Summer wash-out

It is a truth universally acknowledged that one does not come to Sweden for the weather, Greek islands being a somewhat safer bet for larks in the sun. If a few decent summers had persuaded Swedes that global warming was working in their favour, this summer's rain-drenched barbequeues have had them reaching for the fake tan.

The Swedish Meteorological Institute says that this is the first summer since 1862 that temperatures have not once exceeded 27 degrees. And it’s not just low temperatures that have been causing anxiety. In the southern county of Småland, flooding has caused damage estimated at 100 million crowns.

Göteborgs Posten quoted Carl Ekströmer, a farmer from Hamneda in Småland, whose land was hit by the floods.

“Four hectares of potatoes and ten hectares of grain are under water” he said. “This means I’ve lost between 200,000 and 300,000 crowns, and it could get worse.”

The suffering of farmers might put the moans of the rest of us into perspective, but if you’ve just spent three weeks watching Sommartorpet when you intended to be enjoying the Great Swedish outdoors, you might be feeling sour. However, Monday’s Svenska Dagbladet showed that we had no excuses to mope around the house; for the resourceful tourist, there is never a dull moment if you head to the Astrid Lindgren wonderland that is Junibacken.

The attraction on Stockholm’s Djurgården has seen visitor numbers rise by 25 percent on last year. Junibacken has the advantage of being indoors, unlike its neighbour, the theme park Gröna Lund, where visitor numbers were down fifteen percent on last year. It was the same story in Gothenburg, where popular indoor science centre Universeum won visitors at the expense of Liseberg, the largest theme park in Scandinavia.

But there is comfort at hand for anyone still wanting to fry themselves: summer is on its way. Swedish weathermen are predicting decent weather for the first week of August, so farmers and tourists alike might get a taste of a real Swedish summer after all.