The Monarchy

Posted September 23, 2006 by Showdown
Categories: Facts

kungafamiljen.jpgSweden is a monarchy and the king is the Head of State but he has no longer any authority in the governing of the state. The king’s task is of representative and ceremonial character. But this has not always been the case. In the 1809 Constitution, which was valid until 1974, the king had the formal power to govern the country. It was the king who appointed and dismissed the ministers and he was the highest military commander, among other things. The king’s authority had declined even before the change of constitution in 1974. The last king who actively tried to influence parliament was King Gustaf V during World War II.
The present king, King Carl XVI Gustaf was born in 1946, the son of Prince Gustav Adolf and Princess Sibylla. He became king after his grandfather’s, King Gustav VI Adolf, death in 1973. In 1976 the king married Silvia Sommerlath and they have three children: crown princess Victoria, prince Carl Philip and princess Madeleine.
Until 1980 the crown was inherited by men only (agnatic succession), but in 1980 the order of succession was changed to strictly cognatic succession, which means that both male and female descendants to King Carl XVI Gustaf have the right to the throne. An elder sister or brother takes precedence over a younger sister or brother. Thus crown princess Victoria will become Queen and Head of State after her father.
The royal family does not live in the royal Palace of Stockholm. Instead they have lived in the Palace of Drottningholm outside of Stockholm since 1982. The king is known for his great interest in nature and environmental questions, he is Chairman of Honour in the World Scout Federation and chairman of honor of the Swedish WWF.

Alliance wins election

Posted September 23, 2006 by Showdown
Categories: News from Sweden, Politics

regeringen.gifThe Alliance won the Swedish election with about 48% against 46% for the Social Democrats and its allies. The new Prime Minister will be Fredrik Reinfeldt of the Moderate Party, since his party got the most votes of the Alliance parties. He will have to present the new government by October 6th and the budget 10 days later. There is a lot of speculations about who will get the most important posts, like Minister of Foreign Affairs and Finance Minister.

Flying to Sweden from the UK and Ireland

Posted September 15, 2006 by Showdown
Categories: Travel

ryanair.jpgFlying to Sweden from the British Isles and Ireland is easy. Many airlines fly the same routes, making the prices relatively low. Note that Ryanair flies to a central airport in Gothenburg, making them an excellent choice, but to airports about 1.5 hours outside Stockholm.
Here are the direct routes to Sweden listed, make sure you check the prices with different airlines before you book your ticket. Also, if you are going to southern Sweden, near Malmo, check the prices to Copenhagen.

  • SAS flies London Heathrow, London City, Birmingham, Dublin and Manchester to Stockholm Arlanda.
  • London Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham to Gothenburg Landvetter.
  • FlyMe flies London Stanstead to Gothenburg Landvetter.
  • Ryanair flies Dublin, London Stanstead and Glasgow Prestwick to Gothenburg City.
  • Dublin and London Stanstead to Malmo Sturup.
  • London Luton to Stockholm Vasteras.
  • London Stanstead and Glasgow Prestwick to Stockholm Skavsta (Nykoping).

Alliance still bigger than the Social Democrats

Posted September 9, 2006 by Showdown
Categories: News from Sweden, Politics

reinfeldt.jpgThe latest opinion poll, released on September 8th, still shows a small lead for the Alliance. The latest numbers show 48.7% for the alliance and 47.4% for the Social Democrats and their allies Green party and Left party.

Reinfeldt – the new prime minister?

Swedish National Day

Posted September 9, 2006 by Showdown
Categories: Facts, Holidays

swedish_flag.jpgJune 6th is the Swedish National day, celebrating when Gustav Vasa became king in 1523. Vasa’s seizure of power ensured Swedish liberation from the Danes and thus, Sweden became an independent country. The celebration of the national day is not as big as in other countries, since Sweden never had a war of independence. There is usually some concerts, a smaller parade in Stockholm and the royal family will meet the people by the royal castle in Gamla Stan, Stockholm.

Swedish meatballs

Posted September 9, 2006 by Showdown
Categories: Swedish recipes

kottbullar.jpgThis authentic recipe of Swedish meatball serves about 4 people.

1 pound (500g) ground beef and ground pork (0.5 pound of each)

milk

breadcrumbs

small yellow onion

salt and pepper

(1 clove of garlic, optional)

put about 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs in a bowl and let in soak in milk for a few minutes. Mix in salt and pepper and finely chopped onion and garlic. Mix in the ground meat in the mix and roll into small balls. It is easier to roll if you wet your hands in cold water from time to time. Fry the meatballs, shifting them often so they don’t stick. Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes, lingonberry jam, and maybe a sauce made of cream and what is left in the pan after frying the meatballs.

Finnhamn

Posted September 8, 2006 by Showdown
Categories: Places to visit in Sweden, Stockholm archipelago, Travel

jwhuvudskar-bodar.jpgThe name Finnhamn stems from the time when Finnish ships on their way to Stockholm used to berth here. Nowadays, Finnhamn is the name of a whole group of islands, which have grown together into a magnificently beautiful archipelago landscape. You can wander freely along paths and small roads or rent a rowing boat and row out to one of the islands nearby. If you happen to pass by Idholmens gård, we recommend a visit to the farm store. The animals and the farm are shown on request. If you wish to stay the night, try the old coal keeper Rönström’s fabulous summer villa, converted into the archipelago’s largest hostel.
Eat: Finnhamns Café Krog, weekends Easter–Sep, daily June–Aug, 08-542 464 04.
Stay: The largest hostel in the archipelago, cottages and camping, 08-542 462 12.
Shops and activities: Rowing boats to rent, shower and sauna at the hostel, 08-542 462 12. Summer store, 08-542 462 07. Farm store at Idholmens gård, 08-542 462 42. Click here for Finnhamn’s own information site.
How to get here: boat from Stockholm, about 2.5 h. Single fare from Stockholm SEK 120.