Sunday, August 14, 2011
Water water everywhere.....
This fact may be hard to believe but Sweden has over 97500 lakes larger than 2 acres (8100 m2) in size. Its not hard to believe then that all Swedish cities have in their close vicinity either access to the ocean or a lake. In terms of land area, you could fit all of Sweden into Alberta!
I grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and then moved to Calgary, Alberta for work. There were rivers going through both cities but there were definitely no one using them except for the odd boater. Both were fairly old lakes geologically speaking with a fairly wide channel and shallow but both moved fairly slowly and were not the most clean if one was to compare them to here in Sweden.
Its not uncommon here to see people fishing right in
the literal center of Stockholm at Gamla Stan....its also not uncommon during the hot summer days for people to be seen swimming in the waters in Stockholm or even in Malmö (a town i was resident of for 1.2 million seconds). If i were comparing the two, Stockholm is much better. The water here is fresh water whereas Malmö has ocean water. In Stockholm you dont get that sticky feeling after drying off.
Swedes love the water. There is a shortage of places to dock your boat (Of course there is, any reason to add a que to something is good enough) you can wait for future places as they come up. The water is viewed upon another common transportation route. Islands in the archipelago like Sandhamn are easily reachable by public boat. There are some lucky swedes that own an island all to themselves and others that are at public disposal, but only for those that have a boat.
There are Swedes that even dock their boats permanently and live on them during the year. Quite often this is much much cheaper then buying a place in Stockholm especially when you can dock your boat in the center of the city. The only eventual problem with this is heating during the winter which can really add to your costs.
I have to admit, i have become somewhat enamored with the water after living in Sweden as well. Growing up the only swimming you did was at the local pool, full of chlorinated pee and who knows what else. Here its a 5 min walk for me to enjoy the Mälaren (a lake that streatches quite far inwards into the country composed of fresh water.
One can even navigate the entire way through the center of the country by boat with a series of canals that were built to facilitate such.
One thing that i have discovered while living here is that im a horrible swimmer...i can do a great doggie paddle and perhaps even the back stroke however trying to do anything olympic style results in me getting a lot of wonderful (hopefully) fresh water in my mouth. This is something that will definitely take practice.
There are tours that go all over stockholm at regular intervals during the summer that cost almost nothing at all and will give you a perspective on stockholm like no other. I highly recommend one of these tours for those of you visiting the country. In the meantime, I will be out in the sun and enjoying the water for as long as I can, its a very short summer season in Sweden so there is not time to waste.
The Swedish word of the day is 'badkruka' which means swimming coward, reserved for those silly people that think that Swedish water in the summer is too cold...