• Sweden edition
 
My Sweden - Sundsvall
Sundsvall: 'It's like living in a wok pan'

Sundsvall: 'It's like living in a wok pan'

Published: 01 Mar 2013 14:40 GMT+01:00
Updated: 01 Mar 2013 14:40 GMT+01:00

Thirty-year-old Leelene Karlsson was a student when she came to Sundsvall, a town of just over 50,000 people on the east coast of northern Sweden, but decided to stay when she found herself in love with the town.

The best thing about the town is the proximity to nature, according to Karlsson, who explains that residents are never more than three kilometres from the great outdoors.

"This town is perfect for nature lovers," she tells The Local.

"If you've got the stamina, you can even walk out of the town and up into the mountains. Sundsvall is surrounded by sloping mountains on three sides – it feels a bit like you’re living in a wok pan," she adds with a laugh.

IN PICTURES: Take a walk through Leelene Karlsson’s Sundsvall

As for the town itself, she refers to it as a miniature version of Stockholm - but with friendlier people.

"This is the gateway to northern Sweden," she says.

"It’s the talkative part of Norrland too, so you can get more of a conversation than if you went any further north, and the people aren't as shallow as Stockholmers."

However, what really gets Karlsson atwitter is the huge variety of wildlife on show in the Sundsvall skies. The 30-year-old claims to have been fascinated by birds since her childhood on a farm in Lidköping.

"Our TV had three channels in those days so we were always outside. We lived near an airbase, and we could either watch people parachuting all day long - or watch the birds. It didn't take me long to realize the birds were much more fascinating."

While particularly partial to a common blue tit, Karlsson has long been keeping her eyes peeled for a kingfisher.

"That’s the most beautiful of them all and I'm yet to find one. Bird-watching is like hide and seek, it’s a true game, and you never know what you’re going to find."

But there’s more to Sundsvall that just 200-odd species of bird. There are also some exotic personalities in the music industry – including Sweden’s favourite rock-and-roll son… or should that be daughter...

"Yes, Yohio comes from Sundsvall," Karlsson says, referring to the 17-year-old who sings in Japanese, dresses like Lolita, and plays guitar like Hendrix - and has taken Sweden and Japan by storm.

"He might even have a chance to represent Sweden at Eurovision this year. He’s certainly very unique, even if his song isn't."

For those not interested in the birds or the cross-dressers, Karlsson points to the town’s rather unusual landmark as a point of interest – a lookout in the shape of an ice-cream.

The Glasspinnen ("The Ice Lolly") stands atop the Norra Stadsberget, and according to Karlsson provides the ultimate view of the entire town.

But don’t be fooled, it’s not really in the shape of an ice lolly at all, and in fact looks more like something from the shelving pages of an Ikea catalogue.

When challenged upon this observatory observation, Karlsson can only chuckle.

"Well, no, I suppose it’s not in the shape of an ice lolly, but it is similar to what we call a puckstång in Swedish, a kind of rectangular vanilla ice cream stick. They even dress the tower up with candles during the Christmas period."

Strange shape aside, one thing remains for sure, standing atop the tower allows climbers to experience the town from the perspective of the birds themselves.

"When you get up to the top, you’re lost for words. It’s like – wow. It’s the perfect end to a walk around the town."

Her final advice for people who might be considering a Sundsvall drop-in?

"Get your best walking boots and ask someone to take you out into the nature, because if you love the forest and want to be outdoors, this is the town to be," she tells The Local.

"You'll be amazed. That’s a promise."

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

20:29 March 1, 2013 by muscle
I really wish to work in Sundsvall.. a very beautiful place!!!!
20:42 March 3, 2013 by Phillynilly
Lots of birds and tits in Sundsvall.....
Today's headlines
Sport
Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is Sweden's top scorer in history. PHOTO: TT/Maja Suslin

Sweden's star striker Zlatan 'recovering well'

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is recovering well from the nagging heel problem that has stopped him playing for Sweden during its Euro 2016 qualifying campaign. READ  

International
Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir
A shot from the video on YouTube.

