Sweden’s and Europe’s Massive Snowstorm

By SwedishFreak / December 19, 2010
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More snow storm!

Children play in the snowbanks in Skellefteå

As many may have heard, we are having a massive snow storm here in Europe. While places like England shut down completely because of the snow, up in Norrland we are quite used to it… This is my first winter in Skellefteå and I must say I love it, especially when I don’t have to leave the house.

It seems to have been snowing non stop since Friday, and when it doesn’t snow the wind seems to blow around the snow on the roof to the ground, making it seem to snow 24/7.

It actually hasn’t been that cold, yesterday it was hovering around the -5 mark, while today it is more -15C. I can’t say much about how cold it is as, again, I haven’t left the house and have decided to enjoy the snow from my warm couch instead.

Sports in the Winter

Johan carves a path through the snow.

Johan carves a path through the snow.

Yesterday we did venture out and headed to Drängsmark, a suburb of Skellefteå. While Johan’s father had cleared the drive way in the morning, by the time we got there at 1pm it was needed to clear the path again. So what is a necessary sport in the winter when it snows? Why, shoveling snow!

Shoveling Snow

It’s funny and sad at the same time, but having never had to live in this much snow before I’m at a complete loss as to what to do. Johan has lived here 30 years and finds everything obvious, so he forgets to tell me what to do and I end up doing things pointlessly. In the end I end up getting cold and we are all grumpy, so we cleared a path instead of the usual driveway and went inside to eat.

Another thing Johan mentioned is that if you wait long enough, the snow will “magically disappear”. Aka a snow plow will eventually come around and plow the snow for you. If you are lucky. We were.

Shoveling snow in Sweden

I'm not having too much fun at this Swedish sport


Sadly, my favorite winter sport, snowboarding, as not yet happened. It seems the weather is never ideal for it! I always imagined the best part of living in the snow, besides the beauty of it, is being able to snowboard whenever you want. Boy was I wrong.

Either it is way to cold, or in this storm nobody is interested. I need to wait for a sunny day in order to take advantage of having a ski hill 5 minutes away (which I hear isn’t a good ski hill anyway).

pile of snow

This is the pile of snow left over from plowing the street.

Cross Country Skiing

Yesterday Johan’s father, Lars, asked me about skiing. The conversation was in Swedish, and while the word “skidor” looks very similar to “ski”, it is pronounced “Sheedor” and it took me about 10 minutes to figure out what the hell he was talking about. Lars was asking if I’d like to try cross country skiing with him one day. He supposedly has extra skis, and Drängsmark is the perfect place to go. I told him I’d love to and I only hope we don’t have to wait for super good weather in order to do it!

Ice Fishing

Another sport I’ve heard tons about is ice fishing. Apparently you actually look through the ice at the fish you are trying to catch. No idea how this is done, all I know is I want to do it. However, Lars explained to me it is a spring sport, better when there is more light out. This is on my to do list when I get back from New York in February. How many people can say they have been ice fishing before??

A path was cleared.

A path was cleared.

All in all I have to say that this snow storm has been a real learning experience. Hopefully I will continue to learn more, especially now that Johan realizes that many things he takes for granted isn’t so obvious to me. And the snow couldn’t have come at a better time, I’m really looking forward to a white Christmas.

ice candle in Sweden

snow plow

A professional snow plow

About the author


    Hilary lived two years in Norrland, Sweden (Northern Sweden) and fell in love with the country. She lives in Prague, Czechia and hopes to one day soon return to Sweden.


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