritus where the garbage cans should have been, from observers and participants in Tjejmiljen, the Women’s Swedish Mile (a Swedish mile is 10 km), a women’s race that took place on Saturday in the Djurgarden.

This week, the weather continues to be fine — hot in the sun in the afternoons, a bit of spitting rain on Wednesday, it feels like normal Swedish summer (!).  Except that it’s dark by 8 pm.  I cannot say I am looking forward to dark winter days, but … well, we just got a new couch, and it might be cozy to sit here with a cup of coffee (photos of the old and new below).  Plus, I haven’t worn ice skates in ages.  (Can you tell I am trying to psyche myself up for this??)

Happy fall, and happy new year and an easy fast for those of you celebrating Yom Kippur!

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