Researching Sweden today

alvar with blueprint 69012-004-26185916

Alvar Aalto in his studio (Source: Brittanica)

I am creating and teaching a new course to adult learners through Washtenaw Community College on Scandinavia Islands and Architecture. This combines two lifelong passions. I studied architecture for a short while before realizing I wanted to first work to save Nature. So that is what I’ve been doing since the 1980s. Yet the interest in architecture and design has remained constant from the age of sixteen.

 

iittala

From Iitalla: “Alvar Aalto created his iconic series of glass vases in 1936. Inspired by the waves in water, it has become a staple of modern Scandinavian design. Each Alvar Aalto vase is unique and mouth blown at the Iittala glass factory in Finland.”

Last week was week one of this new course and I gave an overview of Scandinavia and covered Finland. My favorite architect is Alvar Aalto of Finland and this put Finland at the top of my travel bucket list decades ago. However, I unexpectedly fell in love with Paris on my first trip and I have traveled to France five times. (More on Aalto in another post. He was not only a marvelous architect, but designed furniture and other items like this vase. I do own the vase as well as a poster of his initial sketches of it that I had framed.)

But finally, in May 2019, I’ll be enjoying traveling to Finland (technically not a Scandinavian country), Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. I’ll be traveling by rail and ferry taking photos, talking to people, taking notes, and blogging. I also hope for a day trip out of Helsinki to Tallinn, Estonia via ferry.

Meanwhile, here are a few facts about Sweden from my research this week:

  • Largest country in northern Europe, fifth largest in Europe, and 55th largest in the world
  • Population is 10,030,777 as of Friday, March 8, 2019 with 1.1 million in Stockholm’s urban area
  • Land area is 158,400 square miles with 80 percent forest and less than 8 percent arable
  • Water area is 15,400 square miles with 97,500 lakes
  • Coastline is 2,000 miles long with 221,800 islands and about 1,000 inhabited islands
  • Stockholm is actually made up of 14 islands with 50 bridges and the Stockholm Archipelago is made up of about 30,000 islands

More later! You can start to plan your trip to Sweden here. Thanks for visiting!