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Nordic Knights Tournament

  • Sweden is situated in northern Europe, with its capital being Stockholm.
  • Sweden is surrounded by Lake Mälaren on the west and the Baltic Sea on the east.
  • Sweden is the largest of the Nordic countries in Northern Europe.
  • It has a rough population of about 9.3 million.
  • It borders Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark via the bridge of Öresund.
  • Sweden has 25 provinces or landskap (landscapes)
  • The provinces are usually grouped together in three large land parts, the northern Norrland, the central Svealand and southern Götaland. The sparsely populated Norrland encompasses almost 60% of the country.
  • About 15% of Sweden lies north of the Arctic Circle.
  • Around 65% of Sweden’s total land area is covered with forests.
  • Gotland and Öland are Sweden’s largest islands
  • Vänern and Vättern are its largest lakes
  • Swedish is the national language of Sweden, but you will find that most people also speak English very well – an estimated 89% of Swedes can speak English
  • Sweden follows Constitutional monarchy and Parliamentary democracy.
  • Sweden is the 5th largest European country
  • The most prominent religion in Sweden is Lutheran, followed by Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Baptism, Jewish, Buddhism and Islam.

 

HISTORY

  • After winning wars against Denmark-Norway, Russia, and Poland during the 17th century, Sweden emerged as a Great Power.
  • Russia, Saxony-Poland, and Denmark-Norway pooled their power in 1700 and attacked the Swedish empire.
  • From 1750 to 1850, agriculture went through a period of modernization, where it shifted gradually from village to private farm-based agriculture during the Industrial Revolution.
  • Sweden remained neutral during and after World War I.  Sweden gained from the world-wide demand for Swedish steel, ball bearings, wood pulp, and matches.
  • In 1994, a further step towards internationalism was taken, when the Swedish people decided in a referendum to join the EU.


FACTS

    • Left-hand driving rule was followed in Sweden, until 1965. Presently, the country follows the right-hand system of driving.

    • Sweden boasts of having one of the highest life expectancies and one of the lowest birth rates in the world.

    • Sweden has the highest number of McDonald restaurants, per capita, in Europe.

    • Sweden has the highest number of nuclear plants, per capita.

    • Sweden is the second most technologically advanced country in Europe.

    • The first ice hotel of the world was built near the village of Jukkasjärvi, in Kiruna district of Sweden.

    • The largest hemispherical building in the world, ‘The Stockholm Globe Arena’, is in Sweden. It is also the ‘largest scale model of the Solar System’ in the world.

    • The largest shopping mall of Europe is ‘Nordstan’, in Gothenburg.

    • Swedes have been known for a number of inventions, including astronomical lens, zipper, marine propeller, refrigerator, computer mouse and pace-maker.

    • The favorite dish of Swedes usually comprises of meatballs, with potatoes and lingonberry sauce.

    • A popular souvenir in Sweden is the road sign for moose-crossing.

Avg. Costs

Gamla Stan, Stockholm

• Coca cola – 10 SKR

• Beer in a bar – 45 SKR

• Average price for a hotel accommodation is 1300 SKR

• Bus/Subway ticket – 25 SKR

• 25 pack of cigarettes – 75 SKR

• One coffee will cost you around 25 SKR

• Clubs/Bars – 45 SKR, Large ones 100 SKR

• Litre of milk – 8 SKR

• Loaf of bread – 10-20 SKR

• 1 kg cheese – 50 SKR

• 1 kg chicken – 30-50 SKR

• 1 kg rice 30-35 SKR

• Can of soft drink – 15 SKR

• Half-litre bottle of beer – 50 SKR

• Low cost cafe meal – 35-50 SKR

• Expensive restaurant meal – 150-350 SKR

• A three-course meal with wine would cost approximately 300-700 SKR in a medium-priced restaurant.

• It costs from about 60-90 SKR for a main course (often with a choice), bread and butter, salad, soft drink and coffee.

• An unofficial national symbol, the Dala Horse – you can expect to pay 100 SKR for a small souvenir, and several hundred for larger.

• You can get a “cheap” lunch if you look for the signs with “Dagens rätt” (meal of the day). This normally costs about 50-120 SKR and almost everywhere includes a bottle of water; soft drink; or light beer, bread & butter, some salad and coffee afterwards. Dagens rätt is served Monday to Friday.

• The world famous furniture retailer IKEA has stores at the outskirts of 15 Swedish cities. These have great diners, which offer well-cooked Swedish meals for as little as 40 SKR, and the store exit usually has a café selling hot dogs for as little as 5 SKR

Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.

Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

Sodermalm Island in Stockholm

  • Sweden enjoys a comparatively low crime rate and is generally a safe place to travel with violent crime being rare.
  • Use common sense at night
  • Do not argue with security guards or bouncers
  • Swedes generally tend to avoid eye contact, especially so in dangerous situations. Looking directly at someone behaving aggressively might provoke him.
  • Pickpockets are rare but not unheard of. They usually work in tourist-frequented areas, such as airports, large rail stations, shopping areas and festivals.
  • If you have a bike, do lock it or you may lose it.
  • Driving in Sweden is among the safest in Europe. Although wild animals like moose, deer and boar sometimes stray onto highways.
  • In Case of Emergency, 112 is the phone number to dial in case of fire, medical or criminal emergency. It does not require an area code, regardless of what kind of phone you’re using. The number works on any mobile phone, with or without a SIM card, even if it’s key locked.

