When I asked the question on my Instagram what the next blog post should be about, there were a big interest in Sweden and the Swedes. At first I thought, this will be easy to write about. I´m Swedish and I live in Sweden. But then I realized that it might not be that easy anyway. I have lived all my life in Sweden and don´t see our country as something special. I also don´t walk around and think how wonderful Sweden is and how is the Swedes?. But when you sit down and think a little deeper and think about what is special about Sweden, there is so much to write about. Maybe this will not be any news for my Swedish followers or maybe it will be? The post is divided into two pieces. First it is about the Swedes and the next about Sweden.
Everyone have ideas / prejudices about how people are from other countries. Sometimes it's true and sometimes it's not. Therefore, it will be extra fun to write about the Swedes for me, about my own people. Maybe I step on someone's toes or someone get an "aha-experience". We'll see, because nowadays it seems very easy to offend people. Instead, see my post with humor and try to laugh, life will be a little easier then.
My first thought I came up with the Swedes is how afraid of conflict we usually are. Sweden has not been in war for over 200 years and that may be because we want to be friends with everyone? Now I am not a proponent of war, but the conflict-feared Swedes may be an explanation for that.
Distance and not seeking contact with other people is a swede expert on (which is a good quality in these Covid-19 times). If you visit Sweden and are going by bus, I will give you a tip. NEVER sit next to someone on the bus if there are other available seats where you can sit alone. Should you still get yourself to do so, there is no danger. Because the Swedes is afraid of conflicts, so the person next to you will not say anything. On the other hand, the Swedes will talk about you for all his friends and relatives.
Speaking of not seeking contact with other people. The Swedes usually looks in the doorway when he leaves the apartment. Mostly to see that the coast is clear that he can go out without meeting anyone.
The Swedes eat and drink exactly the same things at all holidays. Easter, Midsummer and Christmas Eve, why change a winning concept? Herring, eggs, meatballs, sausages, etc.
At midsummer (June), the Swede really lives out when he dance around a pole. It´s not often you see a Swede do something similar. So are you in Sweden take advantage of this opportunity to see a Swede live out properly. Perhaps the most difficult thing for the Swedes is that he is forced to do this in a sober state because there are children. That said, a tourist attraction that can only be seen once a year.
In northern Sweden, the Swedes eats rotten fish surströmming (sour herring). It's called a delicacy there. I only remember when some idiot at my school many years ago opened such a jar and threw it in someone's locker. HELL what it smelled like, that part of the school had to be shut down for several days. If you do not know what I'm talking about then Google "Stinky Fish Challenge" and you will understand how bad it smells.
Here in southern Sweden, we eat "Spettkaka" which tastes like a mixture of styrofoam and chipboard. The ingredients are butter, potato flour, sugar and eggs. How you can even make something edible from these ingredients is impressive.
But should you visit Sweden, I can guarantee you that you will be well taken care of because Swedes are usually very nice and helpful. Should you go one step further and get to know a Swede, you are guaranteed not to be disappointed. If you succeed in unlocking the private Swede, congratulations. The Swede is generally very well-read both when it comes to Sweden and the rest of the world. I read a study where the Swedes was ranked as the 4th smartest in the world. It will also never be a problem to travel abroad with a Swede because almost all Swedes know English.
The Swedes is always on time, if you decide at 2 pm it is 2 pm. Many Swedes think it is disrespectful to be late. I know that tourists who come to Sweden are fascinated by our queue system. If there are no queue ticket, the Swedes has a built-in system in the brain where they keep track of everyone whose turn it is. BUT should someone miss this queuing system and cut in line, everyone is still completely silent because then the conflict-feared Swede will appear again. Therefore, there are queuing tickets in 99% of all stores, even where there is never a queue. But the Swedes still takes a queue ticket and wait for his turn.
I still want to end by saying that the Swedes is the best in the world! I am proud to be Swedish and I am more than happy to talk about how good Sweden is and how good Swedes are.
Population: 10.4 million
National Day: June 6
From north to south: 1 572 km (977 miles)
Many may associate Sweden with IKEA, Volvo, SAAB, Scania, Spotify, H&M, smorgasbord, lingonberry jam, ABBA, Nobel, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Ingmar Bergman, moose, Astrid Lindgren, Vikings, Mindcraft and Stockholm.
Year after year, Sweden is placed very high in all surveys in the world's best country to live in. Sweden usually commutes between places 1-10 every year. I saw a survey a few months ago where Sweden was the world's best country to live in as a woman.
