Scan Magazine, Issue 96, January 2017

Page 72

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Swedish Destinations Not to Miss in 2017

Christmas lights in Gävle. Photo: Daniel Bernstål

The inauguration of Gävlebocken marks the start of Christmas in Gävle. Photo: Daniel Bernstål

Welcome to a coastal gem in Sweden Gävle, located on the coast two hours north of Stockholm, attracts visitors with a nice atmosphere, culture, food and plenty of events. The city also has everything you need for an active stay – including skiing in winter.

it down. The buck has only been fully defended from attacks all through Christmas for 12 out of its 50 years.

By Ellinor Thunberg

Location is everything

In 2017, Gävle will pass the 100,000 mark in inhabitants and the city, although quite small, has the atmosphere of a big city and many choices when it comes to dining, entertainment and activities. “We are big on culture, sports, and food. We have a lot to offer the active bon vivant,” says Maria Wallberg, marketing strategist at Gävle municipality. The coastal city in the middle of Sweden is perhaps mostly famous for its long-standing Christmas tradition of Gävlebocken – a giant buck made from 72  |  Issue 96  |  January 2017

straw. The annual inauguration during the first weekend of Advent is one of the annual highlights, and last year the tradition had been going strong for 50 years. “It is a unique thing and Gävlebocken is somewhat of a celebrity. We had fans coming all the way from America when he turned 50,” Wallberg says. But the giant Christmas installation leads a dangerous life, despite being under constant surveillance, as it has also become an unofficial – and illegal – tradition to burn

One of Gävle’s main strengths is that everything is close by – restaurants, entertainment and activities – and you can quickly get around town. But the city also has a prime location on the east coast of Sweden. “We are also close to Stockholm, Mälardalen and Arlanda Airport, and we are a middle-sized city so it’s easy to get around,” Wallberg says. The flourishing restaurant scene often comes as a surprise to first-time visitors. The neighbourhood Söder is a popular choice for dining out, and whisky fans must not miss out visiting the local

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