 

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/. Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

Sweden Landscape

  • Sweden has a continental climate
  • The country can be divided into three types of climate; the southernmost part has an oceanic climate, the central part has a humid continental climate and the northernmost part has a subarctic climate.
  • There can be a medium to large variations in temperature between summer and winter.
  • Winters are very cold, and most of the Norrland experiences cold temperatures for about seven months, with a summer of less than three months.
  • While the southern region of Skane has a short, cold winter of only two months with a four-month long summer. Days tend to be shorter and heavy frosts and snowfalls are to be expected.
  • In the capital, Stockholm, daylight lasts for more than 18 hours in late June but only around 6 hours in late December.
  • Travel to Sweden can be enjoyed year round, but the warm and pleasant summers are perhaps more bearable for some visitors.

Places to See

Uppsala Cathedral

Stockholm Palace

• The official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish monarch

• Stockholm Palace is located on Stadsholmen (“city island”), in Gamla Stan (the old town) in the capital, Stockholm

• The palace is used for representative purposes by the King whilst performing his duties as the head of state

View Map

 

 

 

The Kvarken Archipelago (Finland) and the High Coast (Sweden)

• Situated in the Gulf of Bothnia, a northern extension of the Baltic Sea

• The 5,600 islands of the Kvarken Archipelago feature unusual ridged washboard moraines, formed by the melting of the continental ice sheet, 10,000 to 24,000 years ago

• The Archipelago is continuously rising from the sea

 

 

Lapland

• Said to be the largest intact wilderness in Europe

• It covers a quarter of the total area of Sweden yet with only 5% of the population

• Lapland is probably best known as the home of Santa Claus

• There are plenty of outside adventures to be had – climb Sweden’s highest peak, Kebnekaise; walk in the national parks of Sarek and Padjelanta; or try cross-country dog-sledding, snow-mobiling and skiing

• Stay in the Ice Hotel at Jukksjärvi, a very unusual experience

View Map

 

 

 

Skokloster Slott Castle

• A magnificent 17th-century castle as well as being one of the most fascinating baroque museums in Europe

• It is renowned for its unusual interiors as well as its vast collections of paintings, furniture, applied art, tapestries, arms and books

• The castle also houses a restaurant, conference facilities and an automobile museum

View Map

 

 

 

The Viking Town of Birka

• Birka is situated on a lush island in Lake Mälaren, about 18 miles from Stockholm

• It was a major port over 1,200 years ago

• A new museum houses finds from extensive excavations around the site

• Visit the museum and see how the Vikings lived

View Map

 

 

 

Gripsholm Castle

• A castle located in the small town of Mariested on Lake Maaleren outside Stockholm

• A stunning renaissance castle, it was first built in 1540

• The castle contains exceptional Renaissance interiors as well as a theatre and the world’s oldest and largest portrait collections

View Map

 

 

 

Sareks National Park

• The park includes over 100 glaciers as well as mountains reaching over 2,000m

• It should only be experienced with the help of a guide unless you’re an expert in outdoor survival

• The best views are over the lake and delta of Laiture on the Rapa älv, near the eastern edge of the park

View Map

 

 

 

Öland

• A tiny island boasting many ruins, fortifications and nearly 400 windmills

• The biggest Iron-Age ring fort on the island, Gråborg – with a diameter of 200m – is an incredible sight

• Nearby, Eketorp has been partly reconstructed as a museum to show what a fortified medieval village must have looked like

• Equally impressive are the ruins of Borgholm Castle which was eventually burned and abandoned early in the 18th century

• Also outstanding are the lighthouses at the northern and southern tips of the island

View Map

 

 

 

Old Uppsala

• Old Uppsala is regarded as the most important prehistoric monument in Sweden and the cradle of Swedish civilization

• The three “Kungshögarna” or royal mounds are situated on a ridge and can be seen from miles away

• There is a cairn in the centre of each mound where the actual grave was situated

• The dead king was burned on a funeral pyre together with his grave gifts which generally included jewellery and gold

View Map

 

 

 

The Kingdom of Crystal

• The Kingdom of Crystal is located in the province of Småland, in southeastern Sweden

• Many of the world’s most famous glassworks can be found here

Etiquette

Communication Etiquette:
• Business personnel are reserved and dealings are formal and serious until noted otherwise
– Maintain eye contact with a firm handshake
– Shake hands with everyone when arriving and leaving
– Us titles followed by their surname
– Younger people move quick to the first name basis
– Personal space is important in Sweden
– Maintain awareness and do not invade someone’s space
• Swedish are direct communicators and they say what they mean

Business Etiquette:
• There are no protocol’s based on business cards but it is best to exchange upon arrival
• Business dress is conservative
– Men – good quality suits and silk ties and shirts
– Women – conservative business dresses or a suit
– Strongly recommended that you do not wear anything flashy
• Always schedule meetings at least two weeks in advance if you are meeting in Sweden
– If you are late this will reflect badly
– Punctuality is essential
– They are very detail oriented
– Any presentation should be well prepared
– Swede’s do not rush through meetings and they rarely see an “awkward silence” as awkward
– All individuals are expected to contribute in a meeting
• Maintain your composure during all negotiations
– Decisions and the consensus is made across teams – no one person will make a large decision

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