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620 travelers at this place:

  • Day2

    Ausflug nach Schweden

    January 3 in Sweden ⋅ ❄️ -12 °C

    Heute ist noch gar nicht soo viel passiert.
    Nach dem Frühstück wurden wir noch eingekleidet. Mit Schneeanzug, Schuhen, Handschuhen und Schneeschuhen.
    Ab dann haben wir das Hotel etwas erkundet und sind aufgebrochen um nach Schweden zu laufen.
    Leider darf man den Fluss nicht einfach überqueren sondern muss über die nahegelegenen Brücke gehen.
    Auf dem Rückweg wurde es schon wieder recht dunkel und ein richtiger Schneesturm ist aufgezogen.
    Danach ging’s deshalb in die eigene Sauna und gleich zum Abendessen.
    Heute Nacht werden wir uns aufmachen um Nordlichter zu sehen 🌠
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  • Day1


    January 2 in Sweden ⋅ ☁️ -17 °C

    Die Anreise nach Lappland lief soweit eigentlich ganz gut. In München angekommen, schön gefrühstückt und dann ging es auch schon los.
    Nach Helsinki ging alles gut, von dort gab es aber aufgrund eines Schneesturms bei dem Anschlussflug etwas Verspätung.
    Trotzdem sind wir dann mit ca. 2h Verspätung gut in Kittilä angekommen - von hier weiter ins Hotel nach Muonio.
    Lappland hat uns mit einer wunderschönen sternklaren Nacht und zapfigen -28 Grad empfangen 👍🏼.
    Direkt nach der Ankunft (waren noch nicht im Zimmer und hatten deswegen auch noch keine komplette Schneeausrüstung an) hieß es Nordlichter sind zu sehen. Wir also in die Kälte - einfach nur Wahnsinn!!!
    Versuche zwar die Nordlichter auf Bildern festzuhalten, aber denke es gibt wenig Chancen. Habe jetzt schon bemerkt mir fehlt das richtige Equipment (ordentliches Stativ, gute Kamera und vor allem Erfahrung - das fängt man nicht so mal eben mit einer 0815 Spiegelreflexkamera ein).
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  • Day335

    Arriving in Sweden! Country #9

    May 27, 2017 in Sweden ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

    Today was Day 7 of our big trip to Sweden and there were 403km left to Gothenburg. The sun rose early and the day grew hot quickly. Fortunately the blown air in the van provided relief once we got going.

    We skirted around Copenhagen, through the 4km Drogden tunnel under the sea, surfacing at the artificial island of Peberholm before climbing up on to the 7.8km long Øresund Bridge, the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe. Funnily enough it is a lot shorter than the 18km road bridge we took yesterday, but it was still a cool experience, especially when we entered Sweden while still on the bridge! It was one we payed for, the toll being 720DKK or £90!

    Sweden is the 9th country we plan to tour. There were a few changes we noticed when driving along the motorway; the different road signs, the many red painted barns and a few red houses sitting on the edge of fields, we even saw a couple of classic wooden windmills.

    Denmark's motorway rest areas had been relatively frequent and well layed out with good facilities. It seemed a long time before we came accross one one in Sweden and when we did it was packed. There weren't any van services as there had been in Denmark and there weren't many marked bays, so people made up their own system (to give them credit it was a sensible one). Picnic tables had been provided, but there was a lot of noise from engines and people shouting to make themselves heard. The area looked grimy with litter so we stayed in to eat lunch.

    We saw a few IKEAs and there were a lot of McDonalds, KFCs and Burger Kings along the way. We'd been worried about the cost of living in Sweden so were pleased to find a Lidl and to discover that the prices weren't too exorbitant.

    There is often a lot to take in when entering a new country and our Lidl shop was our first experience of brushing shoulders with the Swedes. Many seemed taller than we were used to and it was a very quiet atmosphere.

    There was beer, but no wine or spirits; these are only sold at government-run shops. All the cans and bottles had deposits included in the price and there were machines where you could return them at the entrance. Alongside the beer, which was all under 3.5%, there were energy drinks, with signs telling us that only those of 15 years or older could by them. The cigarettes in the cabinet by the checkout had a minimum purchase age of 25.

