April 24, 2016 Anindya Roy

Viking Journal

I always wanted to go Sweden, the land of the Viking, moose, elk, wolves and untamed European wilderness. The last foothold of nature in Europe.

Why Sweden?

The seventh richest country in the world is a model of social and gender equality, high industrial productivity and international reputation. The Swedish Economic and social model is a case study for lesser developed countries.

With pioneering inventions, progressive thinking, social / political & economic reforms built a country like Sweden.

Home to the last surviving European wilderness, comprising of rare species of plants and animals, Sweden is worth for spending some time.

An Archipelago

An extensive group of islands, called an archipelago, perfectly describes the capital of Sweden, Stockholm. With a discontinued settlement dating back to 8000B.C, frequently abandoned due to ice movements and extreme cold climate, the city was finally and formally established around 1000AD by Vikings.

Warmer climate ensured that the city prospered as an important trade port in Scandinavia. Stockholm is located in south – eastern Sweden where lake Malaran meets the Baltic sea. City consists of fourteen islands.

The main island is called Gamla Stan

The amazing city consists of 30% waterways, 30% parks and greenery.

A hub of culture activity, Stockholm saw many up and downs of Swedish economy. Some parts of the city were modernized by removing the old buildings, but Gamla Stan retains most of its old buildings.

 

The Land of Eternal Sun

Its proximity to the North Pole creates a magic in the Scandinavia, since in summer the northern countries experience uninterrupted daylight. But in order to experience the full magic of it, it’s better to travel far north. I traveled as north as possible in my timeline in Sweden.

I found a huge lake like a dent on the map. The country they call jamtland, a part of the Norrland (Northern land) , the lake was called Storjon , the place Ostersund.

Took a train from Stockholm and took 6 hours to reach Ostersund. It was 9:30 at night in a small town beside the lake and I could see no people to ask for direction. What was more stunning is that the daylight was on, as if its afternoon.

It is needless to sleep for me unless the sun goes down, took a walk around the town and found a restaurant run by a Turkish. He welcomed me in the small town with warm Eastern hospitality.

 

The day was not getting over; I couldn’t decide whether to go to my hostel room and sleep or to stay awake. Eventually after roaming for few hours, came back to hotel at 2AM to try to sleep, with the daylight my constant company.

Next day woke up around 8, couldn’t sleep much with the sunlight coming in from window all the time. Want to take good walk around the lake.

Lake Storjon is the fifth largest lake in Sweden.  It’s a sweet water lake with recorded citing of Lake Monster locally called Storsjöodjuret.

In summer a lot of water sports enthusiasts come here to take a splash.

Had a Moose steak at lunch, with wild mushrooms, a local delicacy, moose is an arctic antelope, a favorite of Jamtland.

My days in Sweden were almost over; I remember the land of the Vikings for unadulterated beauty of the land, the lake and of course the people.

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