This Earth is our only home. Together, we must protect and cherish it.
– Ban Ki-moon
Tina is our host this week, and she asks us:
”If a foreigner were to spend a week or a month traveling your home country with you, where would you take them? What sights would you tell them to be sure to see? Where have you found some of your own favorite images? What is it you truly love about where you live, or places you’ve seen in your home country?
This might be the most challenging challenge of all…because I love so many things about my home country. But I will try…starting in the Southern part of Sweden, where I live. Sweden is a very ”long” country, 1 600 kilometers from north to south and 500 kilometers from east to west. This means that it can be winter in the north while it is still late summer in the south.
Spring and apple trees – a must see. Orchards and farmland is the sign of southern Sweden, because we have the best soil in the country. I grew up in an orchard, so this is true home for me.
I would want to show some of our famous parks and gardens, where Ronneby Brunn was voted the most beautiful park in Sweden.
From south to north, we have 30 National parks and 5 342 protected areas/nature reserves. I have visited several of them, and old trees, mostly oaks, are often in my lens.
The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.
– Maya Angelou
Those nature gems are indeed worth visiting – and I can bring Milo along too.
Läckö Castle, 13th century. One of the most popular ”fairy tale” castles in Sweden.
Castles, castles – we have many of them in Sweden and many in Skåne, where I live. There are often different activites around them, medieval jousting, games and markets. Hovdala Castle is situated 15 kilometers from my home. It might be ”my home castle”, as I go there about once a month for hiking or other activities.
Our capital, Stockholm, is of course a must if you want to see Sweden. Founded in the 12th century and called the ”Venice of Scandinavia” because it was built on many small islands.
Kosta Boda glass hotel might be needed after this extensive traveling…here I want to show off our famous glass (Orrefors and Kosta Boda), and the hotel and spa is filled with glass art. The bar and chairs are all in blue glass!
Home is the nicest word there is.
– Laura Ingalls Wilder
Hornborgasjön is a gathering place for migrating cranes – and for birders of course. This is an unforgettable experience in April every year. Some 20000 cranes are eating, dancing, mating. The sound is incredible…as is the very sight of them!
Where thou art, that is home.
– Emily Dickinson
Graveyards from the Viking Age has a certain mood around them. The concept of time inevitably hits you. They can be found everywhere in Sweden. This one – a kilometer from my home.
We have to visit Tännforsen, one of our amazing nature reserves that treats us to spectacular beauty any time of the year.
Jokkmokk’s market has a tradition of gathering people for 400 years in a row (not the same people of course…) – this is a place for trade and racing reindeer. Warm clothes are recommended – sometimes the temperature drops to minus 40 C.
No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.
– Lin Yutang
Jukkasjärvi Icehotel, the first one in the world, is of course an experience even if you don’t stay the night…They do have famous food too, and every room is specially made with different ice sculptures.
Hiking up north to see the Linnaea borealis, Carolus Linnaeus’ favourite flower.
There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.
And so, ending our trip at the very north and Lapland, we will return home.
What about a refreshing Forest bath now? Quite an exhausting tour it was, but I hope my guests are happy with their tour!
Home is where the heart is.
– Pliny the Elder
Sincere thanks for your patience as I went through some of my favorite places here in Sweden. Now we’re looking forward to seeing your own favorites! Please remember to link to Tina’s original post and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you.
Thanks also to Jude for Guest Hosting last week’s Textures Challenge. Both her challenge and your responses were original and beautifully photographed. Thank you for joining in the fun! Our next challenge, Diagonals, will be hosted by Patti on her Pilotfish blog so be sure to check in next Saturday at noon EST. Until then, please stay safe and be kind.
81 reaktioner på ”Lens-Artists Challenge #227 – Home Sweet Home”
Thank you Leya, now I want to visit your home country even more. I could write a similar love letter about my home country, and I probably should. The only problem we have to wait for it to open for tourism. I miss Ukraine… I want to show it to everyone because it’s so wonderful or at least this is what I remember about it…
I am sure Ukraine will open up again, and I know it must have been wonderful.
