The following episode happened in May, 2015
I still remember going to Storsjöbadet, an aqua park outside Östersund, Sweden, when I was younger. I remember the anticipation of going there, this almost limitless place of fun water activities. How I would spend the entire day there, trying all the slides, swimming in all the pools, trying the slides again. When I was younger it was one of my favorite places to visit, the problem was that it was a four-hour car ride away, and in another country. It must be twenty years since the last time I was there.
When visiting Östersund last weekend, we knew we had to return to Storsjöbadet. My friend had the same memories as me of the place. Since we were in Östersund, only three kilometers away, there was no way we could not visit.
We set off just after breakfast, we both like to walk and three kilometers is nothing. All we had to do was follow the lake more or less, and we would get there.
As soon as we got out of the city, the lake a few hundred meters to our right, on the other side of the railroad, we passed a commercial area followed by a residential area. Not much to see, first huge stores and fast food joints, then block after block of identical houses. Suburbia. We decided to cross the railroad and keep walking by the lake instead.
That was an excellent decision. it was a beautiful day and the scenery by the lake was much better. Spring was just arriving to Östersund as well. The first flowers peeking up from the ground created a beautiful purple forest floor.
After a while we started looking for a railroad crossing. We had to get back to the other side of the railroad, we were very close to our destination.
No railroad crossing in sight. We kept on walking. Still no railroad crossing.
At last, we found one. Now all we had to do was walk back for a while, we had passed Storsjöbadet with at least a kilometer.
The three kilometer walk became six kilometers in the end. A lot longer than we thought when we set out. Still, it was great. We got to see a lot.
Storsjöbadet on the other hand was smaller than I remembered. A lot smaller. Nothing like the limitless paradise I remember from childhood. Not at all.
I did not take us long to see the whole of it, then we spent the rest of the time relaxing in the hot tub. An hour and a half after we got there we left and returned to Östersund, we had spent enough time there we felt.
Returning to the place was nice, it brought back a lot of memories. Before I got there last weekend I could not remember much from the place, only that I used to love it, but as soon as we got there the memories started coming back. It all became a nostalgic trip back to childhood. Adult me, however, appreciated the walk there a lot more than the visit. I guess that is growing up.
Have you re-visited any of your favorite childhood destinations? If so, how did you find it after growing up?