Those were my exact words on my FaceBook page.
First, is that it’s sparsely populated. It has a long coastline, extensive forests and numerous lakes. Because of it’s geographic location, Sweden enjoys a favourable climate.
It’s capital is Stockholm. And the whole of Sweden has a population of 10M people (much less than the total number of people that live in Metro Manila, Philippines alone).
We arrived in Stockholm through a local flight via SAS from Copenhagen. The short 1 hr flight was on time as we flew on a beautiful day, with such beautiful weather.
Like the Danes, the Swedish people are kind, wonderful and beautiful.
The Arlanda Express from the airport into Stockholm City was a bit steep (280SEK per person per way, but there was a summer promo so we paid 150SEK per person). But the trains had air conditioning and was beautifully furnished and clean. Best of all, it was a short 20 mins ride from Arlanda to the city.
Nobis Hotel was home to us for the next 5 days. Situated right in the middle of the shopping district, it was accessible to public transportation at every corner! Getting a 72 hrs public transportation card for 250SEK was a good price considering that you could you use it for all modes of transportation (including boat and train).
If you’re complaining about paying taxes, the Swedes don’t seem to mind considering that the average income tax is about 44% and can go as high as 60%! Their VAT is similar to Denmark and is pegged at 25%. But like the Danes, the Swedes get a lot of bang for the buck they shell out.
Efficient road and public transport system. Excellent health care. Education.
Stockholm was relatively more compact than Copenhagen. A little more laid back and cleaner, Stockholm was more upbeat, less touristy and more eclectic and vibrant.
It his home to the musicians and the music of ABBA!
Their culture is rich in history and they’re way up there when it comes to design and fashion. Those pencil cut ankle length pants were their designs three years back. When it comes to innovation and design, the Swedes nail it! IKEA and H&M are Swedish companies that have made a global presence for form, functionality, design, practicality, and cost efficiency.
Science is also the cornerstone of discoveries central to the Scandinavian countries. Uppsala is home to one of the world’s best university – Uppsala University and the World Health Organization Monitoring Center (for pharmacovigilance).
Now this is my kind of country. After this trip, I will be back! To explore more of Scandinavia.
To recharge. Rethink. Rewind.