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Working from home has its perks but it also can leave you lonely, and – let’s face it – slightly bored. Instead of talking to a colleague one needs to find alternative ways of taking breaks. Such as calling Sweden for example.

This afternoon I came across theswedishnumber.com,  a website of the Swedish Tourist Association. The page proudly reminds us that it was Sweden who first abolished censorship in 1766 and now they are the first country to have its own phone number that anyone can call to speak to … Sweden.

So this is how it works: you dial +46 771 793 336. You hear a female voice informing you in a Swedish accent that you “will soon be connected to a random Swede somewhere in Sweden”. Few seconds later AN ACTUAL RANDOM SWEDE answers!

I spoke today with a really lovely girl from the south of Sweden. It was a bit strange at first speaking to a complete stranger, but her friendliness made it less awkward. She told me she signed up to the programme only yesterday and has already had 3 calls so far. She likes the initiative as she believes it is a great idea for Swedes to represent their country.

I asked my “random Swede” about her recommendations for someone who is traveling to Sweden but doesn’t want to just see the typical touristy stuff. She recommended going to small towns so that one can be in contact with nature, which is really beautiful in this part of the globe. One of the places she recommended was Ystad, a small coastal town on the south of Sweden. She reminded me however to ensure I travel in the summer, otherwise my visit won’t be as fun.

With the approach of the warmer months across Europe, how about we reward this lovely, creative (and brave!) initiative and the AWESOME SWEDES who signed up to it, and visit this stunning part of the world?

If you choose Stockholm, a short train-ride from the capital you will find a bit of Scandinavian mysticism. The town of  Gamla Uppsala was once one of the most important places in Scandinavia and is a home to the Royal Mounds, three burial mounds once believed by some to represent the Nordic mythology gods: Odin, Thor and Freyr. Over the past few years apparently the town has seen a return of the blót. This Norse pagan ritual often involved  an animal sacrifice to please the gods and the spirits.

But what do I know? Better call a random Swede and check for yourself…

                            kon

Thank you Sweden and the lovely Swedish girl who answered my call. You truly made my day 🙂

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