Weather forecasts of 'highs of -4° and lows of -7°' meant that we had to leave Norway earlier than expected. Although we were initially disappointed, Sweden is proving to be another amazing country. Once again, Couchsurfing has proved invaluable on this trip. Niclas welcomed us to his beautiful house in the countryside where he keeps bees (and a campervan)!
We learnt that although bees have set roles to play in the hive, they don't have 'jobs for life' - the age of a bee will determine what kind of work it does. Midlife bees will take on the role of foragers. If a bee has found a new place with nectar, it will go back to the hive and do a kind of 'directions dance', and from that 'dance' the other bees will know exactly where to go! Sort of like giving GPS coordinates really. In fact, a bee's 'GPS' is so specific that if you move a bee's hive a couple of feet when it is out, it won't be able to find the hive when it returns.
We had initially planned to head straight to Stockholm, but Niclas suggested that we pass by Sigtuna on our way. Sigtuna is the oldest town in Sweden that is still around today, dating back to the 970s. Sigtuna was founded by King Eric the Victorious as a Christian town. In the slideshow below you can see Sweden's smallest town hall (built in the 18th century), St Lars Church ruins (built in the 12th century), St Mary's Church - the oldest brick building in the Mälaren Valley (built in the 13th century) and Stora Gatan - the oldest preserved street in Sweden.
We then headed to Stockholm (and I went to the ABBA Museum... on my own!)
Unlike a lot of the other European cities we've visited on this trip we weren't able to cover Stockholm in a day, but that gives us a reason to come back!
The majority of the time we've spent in Sweden so far has been in the national parks, but we'll do a blog on them at the end of our time in Sweden so watch this space.