Destinations, Europe, Journal, Sweden


August 21, 2014

One interesting [and very humbling] aspect of being on the road this summer has been learning little tidbits of different cultures and languages.

Each place we have visited has unique traditions around food, dress, lifestyle, and so on. We have found that each place has really different traditions around coffee.  For example, in Italy, it was common to order an espresso and stand at the coffee bar while you shoot it back really quick and go on your merry way. That is definitely not the case here in Sweden.

My cousin Erica and her boyfriend Johannes have helped us dive into different aspects of the Swedish culture, teaching us different key phrases and traditions.

One tradition Dennis and I were able to latch onto quickly… Fika [fee-kah].


Fika is basically what we call “going out to coffee” in the US, where you grab some coffee or tea and a pastry and chat away with friends. I think I like the idea of fika because it seems really intentional. Maybe, it’s just because we don’t have a specific fancy word for it… I’m not sure, but I like the concept!

Dennis and I went to have a fika [actually, I’m really not sure if it’s a verb or a noun…like if it should be “let’s go fika” or “let’s go have a fika” I really couldn’t tell ya… So, I’ll fake it til I make it with this one].

We walked around the town en route to a little cafe that Erica recommended called Condeco.






[Side note–apparently, we aren’t supposed to ask for “coffee shops” here, but “cafes.” I guess, the term “coffee shop” is often associated with something in Amsterdam that is basically a sketchy place where they sell drugs… So, I’ll go with cafes while in Scandinavia :) ]

Condeco was great. We managed to be sheltered there during the torrential downpour, so that’s always a plus, but also it had great coffee and cardamom muffins… Doesn’t get much better than real Swedish cardamom.


I’m glad we have a few more days to enjoy fika with each other and new friends. This is one tradition that I definitely will be bringing back with me :)

xo Kelsey


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  • Reply Karen Johnson August 21, 2014 at 11:31 am

    How wonderful to be in Sweden. The new cafeteria at the American Swedish Institute here is called Fika. It has been written up in several Twin Cities publications as a wonderful place to eat. When you are back here, you will have to try it.

    • Reply Kelsey Heenan August 27, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      Hi Karen!

      That is so awesome! Thanks for letting me know :) I definitely will need to check that out!

  • Reply Erica August 21, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Yeah, fika is the best! :)

    • Reply Kelsey Heenan August 27, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      YES IT IS!!! :)

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