What happens in northern Sweden?

Kai Bonsaksen | Live the World

November 23, 2022

The north of Kiruna, in the far north Lapland in Sweden might be thought to be empty and without people and with little to engage in. Almost a forgotten area of Sweden until now. We hear how great Stockholm is, and how good it is to be in Malmø, but what about the opposite side which borders with Finland and Norway? Why is it forgotten?

The reason it is not mentioned is that there are way fewer people in this area. The people hang out in Kiruna and on the highway to Abisko and Riksgränsen. If overpopulation becomes a big problem and people gets thirsty, all the untouched nature that Sweden has might be where new big cities are going to be created. Sort of like the new big cities that are built in a few years over in South-Korea.

This untouched land is a highly important part of Sweden, believe it or not. At least according to the Sami people. They tend to claim that the nature gods are easier to get in touch with on an untouched mountaintop. When the mountaintop becomes touristic, the spirits of nature switch to another top instead.

The municipality of Kiruna is the second largest in the world after one in Australia. The American people who come to northern Sweden often have ancestors who came from the north of Sweden and would like to see their folk's culture and the mood and the environment of the place.

The reindeers are real, special, and not just used for delivering gifts. It's a national symbol for Norrland. The reindeers are the survival of the Sami people up here and have a strong connection to the people.

Saunas characterize both Sweden and Finland and especially the northern parts. In the hotels in the north of Sweden, they usually have saunas. An amazing Sauna is located in Riksgränsen ski resort, for example.

This region is where the sun doesn't go down in the summer and the vibe is not annoyingly loud with cars... Just your occasional Swedish redneck who self-improved his motor.

You'll hear a lot of birds. For the bird lovers, I made a list of what you may spot. There are the Icelandic Gull, Arctic Tern, Red-necked Phalarope, Whimbrel, Sedge Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Great Tit, Nutcracker, and the Long-Eared Owl.

The most North in Sweden where* you can find people living is Keinovuopio. The place can be defined as ''the road less travelled'' since Sweden doesn't even have a road into the place, you'll have to enter from Finland**! An incredible place for the midnight sun in the summer and with the lack of artificial lighting* in the winter time you'll have the Aurora borealis giving you all the light that you need!

The dialect is very interesting in the North East. The tone is largely influenced by the Finnish language sometimes and is still Swedish.

Photo ©: Niko Lipsanen

The stereotypes of Norrland is to fight with bears, drink a lot, the redneck lifestyle, fishing, and to pimp up your car DIY-style of course.

An old Viking inspired language is called ''Elvdalsk'' or ''Elfdalian''. 2500 people speak the language and are not understood by the average Swedish, Norwegian, or Finnish person.

The public access right

In all of Sweden, you can walk around and camp where you like, and ski wherever you see fit if it's public property. It's a right to hang around in the way you prefer here in Sweden. The same goes for Norway. The reason is that Sweden is a natural country and the Swedes have stopped going to the church and keep getting in touch with nature like a true Northlander. Put up a tent, swim in lakes, and collect mushrooms if you want to, it's all free.

The nature of Sweden is surprisingly different from the neighbour Norway. Norway is filled with mountains and is drier, while Sweden has more swamps, wet grass, flat areas, and statistically gets a little bit more sun.

After investigating the northern part of Sweden by travelling around it a lot I found out that the absolute most northern part is filled with mountains, lakes, woods, and wildlife... as expected. Who knows what is going on there? You can get some view of it from the plane. You will see lengths of uninhabited land. 

Photo ©: Yan Zhang

The story of Jukkasjärvi is interesting because Japanese tourists requested to stay in the Igloo for the night. The idea of making it a real hotel was not terrible anymore because the amount of alcohol in their blood made their minds explorative. This happened in 1989. Now you have the hotels own ice church filled with couples who want that perfect wedding. Artists are competing hard to design the sculptures in the hotel every year now and it's the biggest ice hotel you can find on this earth.

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