• 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)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

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
Most Swiss want Sweden to be next door
Flag photo: Shutterstock

Most Swiss want Sweden to be next door

Who said there were hard feelings between the oft-confused Swiss and Swedes? A new survey shows that Swiss people would rather have the land of Abba as their neighbour over anyone else in the EU. READ  

What's On in Sweden
Photo: TT

What's On in Sweden

Plenty of events around Sweden to get your teeth into this weekend, with Sunday capped off with a free visual-music concert in central Stockholm. READ  

Elections 2014
Red-greens stay way ahead of Alliance in polls
The Allliance party leaders. Photo: Mats Andersson/TT

Red-greens stay way ahead of Alliance in polls

While the gap between the red-greens and the Alliance is decreasing, the opposition is still far ahead, scoring 48.8 percent of support in a fresh poll. The Alliance came in at 37.7 percent. READ  

Malmö end 14-year Champions League wait
Striker Magnus Eriksson sprints onto the pitch at the end of Malmö's 3-0 win over Salzburg in a Champions League qualifier. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö end 14-year Champions League wait

Malmö overpowered Salzburg on Wednesday night to become the first Swedish team to reach the Champions League since 2000. READ  

Swedish royals boycott Chuck Berry's ceremony
Queen Silvia. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish royals boycott Chuck Berry's ceremony

Members of Sweden's royal family have revealed that they boycotted the Polar Music Prize ceremony on Tuesday, due to Chuck Berry's past conviction for human trafficking. READ  

Swedish Tetra Pak factory to shut down
Photo: TT

Swedish Tetra Pak factory to shut down

A Tetra Pak factory in southern Sweden is set to shut down due to a decrease in demand, meaning 250 Swedes risk losing their jobs. READ  

The Local List
Ten false friends in the Swedish language
Photo: The Uppsala Koala

Ten false friends in the Swedish language

Never, ever take the Swedish language at face value. This is a language where "puss" means "kiss" and "kiss" means "pee". And that's just the beginning... READ  

Sami museum hit in suspected tear gas attack
Permanent exhibition on the life of Sami nomads. Photo: Bengt Oberger/Wikipedia

Sami museum hit in suspected tear gas attack

The Sami museum in northern Sweden had to be evacuated after two attackers sprayed an unknown substance which left several people violently ill. READ  

Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Emir Selimi: The winner of the 2014 Raoul Wallenberg Prize. Photo: Charles L. Sjölander

Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize

A Roma man has been hailed as "inspirational" after scooping this year's Raoul Wallenberg Prize for setting up an organization to help stamp out racism against the community. READ  

Government keen on Nato forces in Sweden

Government keen on Nato forces in Sweden

Nato will soon be able to deploy forces to Sweden, with the government likely to sign an agreement with the military alliance this week, but an expert told The Local that full membership remains unlikely. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Society
Swedes slam Danes for 'racist' art
National
Majority of Swedes favour more or just as many refugees
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Society
This gold coin may be the key to solving a Swedish massacre
Skatteverket
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
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

738
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