    Country specific products included giant circular crispbreads and pitta-like breads packaged up and sold as an ordinary loaf. Something we've not seen in Lidl in any other country was a sweety pic'n'mix counter! It brought back memories of the Woolworths shop at our summer holiday destination in the 1980s and 90s, Stranraer in SW Scotland.

    We found home for the night at an elongated car park, quite near the road and some woods in Ängelholm. We'd done 166km but felt shattered.
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  • Day21

    Three countries in one day

    June 24, 2018 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    On checking at Munich Central Station, I was advised that there were no 2 or 4 berth sleepers available. All I could get was a couchette in a 6 berth compartment. The thought of sharing a small compartment with 5 big Germans full of the joys after their World Cup match win did not appeal, but it was either that or sleeping in a train seat. I was pleasantly surprised therefore on boarding the 22.52 Nightjet train to be told by the attendant that, because of a mix up over booking, I had a 6 berth compartment all to myself - ya dancer!

    I enjoyed a good night’s sleep in my couchette compartment, as we thundered through the night from Bavaria in south Germany to Hamburg in the north. ‘Thundering through the night’ was an expression my good friend Jean McCormack used whenever we were driving in the dark, and she used to say it followed by a girlish giggle. She was a bit eccentric at times, but I still miss her.

    The attendant brought a welcome simple breakfast of coffee, crispy rolls and butter and jam. We arrived at Hamburg Hauptbahnhof exactly on schedule, and I was in ample time to make my next connection to Copenhagen. Similar to my experience in Sicily (which now seems ages ago), the train actually rolls onto the ferry at Puttgarden, Germany and crosses to Roedby, Denmark in 45 minutes. Another exciting experience. Everyone had to leave the train for security reasons. This time however the ferry was much more upmarket, with restaurants, bars and duty free. Elegant, blonde Scandinavians sat on deck and opened their neatly packed Ikea lunch boxes nibbling at carrot batons and the like, while I tucked into my grilled sausage on a bread roll with potato salad and lashings of ketchup and mustard - yecannaewhackit.

    An hour was all I had in Copenhagen before catching my next connection to Gothenburg. However I did manage to see some of the Tivoli Garden rides from the station platform. Some passengers passing through Copenhagen obviously had not changed any currency into Danish Kroner and were stumped at the entrance of the pay-as-you-enter loo. ‘It’s ok’ announced the efficient lavatory attendant ‘we take the credit card’. Well, I know Scandinavia is expensive, but who’d have thought you needed a credit card to spend a penny. I just hope it was Contactless for hygiene reasons.

    Less than half an hour after we left that Wonderful, Wonderful city, we were crossing the famous Oresund Bridge, at almost 5 miles long the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe. I was particularly excited as the Oresund Bridge was the setting for the Nordic noir TV series The Bridge. (I meant to say that Split, Croatia was boasting it was one of the main locations for Game of Thrones, but I don’t watch that). A couple across from me, who were not in their first flush of youth, were very lovey dovey, and were constantly taking photos of each other on their mobiles with the bridge as a backdrop. I asked if they would like me to take a photo of them both, to which they reddened and explained that they shouldn’t be seen together. I decided not to press the matter further.

    Most of the trains I have been on have been very busy, and I was glad I had purchased a 1st Class ticket, as you were always guaranteed a seat, and sometimes extras like power sockets, free WiFi and refreshments. It was another sunny day as the railway hugged the coast as we sped up the Kattegat. On arrival at Gothenburg, I checked into the charming Hotel Royal, the oldest hotel in Gothenburg and family run. Complimentary coffee and cake was available in the foyer - a nice touch and very welcome.

    Had a nice walk about the city in the evening sunshine. It’s been many years since I was last here, and the place has changed quite a bit. A lot of folk were watching the World Cup on big screens. As I am only in Sweden for one night, I had brought some notes I had at home from my last visit, only to be told that they had been withdrawn last year! I therefore had to withdraw some cash from an ATM. When I tried to buy a bottle of water to get some change for the tram, I was told the shop did not accept cash. Swedish people pay everything by card I was told. Ah well, you live and learn…
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  • Day344

    Last day in Gothenburg. Bye Sue & John!

