1.Sweden is the land of Elks, but they don’t actually like them
I was under the impression that I would stroll out of the airport in Gothenburg, drive a few miles and then start seeing pretty Swedish elks roaming the country roads. I asked where they were in our car journey and received a curious look. No Swedish driver wants to see an Elk as it usually leads to an accident. An having an 500KG Elk fly through your front window is no one’s idea of fun.
Infact, some see the Elks as pests of the forest and once a year in October, it is legal to hunt them. Stands are located across the country that the hunters have to stand on when shooting, you can’t wander or move off them so the hunters stand and wait until an Elk comes into sight. Around 100,000 Elks are hunted each year, but by the next year, this number is back up again.
So since I didn’t get to see a wild Elk roaming the pretty Swedish streets, it was off to the Elk park, Wrågården in Falköping where I met Mr.grumpy Elk.
You can even rent out an Elk themed cabin right smack in this safari park surrounded by bisons, deers and of course the two leads, Mr. and Mrs. Elk.
2. Sweden is one with nature – The Allemasratten law
This law is probably one of my favourite one that exists anywhere, and it translates as “the freedom to roam” giving anyone the right to access public or privately owned areas of wilderness. It basically encourages you to explore and wander to your hearts content. It is a law not limited to Sweden but quite a few Nordic countries, including the UK. While this right has been established hundreds of years ago, in Estonia is where you can find the meaning of the law untouched, like much of the untouched forest area here.
The rights usually pertain to walking on foot and restricts hunting and fishing however you can camp for one or two night in the wild (even if on someone else’s land). Along with these rights, you are entrusted to leave the place unharmed
3. Alcohol isn’t all that expensive
Buy alcohol in Sweden is an experience in itself. There are dedicated liquor shops where you can find anything from beer to organic wine. Yes, the first time I have ever seen organic, eco-friendly wine. I guess they don’t see that in Sainsbury’s.
A guarantee is that you would only be getting good quality alcohol, as that is all they sell. So no dodgy glenns vodka…. And for £9 on average for a bottle of wine or prosecco, it really isn’t that much more. The costs really come when you drink out at a restaurant or bar.
4. The language sings
You can’t read out the words and expect to get it right. Every syllable almost has a different tone as if you were singing your sentence out.
5.Goetheburg landings are usually quite dramatic
You would think with the amount of flying I do that it would come with ease, but the truth is – I am not the biggest fan of flying. Something about not having any control of my life puts me in a lingering feeling of unease. I mean – not that you should trust me more than a trained pilot.
Turbulence freaks me out even more, I absolutely dread it even though I know it isn’t dangerous. My mom on the other hands loves air turbulence, it send her to sleep while my heart races and my life flashes before my eyes. Well my life did flash before my eyes while landing into Goetheburg airport. The clouds are low and the wind blows hard, its a rocky affair. And apparently that is how a lot of landings take place here.
6.Matchsticks were invented in Sweden
If the history of matchsticks fascinates you, or if you just want to see something different, then you can visit the Jönköping Matchstick museum. I found out here that Matchsticks were invented in the small city of Jönköping and sold to over 80 countries around the world. The term “made in Sweden” was also first marked on a matchstick box – nope Ikea did not start that trend.
Many child laborers manually put the matches together and many were also killed by the poisonous phosphor they inhaled every day at work. This process was changed a long with the introduction of safety matches. I won’t bore you with the details ( I also cannot remember all the details) but I promise you it is actually worth a visit.
7.Swedish food is…. lets just say weird
From caviar in a tube that is eaten with eggs in breakfast to meat filled potato dumplings shaped as a sausage, known as Palt. I wouldn’t come to Sweden to enjoy the local cuisine… at least the local people are great to look at.