Must-See Monday: Sweden

Happy Santa Lucia Day Trippers! It is holiday season all over the world and our gift to you this week is the beautiful must-see country of Sweden, courtesy of Helena Wahlman and The Swedish Photo Blog.

Let’s light some candles, indulge in saffransbullar and pepparkakor, flip through the IKEA catalog, and thank Sweden for the holiday cheer! Skal!

-Lauren

  • mayahanley

    I lived in Sweden for 5 years and still miss it now that I am no longer there. It’s a country that everyone should visit. The summers are glorious, filled with light and greenery and the coastal areas are wonderful to explore. Bohuslän, which is the coast area around Göteborg, on the west coast, is stunningly beautiful with an archipelago of large and small islands. You might take your boat out to a small island, just big enough to have a small cabin with steps down to the boat. People spend most of the time outdoors in the summer as the winters are so long and dark but, even so, winter is also a gorgeous time. With bright blue skies and deep snow (they know how to drive in snow there!), the outdoors in winter can be exciting and, if you like skiing and skating, it is a wonderful place to be.One of the things I loved about Sweden was the ritualistic nature of life there. In the British Isles, we don’t have that many traditions left that everyone follows. In Sweden, there are countless traditions that pass from generation to generation. For example, there are certain foods you only eat at certain times of the year or on certain days of the week. Things like hot cross buns in the UK ,which used to be eaten only on Good Friday, are now eaten for weeks or months around Easter. In Sweden, at Easter, they eat a wonderful invention called Semlor (that’s plural; one is a Semla). It’s a bun with cardamom flavour. The top is cut off, the center scooped out and filled with a marzipan mixture, covered in whipped cream and the topped with the rest of the bun. Some people like to eat it in a bowl of hot milk. I liked it just as it was. I knew that it was only going to be around for a short while so, I, like everyone else, indulged when I got the chance.One of the other great traditions in Sweden is having coffee and cakes. They even have a whole verb for it. It’s called to ‘fika’. If you visit someone, they will invariably serve you coffee that’s extra strong, with small cakes and biscuits. There are all sorts of biscuits and cakes and it’s said that in the past when a woman was to be married she had to know at least 40 different types of biscuit recipes. Each day of the week has its own food. Husmanskost is the name for traditional Swedish food. If you go into a more traditional restaurant, they will always have the daily meal on the menu. On Thursdays it’s pea soup with ham, served with warm punsch, a sweet alcoholic liqueur. On Fridays it’s Pyttipanna, a sort of hash with potatoes, left over meats, topped with a fried egg and with a side order of beetroot. It’s a very civilized country. People are generally liberal-minded and they were way ahead of the rest of us with women’s equality, re-cycling and environmental issues. I’d go back there in a heartbeat and love to visit when I can.

  • Tripping

    Wow Maya thank you for your incredible response! You words accompanying the photos practically transport us there. Although now we’re a little hungry :) We’d like to rename this post to Must-See Must-Do Must-Explore Must-Learn Must-Eat Monday!

  • frugalbargainer

    This is a beautiful photo. It reminds me of a place in China call Suzhou.