It’s impossible not to fall in love with a kingdom that idolises Pippi Longstocking, Mother Nature, innovation and the moose.
Swedes’ reputation for being aloof and reserved belies a warm people who live mindfully: so respectful are they of each other and the country that they share that there’s no requirement to ask a landowner before foraging. It’s assumed that you will be as respectful of their land as they are. No wonder 99% of household rubbish is recycled and Sweden tops the global rankings for corporate social responsibility. And then there’s ABBA, IKEA and Skype…all Swedish. Beneath that reserve beats a creative, pioneering heart. Just make sure you take your shoes off, don’t expect to be exchanging personal histories, and jump at the opportunity to share fika (the tradition of meeting colleagues, family or friends for a cup of coffee and a sweet treat).
Sweden is the third largest country in Europe after France and Spain…and 97% of it is uninhabited. It’s the first country in Europe to have national parks: today 29 national parks and 4,000 nature reserves make up a tenth of the country. Rivers and lakes make up 9%, so there’s plenty of space for backcasts. Incredibly, in the country of the father of biological classification (Linnaeus) taxonomists are still discovering the natural world with more than 2,000 new species identified since 2002.
Despite a reputation for fierce winters (they did invent the Volvo to keep drivers safe on icy, moose-ridden roads), summer in Sweden is positively temperate. Skellefteå has a humid subarctic continental climate with summer averages in the high teens and low twenties. On midsummer’s day the sun is in the sky for 21 hours 33 minutes, and it never actually gets darker than dusk’s half light. During the warm season (June to September), there’s a 53% chance of seeing some precipitation in the course of a day, but it’s unlikely to be snow.
Just south of the Arctic Circle, where summer nights are over before you blink is some of Sweden’s most spectacular salmon fishing
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Wild Brown Trout & Char
A country with 95,700 lakes and countless kilometres of river is a recipe for fabulous fishing
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