The Swedish word for archipelago is “skärgård”which directly translates to “garden of skerries” in English. For many Swedes, the archipelago is the most iconic representation of Sweden and its nature. So what is so special with it?
Apart from its picture-perfect setting, which is undeniable and obvious; it is a place where no cars or traffic can be heard or seen. Sure, there are a few golf cars and old school mopeds here and there, but it provides a silence that is hard to find elsewhere. It is just the sound of the waves of the often very frisky ocean, the horns from the local ferry and the countless amount of seagulls; which in any other context would be an annoying factor but here out in the archipelago is actually rather beautiful.
It represents so many things. The archipelago comes with certain associations. It is the place where a number of very important Swedish traditions take place. Midsummer is one example of this; many Swedes go out to one of the 220 000 islands in Sweden to spend a weekend of magical summer celebrations. Crayfish parties, which is basically a dinner party where we wear funny hats and eat crayfish, crayfish and a little bit more crayfish; are also often celebrated out here in the archipelago.
The archipelago also represents never-ending summer nights, boats, white little cottage houses and clogs. It is here your first encounter with clogs happen, where you’d run to get the morning paper wearing your grandma’s slip-in clogs. As much of a fashion statement wooden clogs are today, it also represents a sentimental value and I bet that memory often takes place out in the Swedish archipelago.
Need help visualize how this iconic part of Sweden looks like? Maybe this videowill help you picture one of the most beautiful places on Earth.