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Loved every stop on your tour, Ann-Christine. Beautiful country captured with love. My favourite, if I had to pick one would be the oak tree… a hug is on the way.
I knew your love for your home country would shine through in your post! It’s a stunning visit to your country, AC. What incredible photos! I love every one! And I will take you up on your offer to visit Sweden. Your post shows there is so much beauty there.
Breathtaking scenes! Thank you for taking to you sweet homeland through your remarkable photos! Love it!!
Thank you for coming along, Amy!
Amazing photos and places.
You certainly live in a beautiful part of the world. Beautiful examples of the natural world in your country.
Well I think I would need at least a year to see all these amazing and beautiful sights in your country Ann-Christine. With you as my tour guide of course. Tännforsen and that incredible photo of the Pasque flowers stand out for me. Thank you very much for the tour.
So glad to have you with me, Jude – as it would be in real life too!
I didn’t know your weather fluctuated that much at the same time. I like that you started us in the south and traveled north. Ronneby Brunn would definitely be a must visit for me. You certainly captured a picturesque visit.
I think I would enjoy exploring Stockholm.
Viking history, snowy landscapes, reindeer racing, and an ice hotel, all worthy ideas for a visit t Sweden. I DID enjoy your tour. And the quotes all generate the emotions felt from the photos. Love it.
I am glad you liked the tour, Donna. I found this challenge extra challenging because of all the possibilities. Not to think of how difficult it must be for you who live in a very big country!
It really WAS a challenge. I think we all have what we love but to showcase for others is different. I really did love the way you organized it. I thought I might just do a gallery, a photo from every state, but I don’t always like every photo. Thanks again Ann-Christine.
I am looking forward to seeing your post!
You live in a beautiful part of the world. Each photo kept getting better and better 😀 😀
Thank you, Cee – strangely enough we often tend to travel less in our own vicinity. We don’t have to go far away, do we?
You are so right, neither one of us has to go far to seek out beauty 😀
I was very happy with my tour, thank you 🙂 Beautiful photos and I enjoyed the quotes you found to go along with them.
Thank you, Sarah –
Really home sweet home.
Taking flight to Sweden when the opportunity knocks without second thought. Love to stay at least 2 weeks. Is that sufficient?
Love the ice hotel.
2-3 weeks would be great if you want to go from south to north! Glad you enjoyed the trip!
Wow that is great!
Yes every click!
Beautiful place, Sweden. Thank you for those glimpses of it. Specially loved the orchards and gardens, the springtime photos. I must say that the winter photos are also intriguing. Leaves me torn trying to decide which season might be best, if I wanted to travel
I am glad you liked these pieces of my country, thank you. Maybe many people don’t like the cold, but it is a part of us. The other seasons are more comfortable to travel here of course. One possibility is to go early spring, because it is delightful in the southern part while there is still snow up north.
What a wonderful blog that highlights the different aspects of Sweden.
There are also a few gems between your photos, I especially caught the 3rd and the last photo).
Thank you so much for coming along!
Love this post, Ann Christine! Stainabjar in the snow! The last image of the forest! Those cranes! You ally have showcased your homeland brilliantly
♥ No snow when you were there!
I knew this challenge would be right up your street. And you’ve show-cased Sweden quite irresistibly. I’d love to visit your country.
You are so welcome, Margaret! Don’t forget to call me so we can meet up!
It’s a deal!
Breath taking Ann-Christine. Love the Cranes and the Viking graveyard especially but other photo are just lovely 🙂
I am glad you liked them, Brian! I knew you would love the cranes.
A sight to behold 🙂
You’ve convinced me!
Beautiful beautiful photos. I’ve been to Läckö Castle!! Many, many decades ago. Also Goteborg, Stockholm, Uppsala. I stayed in the Jakon Harl (sp?) Boat Hotel, not there now I’m sure, loved the Vasa Museet, and another private museum, The Hallwyl I think. The way the young woman docent there pronounced Sigurd Jorsalfar, it was the lilt of the Sirens. I was smitten. I’m sure I saw only a smattering of Sweden, but I really enjoyed it.
