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Falun Copper Mine UNESCO site in Sweden

“It’s a big hole in the ground.” I think “underwhelmed” is a good word for my first impression of the Falun Copper Mine in eastern Sweden. We were on our way south on a road trip from the northernmost part of Norway back home to the Netherlands after our Hurtigruten cruise up the Norwegian coast….

The Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland, Sweden

Some UNESCO sites aren’t famous works of architecture like Himeji Castle in Japan or the 16th century canal ring of Amsterdam, for example, or ancient historical monuments like Petra in Jordan or Baalbek in Lebanon. Some are more modest, less showy, and exemplify local culture and crafts. The Decorated Farmhouses of Hälsingland, Sweden, are a…

The Polar Museum, Tromso, Norway

The picturesque harbor town of Tromso (spelled Tromsø in Norwegian), lies more than 300 kilometers / 200 miles above the Arctic Circle. It has a history of serving as a jumping-off point for varous polar activities like trapping, hunting and fishing, as well as polar exploration. Nowadays, it is home to a fascinating little place…

Gammelstad church town UNESCO site in Sweden

Back in the 17th century, not long after the Reformation turned Sweden Protestant, a new law required church attendance, depending on one’s distance from the church. People up in the cold north of Sweden, despite living on widely-scattered farms far from the nearest church, still had to get to church. Disclosure: This article contain affiliate…

Things to do in Rovaniemi in the summer

What do you think of when you hear the word “Lapland”? Reindeer, cold, snow, huskies pulling dogsleds? All of that is true, of course, though in reality the dogsleds are mostly for tourists these days; locals are more inclined to use 4x4s or snowmobiles. If you ever venture this far north, the town of Rovaniemi,…

Hurtigruten review: A breathtaking Norway coastal cruise

I wanted to take a cruise. My husband steadfastly refused to consider a cruise, but he wanted to see Scandinavia. Our compromise: a Hurtigruten cruise up the coast of Norway. Disclosure: I received a media rate for this cruise: a discount, which makes this a sponsored post. Nevertheless, all opinions are my own and the…

ABBA, or rather, wax figures of them.

Kitsch and karaoke: the ABBA Museum, Stockholm

Admit it: You like ABBA. Okay, maybe you don’t like ABBA, but you catch yourself singing along when you hear an ABBA song on the radio. Disclosure: I received free admission to the ABBA museum as part of a TBEX conference in Stockholm. All opinions, however, are my own. A second disclosure: This article contains…

a view out of the main building toward the lake at Öster Malma

Öster Malma Estate: Not for Animal Lovers

Öster Malma Castle and Wildlife Park, which I visited as part of a familiarization tour organized by Visit Sörmland and Visit Sweden, includes a beautiful estate house and a large wildlife park. It is more modest (read: smaller) than the others we visited, like Gripsholm, Nynäs and Sparreholms, but was nevertheless interesting. Built in the 1600s,…

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