    June 5, 2017 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    The last day of Sue & John's visit was here, the sun was shining and we wanted to make the most of the short time left together. Gothenburg has a good tram system and a line ran close to where we were parked, through to their hotel. Unfortunately we spent almost the entire journey trying to get the ticket machine to accept our bank cards because it didn't take cash!

    Making our way to the Trädgårdsföreningen park we passed yet more students celebrating their graduation, dressed smartly and in high spirits, blowing horns and whistles. Once in the park we followed the river and came to a rose garden and cafe. Wooden chairs and tables were set up amongst the flowers, sparrows and ducks hopping and waddling close by in hope of crumbs. It was a peaceful place to spend 20minutes with a drink and a cake.

    Close by were the glasshouses, with yet more tables and chairs beside the exotic palms, mosses and climbers. People had brought a packed lunch or a book and were able to take time out and relax in the warm for free. What a fantastic facility! For us however, time was ticking on, so we marched off towards our next port of call; the Fish Church. This fish market by the river is so called because of its close resemblance to a place of worship (see photo). On our way we were approached by a guy with a packed lunch in hand, wanting to ask us a question. Considering the number of street sellers we've encountered, using a range of different techniques we were wary to begin with but he said he thought we'd been emailing him and introduced himself as Jandi, a coordinator of WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) in Sweden. We have signed up to stay and work at a farm at the end of August, via this organisation which is based in Gothenburg. Jandi had been eating lunch on the riverside when he'd seen us pass by and recognised us from our profile photo!

    Our last sight to see was a hill top fort, we didn't get time to climb up to it and explore but we got to see it in all its glory from the street below. The fort may have been built to defend the town from invaders, but the locals couldn't have been more helpful to us foreigners, with two different people asking if we needed help or directions (in English) when we weren't looking sure where we were going.

    To minimise the risk of any delay getting to the airport we drove out of the city to a lakeside layby Will had found on Park4Night. We loaded up one of the stone tables with food and enjoyed a last picnic with Poppy in the sun and wind before laying back on a wooden jetty being gently rocked by the waves.

    The time had finally come to say goodbye to Sue and John. We'd been looking forward to their visit since they booked it back in October and it certainly hadn't disappointed. Being just 3 nights we had managed to pack the time full of activities without ending up exhausted. It had been wonderful spending time with family and we were a little tearful when we left them at the airport, but we kept in mind that we were well and truly past the half way point of our first stint living on the continent and only had 5 and a half months to go before we would return to the UK and see lots of people back home!
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  • Day362

    Gällivare Camping. Happy 100th Poppy!

    June 23, 2017 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Poppy reached 100 human equivalent years old today! We let her have a lie in before taking her for a sniff in the forest and giving her a special pouch of jellied dog food for breakfast. We are so happy she's been able to spend nearly a year with us on our travels!

    We'd booked a pitch at Gällivare Camping online a week ago with the hope of being close to a town for Midsummer festivities (Swedes celebrate on the Friday and Saturday after the solstice).

    Upon entering the Reception, Vicky asked the attendant 'Talar du Engelska?' (do you speak English) as she never likes to presume. 'What!?' Came the unamused and brusque reply. It was as if the question was an insult. Despite this poor start we booked in successfully and were directed to the allocated area on a detailed but easy to read map. We'd opted not to have electric hookup and were pleased to see we got a grassy area amongst mature pines overlooking the river, all to ourselves as a result. The dozen or so vans who were plugged in where further back and had gravel pitches.

    As with most places in Sweden, the site was quiet. There were several fire pits with benches and chopped wood provided. A play park kept children from the town of Gälivare amused and there were facilities for badminton, boules and mini golf. A few of the red painted wooden board cabins were being used, but considering it was a celebratory weekend, the site couldn't be described as busy.

