I had another quality time experience with my wife today and of course I’ll share it with you. Since its 1st of May (Labours Day!) and we took the day off tomorrow and went to our vacation home in Sweden for a long weekend. Besides: I can work from anywhere as long as I have my mobile phone and the net.

Diane made a splendid breakfast with bacon and eggs and then we took out our bikes to explore our home away from home, Mariestad, for Labours Day and 1st of May celebration. Here are some experiences you might find a bit different from what is expected on a day like this, but it was great fun:

First I went out on the balcony to check the weather (a bit cloudy, but 17C – 63F) and there I spotted a lot of athletes running through our area…it turned out there was The Swedish Championship in Foot Orienteering or “Foot-O“. I had my Nokia6680 mobile phone at hand of course and here some pictures taken as we followed them around in the city (click all pics to enlarge):

Orienteering #1 Orienteering #2
Left: From the baclony – Right: On a control point
Orienteering #4 Orienteering #5
Left: Crossing the finish line – Right: Checking the result

I remember I learned this sport in the military but did not practice a lot. The children have also always had an orienteering day at school each year. To me its the kind of sport you do in the forest, but they told me this time the race was arranged in the city to promote and recruit new runners. The Swedish do very well on international bases in Orienteering and sometimes even beat Norwegians :lol:

We then biked through the city to find some more adventures, and we did: There was a spring market with hundreds of stands in an open field. My regular readers know I hate shopping, but watching the people and such in the atmosphere is fun. I told my wife: I have never seen a collection of everything you don’t need in one place before. To which she smiled and replied: Don’t be afraid – I don’t have any Swedish money today :lol: Here is a couple examples I captured with my Nokia mobile phone:
SpringMarket #1 SpringMarket #6
I mean you might need socks (you could buy 5 pair for 100 Swedish Krone – 10 Euro) and of course a purse or two. But the quality looks more like the one on a flea market, if you know what I mean. There was a lot of ‘instant plastic fun’ for the children too of course. I met these cute girls with giant boxing gloves on. When I told them I would make a post from this marked they willingly posed for me:
SpringMarket #17

To give you some more details from the market – at least sometimes, pics says more than a thousand words – here’s a collection:

So what about celebrating Labour Day then, you might ask. Well the parade and the days speech on the town square was later on and we chose to go home and have dinner (roasted pork loin – yummy). Don’t get me wrong though: the Swedish are taking 1st of May as seriously as the Norwegians and you can read all about it on my post from last year. That is if you’re not afraid of being influenced by social democrat’s ideas of course :lol:


  1. well, they might be full of cheap things but it’s still fun to look around flea markets. no one says you have to buy. and see you got a post out of it too. i love the phrase “instant plastic fun.” i shall have to remember that.

    If you don’t buy anything, I think its great fun too :-)
    Glad you like the phrase and I guess its typical me :lol:

  2. What a day for you both in charming Mariestad.
    By some reasons, we are not there when — you know.
    In a way it’s positive, ’cause we then have our common quality time. Right?

    Did you, by the way, know that we had to learn Orienteering at primary school in my days here in Norway (at least in Oslo – kart og kompass – ut og tren))? It was even completions among teams from several different schools – had to qualify for the final. Did I win? haha

    Well, we both do the best we can on each side of the border ;-)
    Didn’t know you where a Orienteering champion too – great!

  3. Great post, and great pics, but it was an even better date. Thank you for a fun day!

    I do agree and so much appreciate your post and your way of looking at our wonderful time together!

  4. Beautiful Post, Renny. And I’ll come back as soon as possible to read your 1st may from last year! I adore Orienteering races. I did some when I prepared my exam to become teacher in the forest and in the town too. Thanks for the nice slide. I could think I am at the market! I like the giant boxing gloves!!! I want the pink ones!

    Thanks Claudie – didn’t know you where into Orienteering too, but do know the French are great in the sport!
    Glad you liked the slide show too and got the atmosphere :-)

  5. i like buying cheap ones especially with the good quality that you lucky to found. looks like you really had fun there and i can really smells the summer over there. here in chicago is still cold boo!

    have a good one Renny :)

    Me too, but often cheap isn’t good quality.
    Glad you got the smell of almost summer and hope you get warmer weather soon too!
    Wishing you a great end to you week :)

  6. We don’t celebrate May Day much here in my area, but some still carry on the traditional Maypole Dance I hear.

    I enjoyed the tour, Renny. It’s 74F here right now, so our temps are comparable.

