Sneeze and snuffle
I don't really think the huge variation in temperature here can be blamed for the sneezes and snuffles experienced in the last 48 hours, but we are finding it incredibly difficult to manage our own temperature control in spite of dressing in layers. Outside can be really cold - 2C this morning - or quite warm in the sunshine, with temperatures rising to a balmy 14C yesterday afternoon, though as you can see in the picture below, the river is still partly frozen. Indoors, whether in shop, hotel or restaurant, we've found oven-like heat to be so overwhelming that we've felt quite beside ourselves at times. Suffice to say, we find ourselves climatically challenged.
We really enjoyed our brief stay in Karlstad and found it an ideal size for pottering about. Whilst Mark spent yesterday morning at the orchestra rehearsal, I found plenty to amuse myself and didn't really need the rather incongruous mariachi band playing on a street corner to jolly me along. We met up with our Swedish friend and the orchestra conductor for a lively and entertaining lunch and the level of optimism regarding the eagerly anticipated performance was high.
The place was very nearly full and though it was "only" a school theatre, it was a very comfortable one and just right for the concert. Mark's written a full review of the performance if you are interested and it will appear on his website shortly. Suffice to say, however, that it was breathtaking, included a marvellous performance from a young British violinist and well worth the journey!
This afternoon, we arrived in Orebro, where a welcoming group had assembled in our hotel room, each with a tag introducing himself and a price ticket alongside. Dear me, the lengths to which hotel groups will go to eke out a few extra krone on the bill - in this case, I guess, from guilty business-fathers away from home once again?
Not quite so sure about the rather disconcerting statue under the bridge in the river, however.
One thing we do like, however, is the lengths to which almost every shop has gone to decorate their entrance/window/displays for Spring. Utterly charming and enough to blow away any chill reminders of that frozen river in Karlstad.