Happy Thanksgiving Week to All our Readers!
As a Thanksgiving present, we are happy to share with you our latest Newsletter for Fall 2016! Read it Here as a PDF. Here you’ll find the latest museums in Europe, where to go to see the Northern Lights in N. America, cruises to Tahiti, and client reports to Dubai, Cuba, England, and more! Plus get the scoop on the Kenya 2017 Escorted Tour with WIT Owners Christina and John.
And just a Note: Our office and blog will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 24 & 25.
Today we feature a fun little some’in from the desk of our roaming social media correspondent, Wailana, currently living in Stockholm:
6 Surprises I Found in Sweden
I’ve been in Sweden for nearly five months now, which means I’ve had a fair amount of time to get used to the little things that make this country so special.
1. Swedes are obsessed with cardamom. Cardamom buns, braids, desserts. What’s not full of cardamom is chock full of cinnamon. Not that I’m complaining. What’s more, they even have full days that are dedicated to a single pastry. October 4 was Cinnamon Bun Day; Gustav II Adolf Day has special cakes; and Lucia Day is all about the saffron buns.
2. Weather is really not too bad. I expected frigid temperatures, even after Reykjavik’s stormy winters, but the proximity to the sea and ubiquity of heaters seems to keep the worst of the chill at bay. We’ll just have to see about February, though—but then again, I’ve heard it’s only around -3 °C (26.6 °F).
3. Reindeers! There are more than 250,000 reindeer in Sweden. I actually didn’t know this—I thought most of them were in Finland! Most live in the north, in traditional Sámi herds. Sámi people use them for food, milk, and the tourist industry. Reindeer milk is rather sweet!
4. Meatballs are a thing. Yes, you’ve eaten them at IKEA, and yes, they are actually crazy popular here in Sweden. Meatballs are traditionally served with potatoes and lingonberries—and they are simply delicious. Nearly 2 million meatballs are eaten in IKEA stores worldwide everyday.
5. Easter is a Family Holiday in Sweden. Like in the USA, Easter is all about chocolate, dyed egg hunts and colorful decorations. Unusual to Sweden, however, children often dress up like witches. They paint their cheeks red, tie up their hair, and carry broomsticks. Some even knock on doors asking for treats. Another thing you might notice is the vase of twigs or branches, clumped together and covered in feathers. Swedes often prepare tasty lunches at their summer house, like pickled herring, anchovy casserole, and snaps.
6. Inventions Galore! Technology is all the rage in Sweden, and the country can boast as the homeland to several inventions: Minecraft, Skype, Spotify, and also the monkey wrench, pacemaker, three-point seatbelt, ultrasound, dynamite, and the zipper. A Swedish astronomer invented the Celsius scale, and the famous botanist Carl Linnaeus, who pioneered binomial nomenclature. Astrid Lindgren wrote her famous Pippi Longstocking books not far from Stockholm. The country is also the birthplace of internationally renowned figures Ingmar Bergman, Greta Garbo, Dolph Lundgren, Lena Olin… the list goes on!