Clipboard Extra: Sweden

Wonderful Web Sites


General information: www.visit-sweden.com
www.gosweden.org
www.search-beat.com/sweden.htm
cityguide.se
Stockholm: www.stoinfo.se
Mora: www.siljan-dalarna.com
Gothenburg: www.gbgn-co.se
Malmo: www.malmo.comDetail map of Sweden.Did you know:
  • About 8.8 million people live in Sweden, which is about the size of California.
  • King Carl Gustaf XVI is the beloved king, but prime minister Goran Persson is the acting head of state.
  • Banks generally close weekdays at 3 p.m. and are shut weekends, but Forex money exchange centers, which offer the most generous rates, remain open until 9 p.m. daily. One dollar equals 8.41 krona at the current official exchange rate.
  • Except for major department stores, shops -- even those in tourist areas -- are usually stangt (closed) by 6 p.m. weekdays and by 1 p.m. Saturdays. Forget about Sundays. Thank heaven for the ex-patriot 7-11s, which seem to be always open.
  • Restaurant checks include the tip. Suggestion: Round off the bill to the next 10K for excellent service.
  • Clients can save a bundle with key-to-the-city cards, which are available at tourist bureaus. They are good for museums, parking, shops, transportation.
  • You can pay for a cab ride with a credit card.
  • There is more to Swedish food than smorgasbord (that is, if you are still hungry). Try smorgas, an open-faced sandwich; pytt i panna, a melange of cubes of fried meat, potatos, beats and a fried egg, or plattar, the pancakes that accompany pea soup, traditionally served for lunch on Thursday.
  • Coffee is king in Sweden, but if your beverage of choice is beer try two Gothenberg brews, Pripps on draft and Bombardier bitter ale, or Mariestads, which is brewed outside Stockholm. On the wagon? Loka is water bottled at the springs of Berlslagen.
  • Tax-free shopping is available for tourists, but they must spend at least 200 krona (about $24) in one store to receive refund checks, which are redeemable at airports or can be mailed from home.
  • Visitors need the round, two-pin plug adapters to connect appliances to the 220V electric current. Portable computers that only can use 110 volts require a transformer.
  • The famous Padden sightseeing boats in Gothenburg and the day cruises out of Stockholm shut down for the winter until early May.
  • Mora, in the beautiful Lake Dalarna recreational area in central Sweden, is stunningly still in the shoulder seasons until activities pick up for great skiing in the winter and water sports in the summer.
  • In Stockholm, it is light from 3.30 a.m. to 10 p.m. much of the summer. As you might expect, it is only light from 9.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in winter.
  • The Valasaloppet is a 50-mile ski race, not a cute, furry animal. By the way, what Swedes call an elk we call a moose.
  • Uppsala is the oldest university town in Sweden.
  • The Oresund Fixed Link bridge and tunnel, which will connect Malmo, Sweden, and Copenhagen, Denmark, is on schedule to open June 9, 2000.
  • Visitors can get great buys at the glassworks in the "Crystal Kingdom" in southern Sweden. "Seconds," with virtually undetectable flaws, are a steal.
  • Gothenburg is closer to Norway and Denmark than it is to Stockholm.
  • You can get all the information you need about tourism to Sweden by calling the Swedish Travel & Tourism Council at (212) 885-9700; fax (212) 885-9764.
  • Quick trip to the city

    Stockholm (Gamla Stan, the old city)
    What to see: The Royal Palace, St. George and the Dragon, Stortorget (the site of the Bloodbath of Stockholm in 1520).
    Where to stay: The Victory Hotel in Gamla Stan (e-mail: [email protected]).
    Where to shop: Tomtar & Troll, for mink-covered trolls and handmade witch figures (Osterlanggatan45); Slottsbutiken, children's knit hats that look like strawberries (Osterlanggatan 3), and Fartygsmagazinet, maritime specialties such as spyglasses, ship models, star globes and diving helmets (sterlanggatan 19O).
    Where to eat: Den Gyldyn Freden (Osterlanggatn 51) and Restaurang Leijontornet (Lilla Nygatan 5).