    Have a great weekend! :-)
    Love and hugs,

    I know and Labours Day in US is after all the 1st of September.
    Glad you enjoyed Diane and that you have a taste of summer temperature too.
    Wishing you a great one too – hubs back from both of us :-)

  7. Is that wrapping paper I see in one of those photographs?! As a self confessed paper addict I am always on the hunt for new paper. I spent my May Day travelling up to London to buy more paper supplies! Yours sounds like much more fun! At least you weren’t stuck on a train for hours on end……with misinformation about delays and more delays :-(
    Good job I didn’t have a pair of those boxing gloves or I might have used them on the staff at the station :-)

    Yea, its wrapping paper Diane – sorry I did not buy you some :-)
    Thanks – those boxing gloves seams to be popular by most of my readers :-)

  8. I know I would have had a wonderful time browsing at each of the stalls there!

    I bet you would – why not join us next year!

  9. Ooooh, I want some giant boxing gloves!


    You too!! :-)

  10. What a great labour day fun! I spent most of my time netting! How boring compared to you over there

    I agree – it was really joyful.

  11. Oh I love markets like this. Often I buy nothing, but I love to walk around and feel like I am a part of all these things.

    Yea; at least its free to take part and have fun ;-)

  12. Oh, it sounds like it was a wonderfully fun day! You are not KIDDING about everything you never needed all in one spot though! LOL! It’s like the boardwalk at the beach! Nothing you NEED to buy… and yet… well… the flowers were pretty! I could take some of them home!

    Are you still interested in swapping geographical tidbits? I think I have decided which way I would go if you are!

    You got it Melli and your comparisons with the boardwalk is very to the point :-)
    Sure; I would love to swap with you – please get back to me with your suggestion!

  13. looks like you and Diane had a marvellous weekend….
    the orienteering looks like hard work…I think I would be happier on a bike….
    terrific photos of the markets….what a fun way to celebrate Labour Day :)

    We have Kim – really a great one….
    It is hard work. I’ve never heard of bike orienteering, but in the Nordic countries they do it on skies too (in the winter time of course).
    Glad you liked the pics and shows LD can be real fun too :)

  14. It looks like you had a perfect day with the love of your life!

    Quality time you know!

  15. Oh the markets, my favourite for just looking. How much fun! I’m curious to know, do you go back to work for Friday or take a 4 day weekend? I really loved the slide show pics. And the cell phone, it got dumped in the dish washer… It was dead.. lol there’s always a first time hearing something happens like that for me.

    Looking is for free you know and I love it too!
    Well Friday was not a holiday, but many takes the day off and make it a four days weekend.
    A flashed cell phone – well, its a mobile one you know :lol:

  16. The Norwegians are well know to be great in “Orienteering”, right? Finally is spring up there too, it’s great to see how people “swarm” out outdoor after these long and cold winter days.

    Thanks for your kind comment on my blog! Very much appreciated.

    Well, Norway is normally at top three in the world championship.
    ‘Swarm’ is a great expression for it! Its the same as we say about bees and it really looked the same :lol:

  17. Sounds like a fun long weekend! Enjoy!

    Yea; half a week of joy and adventures :-)

  18. Thanks for reading about the Finnish Vappu.
    We have actually another tradition like your Russ called penkkarit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penkkarit
    The Vappu traditions for the students are older in Finland than the labour day. According to Wikipedia Finnish pages the tradition came to us from Sweden, possibly brought by Finnish students from the University of Lund.
    In the old days people wore the cap during the whole summer!

    Your welcome – it was a very interesting read. Great to see the similarity, but also differences within Scandinavia. Yea; I know its an old tradition also here in Norway.
    The student caps where very much in use here in Norway too – 20 years back or so – but now you hardly see one. Everyone use their Russ cap instead.

  19. sounds and looks like a lot of fun, renny!

    those bog boxing gloves on those girls are so cute. ^_^

  20. Moi Renny,
    Cool way to celebrate May Day! In the era of the “free” market, we need some “Orientation” to enjoy the nature.

  21. Well, good thing she didn’t have any Swedish money on her…. *giggles*

    Very often nowadays I can’t find anything to buy on the markets, too much crap to be honest. where did all the fine stuff go, handcrafted and all? Hm….

    I spent my 1st of May together with a whole mountain of handkerchiefs, my nose were flooding heavily… *giggles*

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  23. Looks like the spring brings in a lot of family activity. Enjoy!

    Yea; out of hibernation you know :-)

  24. Hello, this is really something of your country? What a fun thing to do…

    Thanks for your waiting for my holiday pics…. , soon I will post more photo’s to show you Switserland , Today I already posted 1 shot,taken from the car IN switserland…

    Happy Sunday:) JoAnn

  25. I miss the 1st of May celebrations… as you know, in North America, Labor Day is the first week-end of Sept. and it’s nothing more than a day off. May 1st just doesn’t have the same spirit, although I did spot a couple of peaceful demonstrations — mostly civil servants I think.

    Thanks for the pics!

  26. looks like you both had fun! :)
    thanks of sharing! enjoyed the pictures …

  27. Nice post – it’s nice to look around flea markets as you dont have to buy anythin – appears to generate a lot of fun also – great pics as well. Sometimes its nice to let yourself go……

  28. Pingback:Orienteering » Arhipelag-2008 - night orienteering on kayaks

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