Tuesday, January 7, 2020

2020 Travel the World - Week 1

I started a Travel the World Series last year. (It should be noted that I did a similar thing in 2018, only it was the 50 states.) For 50 weeks in 2019, I visited a different country (virtually) and shared facts about that country. I then selected one tidbit of information about that week's country as inspiration for a card. Fifty weeks; fifty countries... BUT there are 195 countries in the world so that was just a little over 25% of them. Therefore I've decided to continue my Travel the World Series this year, randomly visiting one of the remaining countries each week for fifty weeks. I'll share facts and choose one for inspiration in making a card.

This week's country is...


Sweden shares a land border with it’s Scandinavian counterparts Finland and Norway, and is connected to Denmark by a bridge.

Forests cover over 50% of Sweden, there are also around 100,000 lakes and over 24,000 islands throughout the country. Sweden’s right to public access laws allows these areas to be fully accessible by the public.

Despite being a military power in the 17th century and one of the world’s largest producers of weapons, Sweden has not participated in any war for almost two centuries, including both world wars.

Sweden is so good at recycling that it has run out of rubbish and imports 80,000 tons a year from Norway.

The Oresund Bridge is the planet’s longest cable-tied road, and Rail Bridge, measuring 7.8 km from Lernacken (on the Swedish side near Malmö) to the artificial island of Peberholm (Pepper Island) south of Saltholm (Salt Island) in Denmark.

An average of 1,836,000 meatballs are eaten daily in all of Ikea’s 313 stores worldwide. Ikea was founded in Sweden in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad.

The people of Sweden love Donald Duck so much, they had to make voting for him illegal. 

One of the most popular flavors of ice cream in Sweden is salmiakki, or salty licorice, which can also be coal black in color.

Sweden has the highest number of McDonald’s restaurants per capita in Europe, with 227 restaurants. Only the United States has more McDonald’s per capita in the world.

Swedish parents are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave—and of those, 60 days are reserved for the father.

Sweden pays high school students $187 per month to attend school. 

ABBA is the fourth-best selling music act in history, after Elvis Presley, the Beatles, and Michael Jackson. The group has sold over 375 million records worldwide. At one point, ABBA was second only to Volvo as Sweden’s biggest export earner. The group broke up in 1983.

The world’s first ice hotel was built in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden, in the 1980s by architect Yngve Bergqvist. The hotel has 60 rooms and is carved out of 4,000 tons of densely packed snow and ice with occupancy available between December and April. Guests are issued thermal jumpsuits of “beaver nylon” upon check-in, and their air-lock cuffs help the wearers survive the interior temperatures as low as -8° F (-22° C).

Because of its proximity to the Arctic Circle, Sweden has long, dark winters. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) causes widespread depression among roughly one in five people. SAD is caused by a lack of daylight, which leads to an increase in the production of the sleep-related hormone melatonin, secreted from a gland in the brain.

The Swedish term lagom doesn’t have an English equivalent. It is not just a word, it is a concept that means “just right” or “adequate” and it can be used for just about anything and every situation.

Blood donors in Sweden are sent a text message every time their blood is used to save a life. 

Wasps actually kill more people directly than any other animal in Sweden, about one per year.

The traditional Christmas visitor in Sweden is the nisse or gnome, a short, good-natured sprite with a long beard and a tasseled red cap. Swedes believe he is thousands of years old. On Christmas Eve, they leave him bowls of porridge on their doorsteps.

There are 260,000 reindeer in Sweden. 

There are around 250 wolves (Canis lupus) in Sweden. They are protected and may not be killed unless they repeatedly attack humans or property. Swedish wolves mainly eat moose, and one family can kill about 120 moose each year. A wolf’s howl can be heard over 10 kilometers (6 miles) away.

In Sweden, you may pitch your tent for a night or two in the countryside as long as you don’t disturb the landowner or cause damage to nature.

The famous Swedish smörgåsbord was once a peasant custom where whole villages would gather at the end of the summer to celebrate the harvest with roast game; boiled potatoes and turnips; fresh, smoked, or pickled fish; meatballs; pancakes; and soups. Today the term refers to a meal made up of many different dishes, similar to a buffet, where diners choose what they want to eat.

I decided to let this Sweden fact be the inspiration for this week's card... Sweden has one of the highest life expectancies in the world, 74 years for men and 80 years for women.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today!

Stamp Sets: Unity Demand a Recount and Only Old Once stamped with Memento Tuxedo Black Ink and colored with Copic Markers

Papers: Recollections 110# Blue and 110# White and SU Lavender Lace CS and DP from my scrap file

Embossing Folder: SU Tufted Dynmic

Dies: Spellbinders Circles

Embellishment: Flower from an unknown vendor


Janis Lewis said...

Cute card! Love the purple.

Lynn McAuley said...

I had to go put on a sweater when I saw that ice room!! Super cute card!! I wish I could enjoy being old just a little bit more but the aches and pains keep raining on my parade!!

Shelly Schmidt said...

I love this series and so glad you are continuing it!!! Very interesting facts too. I would love to stay in an ice hotel, just to do it- I wonder what the survival rate is for people who last all night!!! LOL Your card is adorable- I just bought her- love this gal!!!

kiwimeskreations said...

Fascinating facts Jeanette - that bridge detail is amazing!
Love your card - that's one grand old lady, and the sentiment is such a fun one