    Uppsala
    What to see: the onion-domed Gustavianum Museum, including the Augsburg box; the 12th century Uppsala church; Linnaeus Gardens.
    Where to shop: the Gustavianum giftshop, for knit-your-own viking hats, books and souvenirs.
    Where to eat: The Odinsburg Restaurant in Old Uppsala, for mead served in a horn.

    Mora

    What to see: Bear Park, in Orsa; the Zorn Museum; the Valosoppet (50-mile ski race) Museum.
    Where to stay: The First Hotel Mora (www.firsthotels.se)
    Where to Shop: Nils Olsson Hemslojd factory and shop in nearby Nusnas for original Dala horses and locally made handcrafts.
    Where to eat: Galicia (lunch, lite dinner), for individual pizzas.

    Gothenburg
    What to see: The Goteborg Konstmusem; the Maritime Center; the 264-foot-high Goteborgs-Utkiken, or "the red lipstick" building; Haga, the Greenwich Village of Gothenburg; the Fish Church market.
    Where to stay: The Provobis Europa (www.provobis.se).
    Where to shop: Kalika, handmade crafts for children (Sodra Lermgatan 12); Lerverk Gallery, glass and porcelain works by local artists (Vastra Hamngatan 24-26).
    Where to eat: Solrosen, one of two vegetarian restaurants in Sweden (Kaponjargatan 4a); Sjomagasinet (Killpans Kulturreservat), seafood house located in building built by the East India Co. in 1775 as a warehouse.

    Malmo
    What to see: Apoteket Lejonet, functioning apothecary shop from 1898; Rooseum Center for Contemporary Art; Malmohus Museum complex (set in a castle complete with a moat).
    Where to stay: Hotel Kramer ( www.provobis.se).
    Where to shop: Oresund Fixed Link Exhibition and Gift Shop.
    Where to eat: Spot, artfully prepared Swedish and continental dishes (Stora Nygatan 33); Restaurang Ă…rstiderna i Kockska Huset (Frans Suellsgatan 3).

    Car talk

    Driving in Sweden is a breeze. No toll roads, little or no traffic, modern and well-signed highways. It is, however, expensive. Gas costs about 8.25 krona (98 cents) a liter, which translates into a hefty $3.77 a gallon. That can add up if a motorist is attempting to navigate hunks of Sweden's 171,731-mile landmass. Here are a few driving tips:

  • Fade to the right of the road, sometimes into the shoulder, to allow other cars to pass. Courtesy is the operative code of conduct for motorists. You won't hear many honking horns in Sweden.
  • When approaching a big city, look for a sign that says "centrum." That's the center of town, and probably the place where your hotel is located.
  • Don't drink and drive, especially in Sweden. Penalties for driving under the influence are sudden and uncompromising. The penalties include license revocation, stiff fines and even imprisonment, and tourists get no breaks.
  • Hertz, Avis, National, Europcar and Interrent have rental car outlets throughout the country, and several operators offer fly-drive packages, including SAS Scandinavian Vacations, Nelson World Travel and Bennett Tours.
  • There are any number of guide books that can help enrich a visitor's trip to Sweden, but the Blue Guide, which is available at most major U.S. bookstores, is particularly suited to a city-to-city auto excursion. Written by Mary Alderton, a language teacher and travel journalist, the Blue Guide offers clear and precise driving instructions on how to go from here to there. For example, going from Malmo to Gothenburg, she advises, "At 17 km, Road 16 goes to Lund, and 1 km along this road is Fjelie, a [12th century] church that has wall paintings from midieval times and a modern astronomical clock."

    Information like that helps to turn a long car trip into several interesting short ones. Oddly, the guide is a bit short on maps, however. The book, which sells for about $24, is published in the U.S. by the W.W. Norton Co. in New York.

    Comments
    JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI