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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…

Coron, Palawan, the Philippines

Trip of a Lifetime: Bloggers Pick their Must-See Destinations

For this collaborative post, I asked fellow travel bloggers about their idea of a trip of a lifetime: If a person who’s never traveled far from home asked you to name the one place they should visit on their one-and-only trip ever, what would you say? I got so many different answers! I’ll start with the…

ABBA, or rather, wax figures of them.

Kitsch and Karaoke at ABBA The Museum

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. Love them or hate them, unless you’re truly allergic to the sound of their music, you’ll enjoy ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, Sweden. The museum was kind enough to…

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,…

Inside a Hop On Hop Off boat

Hop On Hop Off: my only bad experience in Stockholm

As you’ve probably guessed from my posts about Sweden, my trip was a great success. I took part in two familiarization tours: one before and one after the TBEX conference. The first was an introduction to the Stockholm archipelago and Swedish military history. In the second, I visited several manor houses and castles in the southern province of Sörmland….

the manor house at Nynäs

Nynäs: more than “Upstairs Downstairs”

The very impressive Nynäs manor house (pronounced new-nahs) is about a 30 minute drive from Nyköping. What makes this manor house special is that it was occupied continuously from when it was completed in the 1680s until 1984. In that year, the Gripenstedt family, who had owned it since the 1850s, sold it and all…

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