Language, Culture and Traditions

General articles relating to the language, culture and traditions of our destination countries.

A Swedish Summer

A Swedish Summer. Photo: Nature Travels.

Sofia and I are halfway through a three-week stay in the Stockholm Archipelago, where we’re lucky enough to have a summer house on a small island in the middle archipelago. At a time when so much has changed and so quickly, it feels both very strange and very wonderful to be here again. It’s a

How To (Pretend To) Be Swedish

How to (pretend to) be Swedish. Photo: Nature Travels.

Bob from the Nature Travels team draws on his 20 years of experience with Swedish culture to give some tips on how to blend in if you’re travelling to Sweden or have some Swedish friends! 1. Build up your coffee tolerance and take time out for “fika” For such a relaxed bunch, the Swedes drink

Easter in the Nordic Countries

Easter in the Nordic Countries. Photo: Nature Travels.

While Easter here in the UK may be mainly about rabbits and eggs, Easter is celebrated differently all over Europe and in the Nordic countries they have their own traditions. In Sweden and Finland, children dress up as witches and go visit houses in the hope to receive some sweets in exchange for a drawing

Basic Norwegian Phrases

Basic Norwegian Phrases. Photo: Nature Travels.

As in other Nordic countries, English is spoken to a good standard by many Norwegians, so you shouldn’t need an intensive Norwegian language course to make yourself understood on your travels. However, if you would like to learn some words and phrases to practise on the locals, they will very much appreciate it! Here are

Pancake day? Not in Sweden – it’s time for Fat Tuesday!

A delicious "semla", eaten on Fat Tuesday or Fettisdag in Sweden.. Photo: Amanda Lennstrand.

Pancake Day, Pancake Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday – as the start of Lent approaches, in kitchens nationwide, Brits will be scraping the aftermath of over-ambitious pancake-flipping contests from their floors and walls while a hot debate rages between lemon-and-sugar-traditionalists and ice-cream-and-chocolate-sauce progressives. Meanwhile in Sweden, a slightly different but no less serious ritual is underway: the

What Causes The Northern Lights and Where Can I See Them?

The Northern Lights. Photo: Ben Roberts.

Jayne from the Nature Travels team takes a look at the beautiful phenomenon of the Northern Lights. Here in the UK we are not well known for our Northern Lights displays (especially not now we are at the beginning of summer). However, as Aurora displays are sometimes seen (even here in Dorset in the south,

Fika in Gothenburg, Sweden

Photo: Nicho Sodling/imagebank.sweden.se

Sofia from the Nature Travels team introduces the culture of “fika” in Swedish culture and where to fika on your next visit to Gothenburg. Fika is a concept in Swedish culture which means ‘taking a break for coffee and a bite to eat’. So the coffee is often accompanied with pastries, cakes, cookies or sandwiches.

Lost in Translation – pepper, peppers, paprika, chilli or chillies?

Lost in Swedish Translation.

Speaking a foreign language is always going to be fraught with potential confusion and embarrassment. Years ago when I first met my wife and tried to express my love in my fledgling Swedish, my attempt to say, “You are the thunder in my heart” (we were watching a lightning storm at the time – rather

How To Have Your Own Swedish Midsummer Party

Having your own Midsummer Party

Sofia from the Nature Travels team, who was born in Sweden, tells you how to hold your own Swedish Midsummer celebration. What time of year should I have my midsummer party? The Swedes always celebrate on the Friday closest to the summer solstice. The summer solstice is normally around 21st-22nd June. However, as you and

Wild Swimming on a Nordic Summer Holiday

Wild Swimming on a Nordic Summer Holiday.

Wild swimming has increased in popularity in the UK in recent years. People appear to embracing the idea of taking a dip in natural waters after years of swimming up and down lanes in a chlorine-filled swimming pool. But while it’s still quite a novelty here, swimming in the outdoors is totally normal in the

Additional articles published before 2018 can be found at our previous blog location at naturetravels.wordpress.com