On top of the Earth

April 16, 2007

A friend of mine from Sweden emailed me this great picture from his recent cross-country ski trip.

In his own words, he was in…

“The Northern Swedish mountains, a place called Hemavan, almost spot on the Arctic Circle. Very few inhabitants, but this area is homeground for most of Sweden’s alpine ski stars.”

Hemavan, Sweden

I met Kristofer in Wollongong, Australia when we were in school together at the University of Wollongong. We had some great times together, like climbing Mt Kosciuszko, 4 Wheeling on the beaches of Frasier Island and flipping coins for beers at the North Gong.

I don’t know if all Swedes are as adventurous as he is, but his emails are usually something like, “Just got back from 4 weeks of sailing the Mediterranean”, or “I am getting ready to do the 90 km cross-country ski race, the Vasaloppet“. Next thing you know, he’ll tell me he’s flying on the next Shuttle mission, doing some endurance training in zero gravity.

And now, in honor of Kristofer, here are some random facts about Sweden

*Finland was part of Sweden from 1323 until 1809.

*Sweden is a little bigger than Texas with less than half the population, 22 million to 9 million. Of these 9 million, 1.6 million live in Stockholm.

*ABBA was also the name of a Swedish canned fish company.

*Volvo is Latin for “I roll”. It was founded in 1924 in Gothenburg, Swede.

*Almost 150,000 Swedes settled in Washington State between 1890 and 1910. In 1910, Swedish immigrants founded what would become Swedish Hospital, today the largest hospital in the Pacific Northwest.



  1. The far north of Sweden is sometimes called “the land of the midnight sun”. During midsummer the sky becomes light again once twilight has been reached.

  2. *The Summer Solstice is a huge holiday in Sweden called Midsummer’s Eve…the longest day of the year.
    *The notorious bittorrent site, PirateBay.org, is based in Sweden and even has a political party backing it.
    *If you think you can out drink a Swede, you are sorely mistaken.

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