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West Sweden - The author’s take
Weather Islands © Hans Schub, West Sweden Tourist Board
Admittedly, the largest and best-known of all the Scandinavian countries, Sweden, for many people, is still a cold, remote and ruinously expensive place, lost somewhere on Europe’s northern fringe. Sweden? Let alone west Sweden! Why would anyone want to go there? First off, let’s dispel a few misconceptions: with up to 20 hours of daylight in the summer, the average summer temperature in Gothenburg is much the same as in London; it’s faster to fly from London to Gothenburg than it is to Barcelona; and lunch of succulent fresh fish served with locally sourced vegetables will cost considerably less than in London. With this guidebook in hand, the very first in English to the region of west Sweden, you will soon discover that this part of Sweden offers a tremendous variety of experiences to anyone looking for something a little different: hop on a boat and catch fresh mussels for lunch; paddle your own kayak round the archipelagos of the west coast; cycle through meadows of wild flowers along the banks of the Göta Canal … or simply find your own perfect smultronställe (the place where the wild strawberries grow), as the Swedes call it, perhaps by a lakeshore or a clearing in the forest, breathe the fresh air scented with pine and relish the unspoilt nature; this is what west Sweden is all about.