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Summer in Småland, Sweden

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Self-described as “Sweden for Real,” Småland is punctuated with castles, glass factories and cafés serving traditional fika. With a setting worthy of a Grimm's fairytale, it's where children's author Astrid Lindgren was born on a farm called Näs in 1907. Named for the “Small Lands” that comprised it when the Vikings ruled, the area is carpeted with wide meadows and deep forests. Glistening lakes mirror traditional red cottages while an open coast on the Baltic Sea invites marine adventure.
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Åkanten 4, 572 96 Fårbo, Sweden
Grab-and-go coffee cultures could learn a thing or two from the Swedes. While Americans order takeaway lattes with faux-European monikers for their morning buzz and Europeans start the day with espresso consumed at stand-up cafés, our Nordic...
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Kungsgatan 1, 392 33 Kalmar, Sweden
Beyond lush woodlands and a wooden drawbridge in the southern province of Småland, the antics of medieval Swedish kings are on display at Kalmar Castle. Scandinavia's best preserved Renaissance castle was built in the 12th century in Kalmar, one...
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Kungsgatan 1, 392 33 Kalmar, Sweden
Welcome to dinner in Grey Hall at Kalmar Castle in the Swedish province of Småland. It's 1586 and the table is set for an Easter feast hosted by King Gustav Vasa. His whole dysfunctional family is in town, including two squabbling sons, Erik XIV...
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Västervik, Sweden
Beyond glinting lakes, red summer cottages, postcard-perfect views and cozy cafés serving traditional “fika,” there's not much to Västervik. While everyone's heard of the Greek islands, fewer know about the natural pleasures of the island chain...
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598 85 Vimmerby, Sweden
One of children's literature's most colorful and courageous heroines continues to inspire at Astrid Lindgren's World, a giant playground where kids can play freely in Vellekulla Cottage, Matt's Fort, Karlsson's Roof and other settings from...
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Prästgårdsgatan 24, 598 36 Vimmerby, Sweden
Beloved children's author Astrid Lindgren was the second of Hanna and Samuel August's four children. Born in 1907 in a little red house on a farm called Näs in tiny Vimmerby, she and her siblings were given free reign to climb trees, jump in...
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598 32 Näs, Sweden
If you order cheesecake at a café like mat&dryck at Astrid Lindgren's Näs in Småland, you may be served something you don't expect. Called ostkaka or Swedish curd cake, its name combines the Swedish words for cheese (ost) and cake (kaka). As the...