Monday, October 15, 2012

Fall Colors In Umeå

This is just a brief hiatus from my  summer travel memoir.  I want to keep a memory of the third autumn in my life before it completely fades away. I'm afraid that just as the autumn leaves are shaken off swiftly by the passing winds, so my memory of this season would be shaken off by the racing winds of activities.

Gray clouds and showers characterize the early days of fall this year. At times, though, the clouds would sporadically open up to reveal patches of the blue sky that would either gradually expand or shrink, and would last only for some moments. Despite the gloom, however, an explosion of vibrant colors blazes all over the city, overshadowing the prevailing gloom. Every street, every alley, every park, every house yard, every parking lot, every bend in the road, etc. has at least some bushes or trees that are flaming red, orange and yellow.

Everyday as I take a ride or walk toward my different workplaces, I always find myself spellbound by all the colors that abound along the way and as far as the eyes can see. I get intoxicated drinking in the marvelous colors, and my heart swells with joy and satisfaction for having been blessed as a partaker of such invigorating food for the soul that our loving Creator has provided for us.

The colors are so entrancing that it's quite hard to take my eyes off them, as if I want to hold them with a gaze and freeze the moments so that their beauty would never wither. But, alas, such beauty is just momentary, for soon, it will unstoppably vanish from view.

Except here in my site, where events remain at a standstill;  where variable things are being preserved and viewed any time.

So I'm splashing all over this page the colors that have been painted naturally on this planet's little "canvas" of a city called Umeå.

Since Umeå is a city of birch, it's obvious that birch trees are prominent in the landscapes. They bedeck the streets, parks and road circles. They also stand side by side with the evergreens, like pine and spruce trees.

One of my favorites is the maple tree. I love to observe how the leaves gradually blaze into fiery colors that spark up the street corners, private homes' yards and parks. The leaves begin their transformation from the top with yellow, red, orange or pinkish colors, which would then crawl down until the whole tree becomes completely aflame.

The rowan tree or mountain ash is another tree that has captivated my heart. From spring to winter, it keeps it loveliness in different facets. Some kinds of rowan trees look like these in autumn:

The aspens, too, stand out with their yellow flappy leaves that I love to watch. Here's the link to my separate blog about the aspen trees: The Merry Aspen Trees

Among the bushes, the aronia melanocarpa or black chokeberry bush, flourishes extensively. A throng of them makes for very attractive hedges along the sidewalk or around the yard.

The spiraea, the rose bushes and many other kinds of bushes also adorn the sidewalks and parking lots.

More fall images that I have taken this year are stored in these links:

These, so far, are the autumn's bounty of colors in our place this year. I'm elated that I had the chance to reforge my intimacy with this season. My photo albums tell the whole story.  It's also interesting to note that the season has not become a common yearly occurence to me that could be taken for granted. It still fascinates me. And fascination keeps life vivacious.  Life is not boring at all, not colorless. It is as colorful and invigorating as the colors of autumn.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Guest at Today's Flowers

I'm so glad for having been chosen as a guest in Today's Flowers! You may check out my pictures in this link. 

Happy viewing and have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Lovely Town By The Lake

Upon arriving in Varberg, we headed to Trelovsläges Camping, where we had camped before going down to Denmark. This time, we set up our tent instead of hiring a little cabin. Our friend, Raquel, from Dubai, was with us too, and she brought her own little tent which she used for the first time. It was a cold and windy evening, but I slept sweetly anyway.

The following day, we again drove around the town, but specially for our friend this time, who also loves to visit new places and take tons of pictures. I also took more pictures of the same places in other perspectives.  And yes, I still relished seeing the same scenes for the second time and was still awed by the treasures that this little place possesses.

In the afternoon, we headed to the northeast, with Vadstena as our next target destination. En route, we  had stop-overs in some small cute towns, just to look around a little and capture scenic memories of the places.

When we reached the southern tip of Vättern, Sweden's second largest lake, awe and wonder gripped us again while driving along the eastern coast of the lake. The road gradually led us to higher altitude where we could see breath-taking views of the lake and the towns that  studded the lake's verdant coastline.

Then it veered from the shore to the fields of green and wildflowers. We also passed by a fantastic canola field.

Our arrival in Vadstena was graced by colorful meadows on both sides of the road, a hint of something wonderful awaiting for us in this place.

We kept driving through dazzling landscapes until we got to the camping site along the lake where we had planned to spend one night. We hired a little cottage just a few steps close to the small beach section of the lake.

That night, we wandered along the shore, absorbing all the beauty all around us, the serenity, the silence, the  glowing sky as the sun gradually sank to the water, the cool fresh air. And of course, our cameras too went clicking the whole time, trying to preserve everything that rendered beauty to this summer evening.  Then we retired to our cozy cabin, relishing all the gifts that our Creator had provided for that day.

Morning came with a promise of a sunshiny day. After checking out of the camping site, we set off for town to explore whatever corner we could find. Though small, the town has much exquisite "treasures" to enchant its visitors.

We visited the grandiose Vadstena Castle (Swedish: Vadstena slott), which is a former Royal Castle in Vadstena.

More information about this castle can be found here:   Vadstena Castle

We also toured the interior of the castle and looked at the artifacts that it shelters. Here are the things that particularly caught my eyes:  The Castle's Interior

As we ambled through the town, I gathered many of its treasures which I stored HERE as my personal mementos.

Once more, this brief stop-over supplied me with a new set of memories which will keep glowing in my mind for a long, long time.

Next will be the final episode of this major summer journey. Another wish that was granted.