Friday, October 8, 2010

Holiday Club - Åre

The newspaper reported that the 1.oktober was the warmest on record in 78 years. Might we get some payback for the horrible winter last year? We loaded up the Passat and headed east from Trondheim, through amazing fall colors through Meråker, and across the border into Sweden. This western area of Sweden I've heard referred to as the 'black lands', and it's usually appeared to me as a bleak stretch of haunted hollow forest. Today, however, in the sun and the warm fall colors, this landscape is happy and inviting.

We check in early to the Holiday Club, one of my family's favorite destinations. They have a really fun swimming and sauna area that the kids really love. (Okay, I like it too!) Anna is a good swimmer now, so this is the first time we can let all the kids loose, freeing me to sit poolside with a beer and a crossword puzzle.

We eat pizza in town for dinner, do some shopping, swim some more and then play a game and watch TV after the pool closes. The Simpsons was on TV, in English (with Swedish subtitles), and we were surprised to see a Norwegian theme on the episode tonight. A large population of Norwegians moved into Springfield, and all was well at first but...

In the morning we ate the breakfast buffet, swam some more, did some more shopping, and made a visit to the Åre chocolate factory before we came home. The room, swimming, and breakfast buffet cost about 2000 nok ($350), but we saved more than more that on groceries and wine. With gas costs, it probably came out about even, meaning we can do our shopping in Sweden and enjoy a free vacation, as long as we don't mind a 3-hour drive to get there.

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