Oh, John – so glad to hear you had a delightful stay! I was tempted to have the Vasa museum as well, but…too many pictures! The Hallwyl is fantastic! When we visited I had two rather small children…and I was totally too nervous something would get smashed there…My son was rather ”wild” in those days…
I had no idea that Sweden was so long that it could be summer in one place and winter in another. I thought of it as pretty much cold most of the time. Your photographs capture so much beauty that it’s hard to know where to start to appreciate it. I have to agree with Tina, that this is one of my favorite posts. Tännforsen is particularly stunning. I have never seen water that frozen! The purple flowers at the beach are so airy and grand overlooking the little cabins and the water. Fabulous composition. Fun post!
Thank you so much, Marsha, i am delighted to have you come with me! I was really shaken by that ”icefall” – I had never seen anything like it. And that image with paqueflowers at the beach is one of my favourites ever.
We must have the same taste then. The flower photo took my breath away – literally I gasped when I scrolled down and saw it. Well done with all of your photos, my friend.
Thank you ever so much, Marsha!
You’re welcome! 🙂
I’m thrilled with all of these, A-C, and your play with the images of Stockholm were lots of fun. I can really choose a favorite this week. I’m curious about the ice hotel. How do people stay warm in it? The reindeer races are fascinating as well since I’ve never seen any. I’m spoiled for choice today!
I am glad you liked it, Janet. And as for staying warm – no problem. You are covered in reindeer furs!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us!!
Thank you for coming along!
Wow, wow, wow!!! For someone who found this to be challenging, you met the challenge and exceeded expectations. You capture a variety of landscapes, different seasons, culture, and more. So well down. My favorites … not that’s challenging … the second image and what appears to me as an ice cave. On the other hand, several others also intrigued me.
Thank you, Frank! Yes, it is an ice cave…
Enjoyed seeing Sweden through your lens…
Happy to share!
Beautiful post Ann-Christine. I absolutely enjoyed seeing the ice hotel, but I’m sure I wouldn’t want to sleep there! We visited Stockholm in the early 1970s. I remember it being a lovely city with history and nice people.
Thank you, Anne! 1970s! I am sure everything everywhere was a bit nicer then, but it is still nice. I agree about the ice hotel – we did not sleep there either!
Thank you so much for showing me your country! I have never been there and know so very little about it. What a delightful place!
Thank you, it is. Hopefully we all love our own countries!
Would love to visit there someday!! Beautiful
Thank you so much, it is a small country, but still much to see.
Well Ann-Christine, this is one of my favorites of all of your posts – and that is REALLY saying something!! Eons ago I visited Sweden on a long weekend. I still remember my favorite moments from that trip so you know it must have been something special. but I saw a VERY small piece of your glorious country and your images tell me my visit didn’t even come close to touching its many treasures. Of this beautiful set my favorites are your closing image and the purple flowers with the home in the background. Magical indeed.
Thank you so much, Tina! It was a very difficult challenge, but interesting. I know there were too many images, but there could have been even more… I will enjoy looking at the entries and what people really love in their own countries.
That was wonderful…exquisite!
Thank you for coming along and commenting. Glad you like my home.
What a woderful trio through your homeland. Beautiful flowers, birds, lakes, rivers, castles and glass as well. Thank you Ann Christine!
So glad you liked it, Anne. A small country, but still much to see.
I was born in Tallinn, my paternal grandmother stemmed from Uppsala . . . you must have an idea of the size of my smile walking up-and-down Sweden with you !!! A glorious feeling-world made more so by the beautiful and apt quotes alongside . . . thank you so, so, so !!! Oh, you may not know I used to collect Kosta Boda . . .
Oops – Granny actually came from Sigtuna . . . Uppsala always comes to mind as we from across the Baltic so admire its university . . .
Ah, and yes, it’s a great university!
Ah, how happy I am you liked this, Eha! And Kosta Boda – I have some of their glass as well.