Scandinavia, Estonia and Iceland 2018 travel blog

Day 2 in Stockholm (5 September)

First Lecture

Sweden by Caroline

“How Sweden came to be….”

Abba, Ikea, lingonberries, ginger cookies, volvos, skiing, open attitude, meatballs, etc

3-point safety belts (invented in Sweden)

Almost the size of California; 10 million in this country

Can have 3 seasons at the same time; several climate zones; have a gulf stream so not as cold as Alaska

Nordland: north

2/3 of people live in the southern part of Sweden

60% consists of forests; forest industry and steel industry are 2 biggest

Many buildings are red; related to copper mines (a mine is 3 hours north of here); 17th Century biggest producer of copper. Traded horses for copper with France. Next to the copper mines was iron oxide (red). Only one place to mix this to make the red paint (?)

Flag: sun on the blue sky.

Orange berries: artic cloud berries (?); grow in the marshes and in the cold climate.

Dahl horses: colors indicate the city where they were made. Red or blue. Decorations on the horse represents a type of painting. Used to be a toy; men made these while away working in the forrest. Used as barter; used to collect all sizes.

Midsummer: 2nd biggest party of the year (after Christmas).

Food: much is marinated to preserve it through the year. Strawberries popular this time of year. Potatoes kept people healthy in the 17th Century. Lots of singing before, during or after meals

Flowers: Head crowns; dance around the maypole. Birch leaves though to help give a better crop

Key facts: 173 731 sq miles

977 miles long; 310 miles wide

95700 lakes; many forrest fires this summer

Main religion: Lutheran

2000 seperation between church and state;

What shaped Sweden?

1st known dwelling place southern Sweden (12000 BC)

1809 lost finland to Russia to war

Viking age 800-1050 AD; no helmets with horns ever found! One of the biggest myths about the Vikings. Vikings were not the first settlers in Sweden.

When the ice withdrew is when the people came to Sweden; hunters and fisherman; settled a lot around the rivers.

Road (?) stone: biggest concentration in the world; these belonged to rich Vikings

2000 years ago: 1st Sami document; sami people (Lapland people); they call themselves the Sami people. Lived in the northern part of Norway, Sweden and Finland (speak different languages)

1977: indigenous people; (sami) they make beautiful jewelry; silver and thread. Engrave on reindeer antlers

See the Viking museum if interested in learning more. Skates were found in Birka; they liked skating!

12th century; Christianity 1290-1809. Finland-Sweden bonds state-church. The catholic church liberated from taxes 1150-1250; Separation state and church in 2000.

13th Century; first law for the entire country; nobility formed

14th century: 1st meeting of landowners. 1350: beginnings of a constitution. Saint Bridget (revelations and visions). Patron saint of Europe; was Sweden’s only sent until 1500 (?). Another saint canonized

14th-15th century: The Kalmar Union 1389-1523

1435: first meeting

1520: king elected himself; invited all to celebrate and then killed them.

16th century: King Gustav Vasa unifies Sweden; installed a system of taxes;

1527: protestant reformation

1544: hereditary system

17th century; Sweden became a great power; Sent swedes to colonize Philiadelphia area; wanted tobacco. King Gustav Adolphus II Vasa (1611-1632). Queen Christina (1632-1654); she was raised as a boy to become king; her father died when she was 6. Queen in 1650; not married/not children. Abdicated and left for Rome.

18th century: defeat against Denmark, Russia, Poland (king Charles XII). King Gustav III (King of culture; 1771-1792). First political parties. Iron. Swedish opera house, and other cultural activities created. He wanted more power as the king; ‘hats and the cats”; king wrote a document indicating he would have a council; wanted zero people in the council. Killed in 1792 at a masquerade ball (there was an opera about this story). Story changed and called the Governor of Boston.

19th century: union Norway 1814; 90% farmers; social reforms (women’s movement, political parties, temperance movement), hospital medicine (first hospital had 10 beds; could expand to 2 per bed).

Break: ginger bread cookies; if you put your cookie in the middle of your hand and press down in the middle and break the cookie into 3 parts you get a wish!

Emigration 1851-1010: 1 million; 20% of all men, 15% of all women

2012: 0, 5%

1851, 54%

3 main periods: 1868-72, 1880-93, 1901-10

Why did people leave; hard times/you leave.

1850’s: gold in California; civil war; bad crops/lack of food;

1900: strikes in Sweden, war, went to Chicago and New York, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. Minnestota had the highest number of swedes, the Illinois, new York, mass, Washington, Iowa, Michigan, etc.

Left due to social conditions (poor), shipping developed, industrialization (needed workers to build cities), religion (temperance movement), conscription.

Swedish monopoly for alcohol sales.

19th century: Dr Magnus Huss published a book on alcohol related diseases. 1896 alcohol forbidden with entertainment. In 1919 could only have alcohol with food.

1919-1955: ration book; age limits 21 or 18. Gender, origin, time of day or marital status decides alcohol limit

Referendum 1922 on prohibition

Monopoly on sales, etc 1923 high taxes 1995; exports;

ID and the red light “Operation wine”; drink more wine vs hard liquor!

1979-2003: prohibition on alcohol advertising; no advertising! Now advertising accompanied with a warning.

Swedish art: 18-19th century; from portraits to romanticism, realism and symbolism. Alexander Roslin (lady and the veil); Nils Blommer (Meadow Elves), Brono Liljefors (was ill as a child and started to draw animals/flowers), Eugene Jansson (“the Blue painter”, View over Riddarfjarden) and Gustav Fjaestad (winter moonlight) Heavy and dark paintings.

19th Century: Light, atmosphere nature: Carl Larsson (children are often in his paintings), Anders Zorn (oil paintings; traveled to the us for a year and made many portraits; lots of the presidents).

Inspired by stories about trolls, elves and gnomes.

Hilma af Klint; spiritual art); was a very different artist. Modern art (?); communicated a lot with colors; wrote about the meaning of colors/symbols.


18th century: crystal,

19th century: crystal

1917: more beautiful everyday objects

1920s: Swedish grace; inside the concert hall; decorate everything.

1930s: The home; function, not class





21st century: new expressions with content

Carl Malmsten: furniture designer; inspiration from folk art and carl Larsson; care for the human, nature and craftmanship

Svenskt Tenn

Igmar Bergman (1918 -2007)

Greta Garbo (1905-1990(

After the lecture we went on a bus tour of the city. Saw many things!

Had lunch in a tower (like the space needle). THen to a statue museum.

Got home and walked to an earthcache. Joy was not feeling good today so did not go to the lecture or the bus tour. Many in the group still have coughs, sneezes, etc.

Supper was at a restraurant called Fyr; it was good. Brought joy a "to go" box.

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