As an international expat I cannot help but adore the beautiful awe aspiring Scandinavian beauty surrounding me. As someone who has recently moved here a few years back, the difference in culture has astounded me in a positive way. Scandinavia has its own special uniqueness from any other country in the world. Whether it be dog sledding or snow mobiling in -47 degree weather or enjoying a beautiful warm day out sailing by the islands, you can’t go wrong in a beautiful country like this one. With a country as beautiful as Sweden, it would be foolish to not venture around the country and explore the many different regions, terrains, and areas. Some of the most beautiful places I have visited in Sweden are Darlana, Kiruna, Stockholm, Gotland, and even some breath taking areas right in Gothenburg, for example – the islands outside the Salthomen Archipelago, and also the very beautiful Marstrand.
Visiting Darlana which I found to be in the center of Sweden; I came to realize that it is a very popular summer destination for Swedes from the south who often travel to Darlana to relax during their time off or once they have their vacation breaks. The area is popular for it’s vast fishing lakes, beautiful campgrounds, and deep forests. When visiting Darlana, I encountered beautiful wildlife, wild animals and encountered quite an abundance of vegetable gardens, and apple trees. Fishing and moose hunting are some of the main and most fun activities within the Darlana region. Mountain climbing is also a vibrantly fun activity during the summer. The vast mountains and plateaus and lakes are areas you have to witness once in a life time. It’s something so unusual and extraordinary and really portrays Scandinavia in all of its beauty.
Kiruna is one of the utmost coziest areas and also the northernmost city in Sweden situated in the province of Lapland. A beautiful area to visit during the winter holidays due to the fact that it is a city that is involved with a lot of winter activities. Many inhabitants are involved quite a bit in the mine industry. However, dog sledding, snow mobiling, and hunting are quite popular. It’s very common for people to see reindeer or Sami people who are more frequently known as Swedish Indians within the Kiruna region. When traveling to Kiruna, it is always a must to visit the Ice Hotel which is only situated about half an hour form Kiruna.
Stockholm I have frequented quite a bit, not just because it is the capital city and the largest city by population in Sweden, but also because it is by far Sweden’s cultural, media, political, and economic center. It’s location spreads across 14 islands on the coast in the south east of Sweden. While visiting Stockholm, I am been enamored by the capital’s beautiful and old architecture, and its beautiful many parks. The official residence of the Swedish Monarch lies in Stockholm as well as the Prime Minister.
When taking a detour to Gotland, I could not help but fall in love with the cute Pippi Longstocking environment and adorable small villas. This little place felt like it had appeared straight out of a fairy tale book, full of mysterious fun and great atmosphere. Gotland is Sweden’s largest island by far and the largest island within the Baltic Sea. The island makes up less than one percent of Sweden’s total area. Gotland is known for it’s many viking themed games and fun historical and cultural celebrations.
Last but not least, visiting the many islands outside of Gothenburg – Salthomen Archipelago has proven to be the most breath taking. Every Swedish summer many people residing in Gothenburg tend to sail quite frequently to the many islands such as Donso, Branno, Marstrand and many others. When needing an awesome tanning spot, going island hopping, bicycle riding, camping, swimming, sailing, or attending some fun party festivals then out by Salthomen’s Archipelago is where you want to be! Every weekend over the summer Vaastrafik’s ferries consistently stay full with people ready to hit the beach, which makes it all the more fun being around fun and crowded places.
Visiting all these places has inevitably taught me quite a lot about Scandinavia and it’s beauty. The nature and seasons combined really portray Sweden in such an amusing and mysterious light! I hadn’t believed you could actually throw boiling water in the air and have it freeze instantly while watching the northern lights above me, nor did I believe the sun could actually set at one in the morning during the beautifully long summer nights here in Sweden. Witnessing some of these little miracles have turned into breath taking experiences, and have undoubtedly caused me to come to the conclusion that Sweden really is one of the most wonderful places to live in.
Written by: Claire Hultin