    Unfortunately Vicky's lethargy had resurfaced so there was a limited amount we could do as far as exploring and celebrations were concerned.
    Will picked her some flowers and bendy branches with glossy green leaves. He then went to look around the local area while Vicky made the flora into a midsummer garland.

    Adjacent to the campsite was a 'Sami Camp', a collection of houses used by the indigenous Scandinavian people. Most of the window shutters were closed but there had been a recent large bonfire and a Maypole stood close by, covered in Birch cuttings, yellow Globeflowers, Red Campion and a few other wild blooms.

    We'd hoped to make use of the little Sauna rooms (men's and women's) that were inclusive in the price of the stay, but neither of us could figure out how to get them working. It was only as we were leaving and therefore too late, that Will discovered the secret of pouring water over the stones. We had seen less of the midsummer celebrations than we'd hoped but things don't always work out. We had a lovely peaceful stay at the site and by the time we left Vicky was beginning to get a lot better.
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  • Day359

    The Arctic Circle!

    June 20, 2017 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    It was the day before midsummer and we were looking forward to crossing the Artic Circle! Sweden is so vast and sparsely populated that the road network is very spread out, meaning there weren't many opportunities for Vicky to take a wrong turning! We therefore set the sat nav to display the coordinates of our position and continued North West on the 97 towards Jokkmokk, watching the longitude count up the degrees and minutes.

    The Arctic Circle, the southernmost latitude from where the midnight sun can be seen on the summer solstice, moves north and south in an oscillation that is 180km wide and lasts 40,000 years. There is a shorter oscillation too and both are controlled by the gravitational pulls of the sun, moon and planets. The line is currently on a northwards track at 66°33.778'.

    At the midpoint of the large oscillation we pulled into a rest area that had a sign and information. Flagpoles stood along the line and darker flagstones ran through a modern looking, wooden pyramidal shelter to mark it out. We'd been planning and looking forward to visiting the Arctic for years so were very excited! Our mental health is something we both need to actively manage and at exciting times like these we both need to keep an awareness of Will's bipolar, assessing whether his high is a direct result of what is happening and within reasonable limits or whether it has escalated. We thought there was no better way to show this in photos than Will standing across the polar line. We feel very glad that since we've been travelling, it has been easier to spot early warning signs and therefore manage our mental health effectively.

    Several other vans used the rest area while we were parked (they make up a significant proportion of vehicles on the road up here). We talked to a Norwegian couple who lived near Nordkapp, one of the most northerly points in Europe. They said Spring had been late this year and the snow had only just melted from the lowlands, although it was still on the mountains. Talking of snow, the temperature had turned perceptibly colder, so we lunched inside the van before driving on and crossing the current line of longitude into the Arctic!
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  • Day338

    Vistorp's Harbour

    May 30, 2017 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    It was a short hop to Vistorp's Harbour where we were able to stay in the car park of a Nature Reserve (for a maximum of 24 hours). We could see why this restriction was in place; it was very close to a sandy beach and the low dunes had a stark beauty to them. Shrub roses were dotted with large bright pink flowers, paler pink Thrift grew in drifts and the Wild Pansies were so small you could only see them if you stopped and looked. Close up, the colours of the flowers stood out intensely against the washed out sand and grasses in this harsh environment.

    There were only a few boats moored in the small harbour, where the smell of the sea was once again strong! The temperature had cooled so Will opted to sit on the end of the boardwalk and fish. We had a wander through the reserve where there were a few holiday homes and a couple of tasteful beach huts. At the next car park along there were well kept toilets and Will was able to empty our cassette.

    In the afternoon the sky turned a dark grey and the rain came on and off. It felt more like the sort of holidays we were used to in Scotland and we were quite happy watching the wildlife from inside the comfort of the van. We even spotted a Great Grey Shrike, a small bird we weren't familiar with but that seemed friendly as it perched on a rock to check us out!
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  • Day430

    Friends, family & saying bye to Jan-Ols

    August 30, 2017 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    We have made a 15minute video of our time at Jan-Ols: https://youtu.be/MOIvfxdfOY0
    We hope you like it!

