Tag Archives: Scandinavia

Get your free copy of Scandinavia travel guidebook

2017-06-22

What is the one thing you know about Scandinavia? Long winters, midnight sun in summer, design, education system, welfare, Abba, HIM, or A-ha? Well, the best way to find out more is to travel in Nordic countries and see how the region is yourself. A good starting point is the book we have put together from travel guidebooks and cultural guides that talk about Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Traveling in Scandinavia is an ebook that you download for free here.
Book cover image: Traveling in Scandinavia
The book is a selection of travel tips and cultural insights into the Nordic countries. A little bit of information on food and history is included as well.

Here is a taste of Scandinavia for you to explore at the comfort of your reading nook – perhaps before heading out to the North yourself. As the selection of writings show, there are plenty of destinations to see and things to do: city life, mountain biking, fishing in pristine rivers, camping, island hopping, road touring, Arctic adventures, or hiking in the wilderness. If something is missing, Finns will invent it (e.g. wife carrying competition), Swedes will sell it to the world (e.g. entire country available on Airbnb), and Norwegians will win the cross-country skiing world championship (again).

Ebook news digest: literary tourism, collaborating authors, waterproof ereader, ebook statistics

2017-06-02

News on ebooks, writing, and travel

ereader on top of stack of books
Literary Tourism: Travel The World’s Book Towns
Book Riot

Towns with an exceptionally high number of bookstores are sometimes referred to as booktowns. Book Riot has collected the most notable towns from Canada, Norway, South Korea, from around the world into an article – in case you want to visit them all.

5 Critical Mistakes of Author Collaborations And How to Avoid Them
The Creative Penn

Co-authoring a book is not as common as collaborating with other artists for a piece of music or a film. An author who has succeeded in collaborative projects with other authors has identified five key issues. 1: learn to know your co-author before starting a project.

Snapshot: June 1, 2017
I Love My Kindle

The author of the post loves the Kindle, but if you love numbers (and data on ebooks) read the post. One of the many bits of data is that every day about 2000 new titles are added to the Kindle Store. Makes any and every publisher think how to differentiate from the mass.

Traveling in Scandinavia – Free Ebook Download
Klaava

A collection of travel stories, cultural tips and tourist information for North Europe. Free EPUB and Kindle ebook download.

Travel Writing: All You Need To Know
Jerry Nelson

The post describes the genres of travel writing and the authors who are the most famous representatives of the genres.

An Interview with a 21st Century Nomad
Mapping Megan

Steve Moore, a writer, has been working on the road for 20 years, long before the world started talking about the digital nomad lifestyle. He has perspective to nomad life.

Over 2 Million Historic Photographs Now Available Online – Pique Your Interest With A Peek Into History
SLR Lounge

Europeana project is like an online museum, preserving old European objects digitally. Now, two million images has been archived and made available, but check the rights before you download because not every photo is in public domain.

Kobo’s new Aura H20 is a smaller, cheaper version of its best e-reader
The Verge

A waterproof ereader for the vacation season sounds like a good idea. Kobo has released a new version of its waterproof device, and the reviewer likes it.

Sweden: the entire country is open for accommodation bookings on Airbnb

2017-05-24

In the northernmost Nordic countries – Finland, Norway and Sweden – both local people and overseas travelers can enjoy an ancient tradition known as the Everyman’s Rights. It means that you are free to roam and even stay a night on anyone’s land assuming that it is not explicitly forbidden (I have never seen such a thing) and you are moving and staying far enough from homes and farms. There is simply so much space that it actually works fine.

Slottsskogen in Gothenburg, Sweden

Slottsskogen in Gothenburg. Sweden.


Now, Sweden’s tourism marketing organization has realized that with the Everyman’s Rights they have a gem in their hands that is truly an exceptional asset in the whole world (apart from neighbor countries that have the same concept). So, Sweden listed the entire country on Airbnb booking service.

