Sweden is a relatively sparsely-populated Scandinavian country and the third-largest nation by size in the EU. It’s a constitutional monarchy nominally headed by the house of Bernadotte. The official language is Swedish but only since 2009, and Finnish, Me├ñnkieli, Sami, Romani, and Yiddish are recognized as minority languages. Many people understand English well. The terrain includes waterways, mountains, and forests. About 15% of Sweden is north of the Arctic Circle. Overall the climate is temperate with a little variation. Native animal species include the elk, the Eurasian lynx, and the devil fish. Mainstays of the economy include agriculture, and the manufacturing of precision equipment, lumber, and motor vehicles.
At Stockholm’s Vasamuseet, check out a huge warship with a storied naval past starting in the 1600s. You can visit the ornate castle of Kungliga Slottet along with the Royal Treasury and the Museum Tre Kronor (another castle), all in the capital as well, with one ticket. Get farther afield and view a reconstructed lateÔÇôViking Age village, complete with a great hall, at the Foteviken Viking Reserve.
Potatoes and rye or wheat breads are common starchy staples. Typical vegetables include cabbage, beets, and to some extent the rutabaga, known as swede in some parts of the world. Fish is very popular, as are pork and beef. Dairy and berries play an important role in the diet. Pytt i panna is a potato-meat hash flavored with fried eggs, fresh vegetables, or pickled cucumbers or beets. Try hot or cold fruit soups containing rose hips or bilberries. They sound like great ways to increase Vitamin C intake or improve one’s vision.
You are likely to find a few options for organic or vegetarian eating in moderately-sized towns, and more in larger ones, where there is often organic raw vegan food or organic Swedish or vegetarian Indian restaurants. Organic juice bars and markets help round out the selection. Coffee breaks are important in Swedish culture, and people even throw kafferep, or coffee parties. It’s like a caffeination nation!