Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sweden: The Arctic Wilderness

Lapland Sweden

Lapland SwedenA couple of years back on the Christmas Eve I pondered “only if I could touch the reindeer!” Well, astoundingly an opportunity to see the reindeer in life arrived and I grabbed it with both hands. Some of my friends were planning a tour to Sweden, a country well known for its species of animals, and I joined the touring party quickly. What was to follow was a great tour. I love animals and Sweden truly has its treasure of rare Arctic species. The reindeer, moose, brown bear, lynx, gray wolf, beaver, Arctic fox, wolverine and otter abound in the birch forests on snow capped mountains of Sweden. There are plenty of natural parks where you can see these animals in their full aura. Apart from wildlife I learned many other interesting aspects about Sweden from the local people. Sweden is the largest of Scandinavian countries, but it has a sparse population. Which means it is unlike other populated European nations. Though Sweden is popular among the visitors for its snow capped mountains and national parks, but the country has many great cities and beaches. When you breathe the fresh air of Sweden you will feel refreshed. Sweden is also the land of midnight sun, in certain months the sun shines all through the 24 hours and it is unique experience. If you are looking for a relaxing holiday nothing can be better than a trip to Sweden.

 

Stockholm ArchipelagoDuring my stay in Sweden I paid a visit to many national parks and enjoyed the beauty of this Arctic wonder in other places of interest. Places I visited during the journey include:

 

    • National Parks: My first focus was to view the Arctic animals in their natural habitat so I wasted no time and visited some of the major national parks in the country. My first stop was at Laponia (which is UNESCO Heritage Site). It is habitat of Sami Reindeer and I got to see plenty of these beautiful animals. Sarek and Padjelanta were two other national parks I visited. These two are famous for their population of lynx, elk, wolverine and the Arctic Fox.
    • Stockholm: Stockholm is not only the capital of Scandinavia; it is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities in the world (lucky that I had a knowledgeable guide who took me here). It is situated where the land meets sea and the city spans across fourteen islands. It is an amalgamation of past and present. There are impressive sites of historic importance and beauty across the city.
    • Stockholm Archipelago: This is still unknown natural beauty of Stockholm. The area has more than 30,000 islets, islands and skerries. Out of these only 1,000 are inhabited. I hired a historic white boat to get to this archipelago.
    • Gothenburg: Another city in West Sweden that attracts visitors for its canals and historic streets. It also has one of the largest botanical gardens. I immerse myself in the local lifestyle and enjoyed the true flavor of living in Sweden.

Ice Hotel Sweeden

  • Ice Hotel: This hotel is located in Jukkasjarv. It is the largest ice made hotel in the world. This hotel is constructed anew every year during the months of November and December. Living or even visiting this hotel is a grand experience and I was in there for half an hour or more!
  • Kosterhavet: A Marine National Park that is situated close to Koster Islands. It houses rare species of plants and flowers. There are sandy beaches, rocky islands and scenic locations within Kosterhavet. I hired a bike to get to Kosterhavet.

 

Apart from these locations I had the fortune of visiting cities of serene beauty such as Gotland, Skane and Malmo. Sweden brought out the artist in me. My camera seemed to click all by itself and why shouldn’t it? There are places in Sweden which force you to take random clicks.