The difference between France and Sweden

A Swedish raised hutI was in Sweden last week to visit a friend. She showed me around her hometown of Stockholm and I couldn’t help but compare Sweden with France. Although the hut pictured is similar to the one I took in Switzerland last month, the feet are really unusual and like nothing I’ve seen in any other country. In the background is the city of Stockholm, merely a narrow stretch of water away. Stockholm is made up of a number of islands, and this hut was on the island that houses the Djurgården (a mini animal sanctuary, with antique farm houses and other traditional things), which overlooks the islands with the city centre and the old town, amongst others. I’m impressed that a city can have so much greenery so close to the centre of town.

Sausage suitable for vegetarians

One big difference is the options available for vegetarians. Of course, I’m comparing a capital city with the French Alps, but I’m not sure even Paris has vegie sausages available for takeaway (as pictured, mixed with mashed potato, salad and sauce). Gone are the tuts from meat eaters, replaced with a smile from the Swedish man who cooked the vegie sausages on a separate grill free of meat. Luxury!

Swedish raclette

But a lot of things are the same. Raclette, for example. Okay, there was an international food fair on in town, but still, my Swedish friend had just finished telling me that Raclette is not available in Stockholm, and there it was less than 24 hours later, luring people in with its description in English. If you’re interested, it cost about €6 for a plate of the cheesy goodness.

silly Swedish signs

I was amused to see that France isn’t the only country with symbols that need some explanation. Pictured here are some train symbols. The first one could be misconstrued entirely (a gap between the train and the platform), and the second one just screams “No drunken disco dancing”, but it is, of course, remember not to get your hand stuck in the door when the automatic doors close.

A chocolate Plopp

Best of all was this chocolate bar called Plopp. Sometimes, in France, I see French words that are amusing when they mean something else in English (almost like “sucre daddy“, but not quite). With Swedish people apparently more fluent in English, I was surprised to see this chocolate bar. Not only does it sound like a excrement, but it kind of resembles the shape and colour too. Thankfully, with a caramel centre, it tasted much better than that.


I’m a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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3 comments on “The difference between France and Sweden
  1. Wendy Wise says:

    Another fascinating and amusing piece, definitely not plopp!

  2. Wendy says:

    Hehe, thanks Wendy. 🙂

  3. Emm says:

    Oh, Raclette, yum! Raclette is kind of the gift that keeps on giving amongst my friends – my German friend introduced it to us and we’ve passed it on to others and it keeps going.

    I would love to visit Scandinavia soon but I think the first place I visit will be Norway, simply because I know a bit more about it.

About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by, my other site.

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