Sweden is, in many senses, an unspoiled paradise of achingly beautiful archipelagos, forests, mountains, lakes, and coastlines. The surprisingly varied terrain is full of contrasts and contradictions—as is its people.
Swedish society is based on the belief in equality, independence, self-expression, and respect. It is rights-driven, with a strong commitment to maintaining a safe and secure “home of the people.”
Although historically Lutheran, the Swedes today are largely secular and make their life decisions from a non-religious, rational standpoint. This does not mean, however, that they are not spiritual. It is in the natural environment that many Swedes find spiritual fulfillment—in the forests, on the lakes, and in the mountains. For many Swedes, reverence to nature is a kind of religion! And luckily for the Swedes, they are granted a lot of free time – a minimum five weeks’ paid vacation and several public holidays – in which they can enjoy their surroundings.
In the summer months, Swedes make as much of the outdoors as possible with picnics, sports events, or socializing al fresco at sidewalk cafés. Many Swedes are inseparable from nature, which brings them inner peace and harmony. In the winter they go for long walks in the crisp snow, ski along forest tracks, and skate on one of the many frozen lakes, while jogging, hiking, swimming, and picnicking are popular ways to enjoy Sweden’s long, beautiful summer days.
Swedes also make the most of their time outdoors by using locally maintained trails for cross-country skiing, jogging, walking, running, cycling, and horseback riding. In national parks there are trailside huts where hikers can stay for a nominal fee. By law, the “Right to Roam” allows the Swedes nearly unlimited access to any land or waterfront area, whether for mushrooming in the spring and fall, or for boating among the 25,000 islands in the Swedish archipelago. Sweden is also a fisherman’s paradise, with more than 96,000 lakes and a national border that is mainly coastline. As a way to get back to nature, around 1.8 million people own a summer cottage, “sommarstuga” which they will escape to during the long vacation.
So, don’t forget to pack a rucksack and some hiking boots when you visit Sweden – you will easily find somewhere to stop, relax and take in the breathtaking natural landscapes!
- ISBN: 9781787022881
- Format: Paperback
- Page count: 200
- Dimensions: 170 x 110 x 15mm
- Published at: £9.99 / $14.99 / CAN $19.99