The Swedes, like the Danes and Norwegians, love their smorgasbords: hot and cold dishes laid out in buffet fashion. Herring is omnipresent. It comes pickled, smoked, marinated in sour cream. Cold herring in tomato sauce for breakfast takes some getting used to. Cold meats may include ham, pork, reindeer, elk, mutton, and venison. And don’t overlook the Swedish meatballs. There is one dish that makes you wonder about what turns on a Swede. It’s called Jannson’s Temptation, a casserole of potatoes, onions, and anchovies baked in a cream sauce. If you just crave an American hamburger, there are seven McDonalds’ in Stockholm.
As for drink, the Swedes like it so much the government has passed perhaps the toughest of all drink and drive laws. The penalties for driving while drunk are so severe that when a group of Swedes go out to dinner one volunteers as the driver and does not drink at all. Akavit chased with a beer is the Swedish equivalent of the old American boilermaker. The carbon dioxide in the beer paralyzes the stomach muscles, forcing the alcohol of both drinks directly into the blood stream. The result is instant blotto.
The Gota Canal, connecting Goteborg, on the west coast, with Stockholm, 347 miles away, is highly recommended as a leisurely way to enjoy Central Sweden. The narrow canal does not permit fast travel. Three passenger boats that ply the canal coast-to-coast permit passengers to get out and walk or to explore a town, then catch up by taxi. The canal, owned by the government, is open to boat traffic May 15 through mid-September. Boating the canal is a good way to get acquainted with the Swedes since a majority of the passengers are Swedish. Inboard cabin cruisers accommodating six people can also be rented for the trip and there are guest marinas along the way. It’s a three-day journey.
Sweden Subway Map Photo Gallery
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