Life in Swedenwinter

Darker Days in Sweden

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So last year I was a wimp, and ran away for all of November and February, the “worse” months in Norrland, at least according to a few Swedes that live here. Last year we had lasting snow from October 15th. This year? No snowfall yet! Which I have to say, makes the fall a little more bearable. It is still warm out (around 3C, or 37F). Oh, and I mean warm as in not -40C/-40F 🙂 Long underwear is needed, but I find myself that I can overdress a bit. Which is always a nice surprise in the winter.

So what is the hardest part? The darkness! I find myself exhausted at 5pm. It feels like 10pm. I’m hungry by 3pm. What gives? Well, we are loosing the sun, and quickly! It is weird, because if you actually measure the time the sun is in the sky, it isn’t so bad. But then you remember that 2 of those hours are sunset, and you realize that the sun is going bye-bye for the winter. And without the snow to reflect the light, it seems so much darker!

An example? Today we had a fabulous sunset. At 3:47pm. And it this is only the beginning.

Sunset in November in Norrland
Taken at 3:47PM on November 8th

A full winter in Norrland. I will survive?


  1. Michelle
    November 9, 2011 at 04:30 — Reply

    when i moved from cali to idaho i didnt realize that the small two state change north would change the sun dramatically for me. tonight our sun fully set at about six pm. so weird for me cause in cali it sets a few hours later. i know its not the dramatic change you are experiencing but sad in a way for me. i love the sunlight in my home and since most days i sleep the day away cause of working nights, i get even less of it! much love from the states!!!!!

    • November 9, 2011 at 10:49 — Reply

      I used to work nights too, I think if I did here I would go very quickly insane! I love the sun too, I’m just glad so far this fall there has been a lot of it, when it has been up 🙂

    • January 8, 2012 at 07:58 — Reply


      Is this your first time in the states? This time of year the sun does set early, but now the nights will get longer, as we get past December. We live in Idhao as well! Small world! I just came across this blog and I am excited to hear your perspective on Sweden. I love the country! We hardly got ANY snow either this year. The same thing for Canada. I have to say this is the NICEST winter I have ever experienced! May be our weather is changing…. Huge Blessings!!

  2. Michael
    January 2, 2012 at 15:59 — Reply


    sorry for cross-posting, I just couldn’t find your e-mail anywhere else on your page. I’ll go to in Skellefteå in February with my girlfriend and your suggestions on how (not) to spend our time there would really be appreciated (being of course well aware you’re not a tourist information office *g*).


    • January 3, 2012 at 19:04 — Reply

      Hi Michael,

      Skelleftea has a great website in English for tourists. I think you can find everything you need there. If you are missing anything or have any questions, let me know, I can find out and even tell them to add it to the site. They love tourists! And email me missfoster (at) swedishfreak (dot) com when you are around so we can go for a fika! 🙂

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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.