    14 months spent mostly by ourselves was a long time. By staying with Mikaela, Tobbe and Olivia at Jan-Ols Gården we'd hoped to gain some sense of what it was like to live as a family in Sweden, but we were also nervous about the fact we'd committed ourselves to spending so much time around people didn't know.

    Right from the beginning we knew we'd struck lucky with our choice of farm. The welcome we received was warm but relaxed so we began to feel at home very quickly. Mikaela and Tobbe didn't eat any carbs but bought in pasta, potatoes, bread and biscuits for us WWOOFers and we were encouraged just to help ourselves from the fridge and explore the cupboards in the spacious country kitchen come dining room to find out where everything was kept.

    Conversation was easy because most of the time we had a purpose to get a job done and were working alongside people to do it. Spending from 8am to about 10:30pm each day with the family, Salomé and Mikael, we got to know them quickly and fell easily into being around them.

    Mikaela directed the morning and evening work with the goats and horses. Because the work was so familiar to her, she wouldn't always explain tasks in depth but we became Salomé and Mikael's apprentices and could always ask Mikaela if we weren't sure. She was passionate about animal welfare and seemed to know everything there was to know about the horses and goats. With just a little encouragement she would talk in detail about their histories, characters and how she worked with them and kept them happy.

    Tobbe was on holiday from his job at the Kopparberg Brewery when we arrived and directed the work on the clearance and fence at Olivia's house. He also spent a lot of time working on his and other people's cars in his garage, a converted farm building at the back of the house. When he had a spare minute he would help with the jobs around the farm. Tobbe seemed quiet at first but we soon discovered he had a great sense of humour, was open, patient and thoughtful towards others, despite having a lot on his mind.

    We didn't see as much of Tobbe's daughter Olivia because she was out working for a ventilation company each weekday and would often visit her grandparents and Mum at the weekends. She would return from her day job and not even take time to change before beginning work on the farm. Like Tobbe she was open, with her own distinctive humour and would keep a caring eye out, taking time to help us if we looked lost or unsure. It was a pleasure to take her out in the canoe on the lake at sunset where she learned very quickly how to paddle well and relax, enjoying the view.

    Olivia had a super relationship with her Grandad Roger, who we worked with on many days, putting up fence posts around her house. Will and Roger, who was nearly 75, got on particularly well and we were tempted with his suggestion that we stay an extra 2 months, finish the fencing with him and learn Swedish while teaching him English! He helped Tobbe, Mikaela and Olivia out almost every day (apart from when important sports events were scheduled). Although we didn't see Tobbe's Mum more than once (when collecting rasberries for the family and WWOOFers) her presence was felt at home through the saucepan trivets, socks and wooly jumpers she'd knitted. Howie the Afghan hound even sported a pirate jumper she'd made specially! It gave us a warm feeling to see the close relationships they had and made us keen to make the most of our time with our own family when we return to the UK.

    The other WWOOFers only added to the feeling of family. Mikael was on his second visit and had been there the longest, so he knew a lot about the routines and how best to do the jobs, but he was easy going and funny. He returned home to France 8 days after we arrived but had plans to get a job in Sweden and we doubted it would be long before he would be back. We spent the most time with sprightly Salomé. At 19 she was the youngest in the group but determined, independent and hardworking. We don't know where she got the energy to run between jobs but we suspect it had something to do with the copious amounts of bread she loved to eat! Her English was excellent and leagues better than our French but she insisted we correct her slight misspronunciations and teach her new words. She claimed she'd fallen in love with Olivia (for her beautiful house in the forest and the land around it) and asked her to marry her, even presenting her with a ring made of plaited hay on the final day. She was a great person to be around! On the day she left, Julia arrived. She was taking time out between study and a job teaching Art in secondary school back in Germany. We spent two full days with Julia but the impression we got was of a warm, friendly person with an appetite to learn about the world and to help those in it.

    As well as the people like us who were staying at Jan-Ols, there was a lively community of riders, some women who kept their horses at the farm and girls in their teens, who ensured the place rarely felt empty. Mikaela had everyone care for the horses and ponies they rode so every day at least a few, but usually about a dozen people were involved in mucking out the horses' and ponies' fields, feeding, riding and calling 'Hej Hej' when they passed us.

