Swedish winter
The northernmost quarter of Sweden is above the arctic circle, which means the sun never goes up there in winter and never sets in summer. Most of us live below that line, though, and have some winter sun. In most of the southern half of Sweden you can expect sun from around 8 AM to 3 PM in the darkest part of the winter.
You remember when you were in second grade and a police officer came in and talked about traffic safety and how you should wear reflectors when you’re out after dark, which was really stupid, because how many seven-year-olds are out after dark? Well, here, even kids coming home from school are out after dark.

Let me tell you, when you drive a car on winter afternoons here, you learn to appreciate the pedestrians who actually do wear reflectors. Nothing is scarier than suddenly discovering a pedestrian in a black or dark blue coat a yard from the end of your hood—and that is when they become visible if they aren’t wearing any light colors. I’ve become a huge fan of reflectors since I got my Swedish driver’s license. Reflector collars on dogs and cats are also a must.
Swedish phenomena
- Red houses
- Signs
- Winter darkness
- Feathersticks
- Easter hags
- Going Postal

Funny stories
- “Is that in Europe?”
- The Good Ship Vasa
- The openness principle