This is ‘wellness day’, when everyone in the department goes on a fun trip together for team building and general mental health/well-being/wellness. One of the great things about working in Sweden is that this is not considered unusual or terribly progressive or at all frivolous; it is absolutely seen as a beneficial and worthwhile management tool. As a bonus, they reserved a spot on the bus for Graham because they knew he was not currently working and would like to see more of Sweden.
For this Fall’s friskvårdsdag, a bus came and picked us up at the office and whisked us away to the pastoral town of Ockelbo. First we visited a place called Vildmarksgalleriet which is an old time hunting lodge with lots of stuffed animals (taxidermy, not teddy bear), old guns and traps, and lots of ren (reindeer) furs and touristy things to buy. The first order of business upon arrival of course was Fika which included coffee and horse-meat smörgås. We also got to try axe throwing outside. You’d think with all Graham’s axe experience he’d be good at this, but he overshot the target wall several times, leading to fake cries of pain form the audience (i.e. you got someone, he was just peeing being the target!)
They also had a few other outdoor games including ring toss on the moose antlers and bowling.
Next it was off to the gardens of Wij Trädgårdar. The gardens are situated on land used as a 17th century steel-works and many of the original wooden buildings still stand. Now the land is used as a training ground for aspiring gardeners through a partnership with HiG. We first toured the site on our own before having a very nice lunch at the on-site restaurant. Lunch included homemade bread, salmon cake, and salad/vegetables from their gardens. For desert we had rödbeta (red beet) cake which was similar to a carrot cake and included pink icing dyed with the beet juice. After lunch we had a guided tour of the facility, but we had to rely on the kindness of others to get the Coles Notes English version.
Since it was approaching 14:30 another Fika was in order so off on the bus we went up the “mountain” to a little outlook called Rönnåsstugan where we had coffee and kanelbulle while admiring the view of the valley below.
After admiring the view we went on a little hike down the backside and checked out the “ski hill” and the wide variety of mushrooms that seem to grow in every bit of forested area before heading home on the bus.