Listing a country to an online booking service is ofcourse a tongue-in-cheek kind of thing, but it is executed with style. And everything, for instance, what the following listing in southern Sweden says about a destination is true. Take a look at the screen shot below.

Sweden listing on Airbnb
Bring your own tent and food, and don’t leave any rubbish when you leave. It is as simple as that. Making fire is a bit more complex issue. In national parks, there are fireplaces – for detailed information what to do in other areas, see the books listed at the end of the article.

Here is a video that tries to explain the beauty of the free roaming concept:

Via New Atlas.

For information on traveling in Sweden, the following visual travel guidebooks can help in planning a trip and making it. The books also include detailed descriptions of the Everyman’s Rights concept – what is allowed and what is not.

Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast (Klaava Travel Guide)
Lapland: North of the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia (Klaava Travel Guide)

The modern libraries of Thionville, France and Seinäjoki, Finland have something in common

2017-02-15

Public libraries all over the world have a new problem to solve: how to provide the best possible services to citizens when the core service of a library – printed book – is transforming to digital format. Ebooks can be checked out from a library at home sofa, at beach chair or at hospital bed. We firmly believe libraries as public spaces are needed in the future as well, but how they will look like and what they might actually do is another thing.

One of the first real life experiments with next generation library is being conducted in Texas, USA. Bexar County has opened an all digital library called Bibliotech. There are no physical books for people to loan, but computers, tablets and ereaders where library card holders can loan and read ebooks (or hang out on the Internet). Library staff is always there to help with books and with technology.
Thionville library in France
The town of Thionville in northern France didn’t go all digital when it opened a new library in 2016. It is a beautiful modern building with plenty of space for activities, like sipping coffee, having a picnic on the roof, or playing instruments in soundproof rooms. The architects explained to Fast Company that the objective was to build spaces for the community. Printed books are available in the library, as well as ebooks and other forms of digital media.

Thionville doesn’t even call its new building a library, but Mediatheque.

Before we continue to Seinäjoki, Finland, take a look at a video introduction to the Mediatheque of Thionville, France. Mediatheque was opened in 2016. It was designed by the Strasbourg-based firm Dominique Coulon and Associates.

Let’s jump from Central Europe to Northern Europe in order to find out what kind of libraries are being built in Scandinavia. One of the most liked and celebrated new libraries in Finland was built in Seinäjoki, in the central region of the country. The Apila (Shamrock) Library, designed by Helsinki-based architects JKMM, opened in 2012.

The primary service in Seinäjoki library is still printed books, but community spaces, activities and digital media have their own nooks, rooms and corners as well. The shadow of Finland’s master architect Alvar Aalto was a factor in the design process because buildings designed by Aalto are located around the new library.

Now, take a look at the following photo gallery of the Seinäjoki Apila Library and compare the pictures with the video images of the Thionville library. There are a number of details and large design solutions that resemble one another in these two libraries, even though the architects are different. Perhaps it is a sign that libraries are finding one common way to serve citizens in the digital future.

Seinäjoki Apila library, Finland
modern library of Seinäjoki in Scandinavia
modern library  architecture in Seinäjoki, Finland, North Europe
community spaces in Seinäjoki library, Finland
reading nook in Seinajoki library, Finland, Scandinavia, Europe

What is the Finnish way of doing things? American author reveals it all in the 6th edition of his book about Finland

2017-02-10

Author, journalist Russell Snyder moved to Finland from California in 1982. He has spent over 30 years exploring and enjoying the Nordic country. He has traveled far and wide searching for experiences, but has uncovered many cultural treasures right in Helsinki where he has mostly lived. “Finland is both a great place to visit and to live. The longer you stay here, the more you become hooked on the Finnish way of doing things.”
cover image of book: The Lighter Side of Finland 6th Ed
Here is what the author had to say about the new edition of his book about Finland.

You have just launched the 6th edition of The Lighter Side of Finland. When was the first one published?

The first edition was published 22 years ago. It reflected Finland as it was back then. However, Finland is constantly changing and redefining itself, so the book has been updated and revised to reflect those changes.