There is a big difference in temperature from southern to northern Sweden. Just as you saw in the fact box, Sweden is a very long country. In southern Sweden, it is no problem to grow grapes, olives and oranges. You can even have palm trees outdoors most of the year. The temperature in summer (May, June, July, August, September) is usually between 20-30 C (68-86 F). The winters in southern Sweden are usually mild and it usually doesn´t get much colder than 0 C (32 F). In northern Sweden, the temperature can be around -40 C (-20 F) in the winter and here it usually falls heavily with snow.
Sweden is very famous for its beautiful nature. In northern Sweden we have a phenomenon called "Northern Lights" this light is usually a tourist magnet. Tourists also visit ski resorts located in northern Sweden. Here is also Sweden's highest mountain called Kebnekaise (2097 m)( 6879ft). Southern Sweden is known for its beaches and open landscapes. Sweden is covered by 63% forest. In Sweden, we have something called "Allemansrätt" (Right of public access), which means that you can move freely in the forest. The moose is Sweden's most famous animal that can be found all over Sweden. But I would like to say that the hedgehog is Sweden's most famous animal. Every time I post a picture / video of a wild hedgehog, people go crazy that there are wild hedgehogs in Sweden. I thought they lived wild in almost the whole world.
Sweden's biggest tourist magnet is Liseberg (3 million visitors) which is an amusement park, terribly boring to have to write it. Because there are so many better places to visit in Sweden than an amusement park. Therefore, I thought of writing my 3 best places in Sweden, that I´ve visited myself.
Österlen is an area located in southern Sweden. The landscape here is magical and the beaches are miles long and often completely empty. Here is one of Sweden's most famous sandy beaches that is 12 km (7,46 miles) long (Sandhammaren). Here is also Sweden's most famous apple orchard (Kivik). If you drive around Österlen, you notice quite immediately how many art galleries there are here, in the summer you will find Sweden's cultural elite here. Along the roads you will also find many farm shops selling local specialties.
Vasa Museum (Stockholm)
With almost 1.5 million visitors a year and a museum that is hard to beat, it is obvious that the Vasa Museum will be on the list. Vasa was a Swedish warship that sank year 1628. It took over 300 years before the ship was salvaged (1961) and the ship was in extremely good condition after being on the seabed for over 300 years. The entire Vasa ship was towed and restored and can be found today inside the Vasa Museum.
Kalmar / Öland
My favorite place in Sweden. Kalmar is a city located in southeastern Sweden and Öland is an island. Between Kalmar and Öland there is a bridge that is 6 km (3,73 miles) long. Kalmar is not a big city but that is why I love it. Wherever you are in Kalmar you will see Kalmar Castle which is 5 minutes from the downtown. If you are in Kalmar, you must visit Kalmar Castle. Around large parts of Kalmar there is still a stone wall. The wall was built in the 17th century to protect the city from enemies.
To my lovely Öland it takes 5 minutes by car across the bridge. In the summer there are also ferries between Kalmar - Färjestaden (Öland). Öland is a long narrow island, the length is 140 km (86 miles) and the width is no more than 16 km (9 miles). On the southern and northern cape are Sweden's most famous lighthouses "Långe Erik" and "Långe Jan". Some must-sees on Öland are of course the lighthouses, Borgholm's castle ruins, Stora Alvaret and Byrum's raukar.
Borgholm's castle ruins from the 13th century were built to defend Kalmar from enemies. Today it is a museum and if you pay admission you can wander around freely inside the castle ruin. In the summer, the castle ruins are also used for concerts, most famous Swedish artists have had concerts here. But also many great foreign artists such as. Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys and Tom Jones.
In my opinion, Stora Alvaret has one of Sweden's most beautiful nature. The nature here is stunning and you can´t find something more beautifull. This place contains very special plant species and a unique area for orchids.
In Byrum you will find Öland's most famous raukar. To my foreign followers, raukar is a shaped stone created by the waves of the sea. Very beautiful to look at and opposite these raukar you see a small island called "Blå Jungfrun". Many Swedes don´t even know that this island exists in reality. The island is one of Sweden's most mythical place. The island was previously called ”Blåkulla” and most Swedes recognizes this name. Blåkulla is first mentioned in year 1555 by a bishop who writes that Blåkulla is the place where the witches went to meet Satan and celebrate witch sabbath.