Friday, June 7, 2013

Celebrating Sweden's National Day

Yesterday, was Sweden's National Day. In a sense, it is like the 4th of July in the US, but not quite, since the holiday only became an official holiday in 2005 and many of my colleagues here in Sweden have told me  that they are not quite used to it. Celebrating Midsommer is the big event here -- the beginning of summer!

But yesterday was simply gorgeous, and, clearly, the Swedes have started to celebrate their National Day in grand style, given that it was a day off from work (although many restaurants, to our surprise, were open here in Gothenburg).

After getting (a lot of) work done and catching up after 3 days of logistics conferencing, we sauntered off to the grand park in Gothenburg, Slottsskogen, which, as the photos below depict, was filled with celebratory events and people enjoying themselves. I have been told that it is also a day that new citizens of Sweden especially appreciate. Thousands of new citizens were invited to the festivities in the park!

We did some flag-waving for Sweden and enjoyed the folks in native costumes, the bands, and the gorgeous greenery and smiling people of all ages.

I had messages from several Swedish colleagues last evening and we clearly all enjoyed the holiday very much. Some had ventured to the famous amusement park, which I have yet to go to.

Today, I will be talking to a journalist who heard me speak at The New York Times EnergyforTomorrow Conference on April 25, 2013 in NYC  on traffic and congestion pricing and a colleague will join me. This should be a very interesting conversation given the goings-on now in Gothenburg and transportation tolls!