Why have you picked this year to publish this new edition?

Finland is celebration its 100-year anniversary of becoming an independent nation, so I wanted to celebrate the occasion with this book.

You use a lot of humor in your writing.

I believe humor is the best way to encourage people to keep reading. And if people are entertained and get a few laughs, they may even remember something.

What have been your favorite experiences in Finland?

Sledding on a hill with my kids. Walking around in a forest in Lapland during the autumn to experience the fantastic colors. Fishing on the Ruunaa River and smoking the freshly caught trout on a campfire. Dancing on a Saturday night in a small village and meeting new friends. Trying out the magnificent smoke saunas the Sauna Society. And many more.

You have also written Analysis of the Finnish Tango and I, Helsinki. Any plans to write another book?

I hope to write a book about Estonia soon.

sauna etiquette in Finland
The book covers the basics of sauna etiquette as well as many other unique Finnish customs.

Traditional Nordic cooking for contemporary kitchens: Finnish Cookbook with Modern Flavors

2016-03-24

Maybe Finnish kitchen is not (yet) as renowned as the French or Thai kitchens that can be found in all major cities of the world, but Scandinavian tastes have been discovered by food lovers. Traditional Finnish meals were prepared from ingredients readily available at small farms, lakes, large forests and the sea. It was simple, hearty food.
Sample page from Finnish Cookbook
Even when something already tastes good, it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be made even better. That’s what author Marko Päkki has been doing for most of his life. He knows exactly how to cook traditional Finnish food, but he didn’t leave there. He has developed new recipes based on traditional Nordic cooking.

Here is the result: Finnish Cookbook with Modern Flavors for home chefs who want to try out simple but tasty recipes in their kitchen. Choose from fish, meat, vegetable dishes or prepare a traditional dessert (out of fresh berries, naturally).
Download ebook: Cookbook, traditional food of Finland
Recipes introduced in the book are, for instance, Traditional Baltic Herring Fillet Steak, Chanterelle Bacon Pie. Karelian Stew, and Rainbow Trout with Fruit Salsa.

More information about the book Finnish Cookbook with Modern Flavors here.

Travel photography gallery 2015: Helsinki and North Europe

2016-01-21

I have stayed in Finland for quite some time now, and many places, including the capital Helsinki have become familiar for me. Finland has its own unique culture (as explained by Russell Snyder and Irene de Benedictis in their own books), but I think I have learned the zen of the Nordic life: during winter, work and try to stay healthy, but in summer let all hell break loose and enjoy life.

In 2015, I continued photographing and taking notes on Helsinki for the travel guidebook that will be published later this year. Now, when I look at my photos I realize how green city Helsinki is in the summer (in winter it is either white or black, depending on the snow situation).

In the 2015 travel photo gallery we also have images from Erin who has a project in Lapland. Take a look at the gallery:

Hietalahti flea market in Helsinki, Finland.

Hietalahti flea market in Helsinki, Finland.

The Best of Helsinki, Finland: Tips from a Local Writer

2015-05-24

Helsinki, Finland is a relaxing Scandinavian destination to visit: it is a relatively compact city that can be explored by foot, by bicycle or by public transportation, like trams. Local people think there are traffic jams in the city, but visitors from one of the metropolis of the world may have another view. The best time to visit Helsinki is May-September when there is plenty of light and everyone enjoys the warm season.

view over the roofs of Helsinki, FInland

More tips for travelers heading to Finland in Russell Snyder’s book I, Helsinki – A Finland Visitor’s Guide. Here are some highlights:

