West Coast: Halmstad / by Jennifer Leahy

No matter what, I had to be in Halmstad on Friday, because that was the day of Anders and Ida's kräftskiva (crayfish party), a Swedish August tradition. 

And so, from Gothenburg, I headed south and met up with Anders (who'd answered my Swedish Number call) and his daughter. We did a car tour of Halmstad, including an important first stop out in the country for Italian ice cream, then came back home to prepare for the party. Soon, friends began to arrive - Anders and Ida live in a neighborhood with lots of other young families within walking distance. 

I'd been told bits and pieces about the kräftskiva over the past few months: there would be singing, and shots, and bibs and party hats. The crayfish themselves are no longer necessarily from Sweden, and come cooked, seasoned with dill, and served cold, along with Västerbotten cheese pie, breads, salad, beer, wine, and yes, Aquavit. As the kids ran around the backyard, dressing up as superheroes from a treasure trove of a costume box, the adults got down to eating, talking, occasional singing (followed by toasting), and overall merriment, including a brief drone demo (Anders is a professional photographer and does amazing aerial work).

The next day, after yet another delicious fika (this time a homemade, gluten free sticky cake), we headed out to Hotel Tylösand to check out the photography exhibit and the beach, said to be the best in Sweden.