Swedish sisters create viral Syria stir

Two sisters from Södertälje near Stockholm are celebrating getting more than 1.3 million hits on YouTube, with a video calling for peace in war-torn Syria. READ  

Pirate Bay
Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison
A 2013 image of Svartholm Warg. Photo: TT

Pirate Bay founder gets three years in prison

Swedish "hactivist" Gottfrid Svartholm Warg has been sentenced to three-and-a-half years in prison for hacking crimes. READ  

Royal family
Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback
Princess Madeleine at a previous Nobel banquet. Photo: TT

Princess Madeleine to make Nobel comeback

Sweden's Princess Madeleine is scheduled to appear at the Nobel Festival in Stockholm in December, after taking time out from her royal duties to focus on looking after her daughter. READ  

Politics
'We knew that Israel would be critical'
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström (left), with Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

'We knew that Israel would be critical'

Sweden's Foreign Minister has told The Local she respects Israel's decision to recall its ambassador after Sweden officially recognized the State of Palestine, and laughed off comments about IKEA furniture made by her Israeli counterpart. READ  

Analysis
'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'
Doctors say we should make the most of the autumn sunshine. Photo: Shutterstock

'Store up your sunlight hours before winter'

Spending time outdoors this autumn will help you survive a cold, dark Swedish winter. Baba Pendse, Head of Psychiatry at Lund University shares his top tips for battling the seasonal blues with The Local. READ  

Sports
Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid
Skiers hit the slopes in Åre, western Sweden. Photo: TT

Plot for shared Scandi Winter Olympic bid

Norwegian sports officials have said they want to co-host the winter Olympics with Sweden in 2026. But there has so far been no official response from Sweden. READ  

National
Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court
Photo: TT

Anti-Israel graffiti 'not a race crime': Court

A teenage boy who painted anti-Israel slogans and symbols on the Concert Hall in Gothenburg has been convicted for the damages he caused, but he walked free from racial agitation charges. READ  

Entertainment
A closer look at Sweden's rising stars
Swedish actresses Sandra Huldt and Julia Ragnarsson. Julia (right) has been nominated for a Rising Star award. Photo: TT

A closer look at Sweden's rising stars

Like to be ahead of the game when it comes to the next big thing on the silver screen? We find out more about the Swedish nominees for the Rising Star award to be presented at Stockholm's International Film Festival next week. READ  

Science
Swedish women in two-year sex pill study
Contraceptive pills have been linked to mood swings. Photo: Shutterstock

Swedish women in two-year sex pill study

Three hundred women from across Sweden are taking part in a study designed to demonstrate that modern contraceptive pills don't lead to decreased libido or mood swings. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
Stockholm's shocking take on Halloween
Sport
Top ten quotes from Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
People-watching: October 30th
National
Sweden remains fourth best for gender equality
Blog updates

31 October

Editor’s Blog, October 31st (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Welcome to our latest 60-second round-up of the week’s news. First, Sweden made headlines around the..." READ »

 

29 October

Scariest day (Blogweiser) »

"This is what’s frightening me on Halloween. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4OFZVCu8J0&list=UUJu5J7jG4uoYSjWbpFsJBuQ Follow my posts on FB. ..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Timeline: Julian Assange sex allegations
Sport
World Cup ski race on 'fake' Stockholm slope
Society
An Arctic tradition: hunting and handicraft
Society
Stockholm taxis offer free therapy sessions
National
The Local meets Health Minister Gabriel Wikström
Gallery
Property of the week: Österåker
Society
Homeless turtles get Stockholm police ride
National
Construction worker has 'Sweden's best beard'
National
Italian musician jazzes up Sweden's Lapland
Gallery
Zlatan's career in pictures
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching: October 25th and 26th
Lifestyle
'Swedes are funnier than they think'
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

970
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN