From Berlin and Sylt, the Woodpecker summer tour continued to Sweden.
More specifically to Gothenburg and Stockholm, two equally interesting cities in amazing water settings.
When travelling, I always look out for the “special” in a city, in a country, in a region or in the people.
The unique thing, that makes this part of the world un-exchangeable compared with other spots.
That is why I typically prefer small and old spots in less developed areas over large “modern” cities. The former, due to their history and specific circumstances, mostly have something unique to them, the latter are becoming more and more similar in today’s globalised world, especially if they are young cities, lacking the flair of more diverse past times.
So, how does Sweden fit in?
From a pure city-and culture view, it has a medium attractiveness I would say.
The country of Sweden does not have a very long history compared to other, more central or southern parts of Europe. For very long stretches of its past it has been a poor agricultural country with low infrastructure. Thus not many ruins, old castles, medieval cities or something.
Both Stockholm and Gothenburg show obviously a few exceptions, and they have great settings on the sea, but they are not able to compete to larger German cities (like Berlin, Munich), not to talk of Vienna, Paris, Prague, Florenz, Istanbul, etc.
Swedish cities are more…american. To me, this is a bit less interesting, because with american cities there is seldom anything “unique” to explore. All is very tidy, clean, ordered…and a bit more boring than the chaotic places in the world.
But now enough of the criticism, let’s see what is great about Sweden:
For me, as a maritime lover, it is the Vasa-Museum in Stockholm, a three-hundret-year old sunk ship that was preserved in the harbour mud and makes the”Black Perl” look like a rubber boat.
And it is the “Schären”, an island archipelago typical at the Swedish and Finnish coast and outright unique throughout the world. The Schären were produced by glaciers in the last ice-age and form a labyrinth of thousands of small and larger granite islands along the coast.
It is just amazing to ship through this natural wonder, I just wished I had a sailing-boat instead of using the system of public ferries!
We even stayed a few days in a hut on one of this islands and it is just amazing how beautiful nature is there.
You can stroll for hours in the beauty of the islands forests (Sweden has the most lovely forests in the world, open, green, full of food to pick), you can climb round granite rocks and jump in fluffy, knee-deep pillows of moss. You can explore lonely little bays and take a swim in ice-cold but crystal clear water.
Thus, if you go to Sweden, I recommend to see it from the nature side, preferably in the “Schären”.
Go out, rent one of this secluded huts, and explore the beauty of this unspoilt nature.