    We thrived on being part of the Jan-Ols Gården community, engaging with others and working alongside them. It felt good to be relied upon and for people to know who we were and why we were there. We were exhausted by the physical work, and being 'on call' for the long days but we got used to it quickly and the time to say goodbye seemed to come around too soon.

    After leaving we found for a few days that we had little motivation to do things and it felt strange being just the two of us and Poppy again. The experience had been good for our fitness but had also given us a really refreshing mental break.
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  • Day444

    Lillsjön & Lärkesholmssjön Woodland

    September 13, 2017 in Sweden ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Will had scoured Park4Night and found us a lovely spot to spend our last couple of nights in Sweden. At the end of a 1km grit track we parked up in a small woodland clearing in between two lakes; Lillsjön (the little lake) and Larkesholmssjön (the larger one). On Lillsjön's shore was a firepit with grill and a store of split logs keeping dry under a specially made shelter. We were tempted with a fire but the wet weather both nights put paid to that idea! We had parked under a large Beech tree and on the day we arrived, it rained so heavily that it sounded as if pebbles were being thrown on to the van roof!

    Luckily, despite thunderstorms being forecast for the second day, it turned out dry and we were even treated to some spells of sunshine! A few walkers and joggers were lured out by this fine Swedish weather but the area remained incredibly quiet. We decided to take the 6km marked trail around Lärkesholmssjön and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, savouring the peaceful lake and forest as we went. The path was well maintained but it seemed that even Sweden wasn't used to the amount of rain we'd had. The streams, river and bogs we crossed had burst their banks and as we waded through 30cm of water we were very glad we'd had the foresight to wear wellies!

    The forest was a mixture of mature Beech and pines, its floor carpeted with a bright green moss that almost seemed to glow in the shade of the trees. These areas were dotted with a myriad of fungi, from miniscule mushrooms only a few mm tall to thick bracket growths climbing up rotting trunks, looking sturdy enough to use as steps. As we approached the hamlet of Lärkesholm, we passed several boats and a canoe, hauled up on the grass. We love that people are able to leave their belongings in places such as these, with no locks or chains, trusting they will be safe.

    We returned to the van and enjoyed Will's home made pizza and some red wine for tea as is becoming our custom on the final night we spend in a country.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Kingdom of Sweden, Schweden, Sweden, Swede, ስዊድን, Suecia, Swēoland, السويد, ܣܘܝܕ, İsveç, Schwedn, Швецыя, Швеция, Suwɛdi, সুইডেন, ཧྲུའི་ཏན།, Sveden, Švedska, Suècia, Svezia, Švédsko, Szwedzkô, Швеци, Sverige, སུའི་ཌན, Sweden nutome, Σουηδία, Svedio, Rootsi, Suedia, سوئد, Suweed, Ruotsi, Svøríki, Suède, An tSualainn, સ્વીડન, Suwedan, שוודיה, स्वीडन, Šwedska, Syèd, Svédország, Շվեդիա, Svedia, Swedia, Suesia, Svíþjóð, スウェーデン王国, შვეცია, Uswidi, ស៊ុយអែដ, ಸ್ವೀಡನ್, 스웨덴, سوید, Swedherwyk, Swideni, Zwede, Swédɛ, ສະວິເດັນ, Švedija, Suwedi, Zviedrija, Soedy, Шведска, സ്വീഡന്‍, Żvezja, ဆွီဒင်, Widen, स्विडेन, Zweden, Ruoččii, ସ୍ୱେଡେନ୍, Szwecja, Svessia, سویډن, Suécia, Suwidsuyu, Isvetzia, Svezzia, Swaden, Ruoŧŧa, Suêde, ස්වීඩනය, Iswidhan, Suedi, ஸ்வீடன், స్వీడన్, Шветсия, สวีเดน, Suwesya, Suēteni, Suwidan, Швеція, سویڈن, Svèsia, Thụy Điển, Svedän, שוועדן, Orílẹ́ède Swidini, 瑞典, i-Sweden

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