Sight: Suomenlinna fortress island
City view: Ateljee Bar in Hotel Torni.
Sea view: Sightseeing cruise from the Market Square.
Piece of history: Senate Square.
Architecture: Tour around Töölönlahti for monuments and variety.
Food: Restaurant Lappi for traditional dishes of Lapland, restaurant Bellevue for Russian delicacies.
Park: Esplanadi in the city center and Kaivopuisto by the sea.
Art: Ateneum and Kiasma museums, galleries in Design District.
Shopping: Esplanadi for branded goods and Hietalahti flea market for fun.
People watching: Cafés at Esplanadi.
Drive: From Lauttasaari to Kulosaari via the coastal road.
Cycling: Any cycling path that follows the coastline, for instance a route via Töölö, Meilahti, Munkkiniemi. Kuusisaari and Lauttasaari.
Beach: Hietaranta in the city.
Hike: Nuuksio national park outside Helsinki, hike around Töölönlahti in the city.
Winter fun: Walking on ice, sledding in Kaivopuisto or cross-country skiing in Paloheinä.

 
Here is a video that shows a few highlights of Helsinki:

I, Helsinki – A Finland Visitor’s Guide download travel guide to Helsinki, Finland

New Purchase Options for Scandinavian Ebook Readers

2015-04-19

Amazon dominates many ebook markets across the globe, but there are some corners of the world where local ebook stores thrive. Scandinavia (in this case, only Sweden, Norway and Finland) is not an easy market for a large international company like Amazon to enter because every country has its own language and currency, and above all, the markets are fairly small. Adlibris is the largest Scandinavian online bookstore that also offers a large selection of ebooks.
adlibris ebooks, norge screen shot
At the moment, Swedish customers may choose from 25 000 ebooks, Norwegians have a selection of 23 000 ebooks and Finns don’t yet know how many ebooks there are, because Adlibris’ Finnish ebookstore is waiting for its official launch (ebooks are already available, though). Vast majority of available ebooks at Adlibris are published in Swedish or in Norwegian.

Here are the Adlibris bookstores where Scandinavian customers can shop in their local language and currency.
Finland
Norway
Sweden

New Klaava Travel Guide Published: Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast

2015-03-08

When most people think about Scandinavia, they probably think about Stockholm, fjälls, fjords in Norway, large wilderness areas of Lapland, and the Northern lights, but how many travelers have seen the unique archipelago in the South-West corner of Sweden? That’s where the city of Gothenburg is located as well, but on the mainland. Now, you can read all about it from our new travel guide.

gothenburg-sshot4

Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast is not an ordinary travel guide. Although it includes all the necessary sections that you would expect from a guidebook, the ebook comes with some extra features: photo galleries and resizable maps have been complemented with video segments.


Find out more about the book here.

Book trailer video:

Book Reading: a Video of Helsinki, Finland Travel Guide

2015-02-16

The majority of overseas visitors arrive in Helsinki, Finland’s capital in the summer. During summer weekends, however, local people migrate to their summer cottages they have built on lake and sea shores around the country. In the winter, on the other hand, a visitor may encounter peculiar local habits, such as skiing and skating on sea or sledding in the city center.
I Helsinki, Finland travel guide
In any case, if you are planning to visit Finland, and Helsinki in particular, it makes sense to plan ahead. Travel guidebook I, Helsinki lets you quickly discover the sights you want to visit and activities you would like to try out.

Here is a video (captured in the summer) that includes five chapters from the book that you can listen and watch:

More about the book. I, Helsinki, travel guide to Finland's capital

Travel photo gallery 2014: Sweden, Scandinavian countries

2015-01-29

In 2014, my travels took me to Scandinavian countries, primarily Sweden. Southern and western regions of Sweden along with Stockholm were the main destinations.

After exploring and staying on the West Coast of Sweden, I had more than enough material and contacts for interviews to write a travel guidebook Gothenburg and Sweden’s West Coast about this region that is the most popular vacation destination for Swedes after Stockholm.

The nice thing in this part of the Scandinavia was that it was possible to enjoy lively city life in Gothenburg and enjoy the great outdoors in the pristine archipelago of the West Coast.

Book trade professionals in North Europe are familiar with Gothenburg because of the annual Book Fair that is the largest in northern Europe.

Here is the 2014 travel photo gallery where you can find photos of other photographers taken from other places as well:

Bohus fortress near Gothenburg, Sweden.