Scandinavia is closer to the North Pole. This translates into quieter lands and peaceful people. Sweden, a Nordic country of this region, is true to its affiliation. It is located in Northern Europe and occupies the largest area. Finland and Norway flank its territory and The Baltic Sea washes the eastern coast along with the Gulf of Bothnia. It reaches out to Denmark on the bridge of Oresund.
The country’s borders once stretched to thrice its current expanse under adventurous rulers who definitely affected the histories of neighboring countries. With a past enriched by prehistoric settlers and later by the sea-faring Vikings, Sweden experienced a bloody period of the middle ages. Perhaps, this is what led to the country's choice for neutrality in the World Wars and the Cold conflict. Such a peaceful stance has been spearheaded by famous leaders like Hammarskjold, Olof Palme and Hans Blix. Sweden joined the European Union in 1995 without giving up its own currency Krona.
Sweden's largely uninhabited north and the bustling south have charms of their own. Hiking is highly enjoyable in the vast marshes and forests in Norrland. The lakes, rivers and high mountains add to the heart-stopping beauty in the natural wilderness of Lapland. Frozen lakes and superb ski resorts remind the winter visitor that 15% of Sweden lies beyond the Arctic Circle. In summers, the midnight sun or extended twilight reschedules your day in the Abisko and Sarek national parks.
Winters here are suited for sports like skating, skiing and ice-climbing at Tarnaby. One may trek or do white-water rafting, canoeing and sailing in the warmer months at Dalarna. Moving south along the 7000 km coastline, one will find islands by the thousand. Inland, population density starts increasing. The Stockholm archipelago houses the capital and Sweden's biggest city on its numerous islands. The island of Gotland further south, off the eastern coast features in UNESCO's heritage list.
The capital is better explored on a Stockholm card that totally discounts the otherwise expensive intra-city travel and sightseeing. One can now visit more than 75 museums and attractions and ride on the trains, trams, buses and ferries for free. The city of Gothenburg on the western coast has a vibrant nightlife with a maritime flavor and the largest amusement park in Scandinavia. Both offer an array of shopping and dining options. But Malmo - the city of 164 nationalities and 100 languages - is a mosaic of culture welcoming the visitors from the European mainland on their entry at the Oresund tunnel-bridge.
Don't leave this snowy paradise without a specimen of the must-have souvenir, the Dala Horse. Although expensive, these exquisitely carved cultural symbols are beautifully painted by hand. Another memoir of the Swedish experience would be the world-famous glass creations.
Ati-atihan in Kalibo Aklan
Ati-atihand origins ccan be traced to 1210 when refugees from Borneo would smear their faces with soot in affectionalte immitation of the Filipino natives The island of Panay in the Visayas is where this particular detail of Philipine history took place sometime ih the late 12th or early 13th century. For centuries hence, it has been commemoratged in one specific place - in Kalibo, the capital ... Read full Blog post
Palace on Wheels : A Royal Luxury Train Tour in India
Palace on Wheels is one of the most popular luxury trains running in India. It presents a great chance to travelers from across the globe to explore the fabulous destination Rajasthan and Agra sitting in the lap of exquisite luxury of the train. It is a well-known fact that Indian royalty was too fond of luxury trains. The princes of various princely states got their trains customized in England ... Read full Blog post