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The Michelin Green Guide to Scandinavia
guide, makes for efficient reading and is useful for planning
if your time is limited and you want to find the most important sites.
It is not very detailed, however. Sweden is a big country and this
guide covers all of Scandinavia.
The Blue Guide to Sweden by Stanley Bloom
Guide, while almost completely devoid of pictures, is heavy on
descriptive text. It gave us precise (almost always accurate)
directions that we used while covering nearly the entire island of
Gotland in our rental car. My only complaint is the the Blue Guide
does little to distinguish between interesting attractions and boring
ones! A standard village churches will be described in great detail and
may turn out to be pretty, but it can't even compare to
the majestic and beautiful raukar which she describes on the same
pages with no more detail. Don't go somewhere merely because the
author spends a lot of space describing it.
Stockholm Architecture and Townscape by Henrik O Andersson and Fredric Bedoire
This is an absolutely excellent book if you are interested in architecture. Both authors are professors of architecture, with other impressive credentials (and Henrik happens to be my uncle, but that's not why I recommend the book).
They have given a description and analysis of every major building in Stockholm, including our hotel, the SAS Royal Viking. Here's what they wrote about our hotel:
This hotel has made the descent of Swedish design to kitsch an accomplished fact, served up to an international audience. A large top-lit courtyard forming the nucleus of the complex has a flashy staircase with glass railing from Orrefors and elsewhere a "Viking pattern" ornamentation on the artistic level of pokerworks. Bay-window façades of sweetbread-coloured glazed brick and the glazed lift shaft are a blot on this magnificent position overlooking the heart of Stockholm."
Amazon.com claims that this book is out of print; maybe if you try to order it from them, they'll realize that there exists a 1998 edition.
Guide to Visby by Britt Svensson
This book is a work of art, with beautiful photographs and attractive
illustrations. It gives histories and anecdotes about the areas of the
city and individual establishments. It is a very impressive, well-thought out,
and well-executed production. With all the information in this book,
you can almost get the full Visby experience without even going
there. My only complaints:
- Some of these pictures of people at the beach make this place look
like a tropical paradise. Come on! I stuck my toes in the water, and it
- I can't find this book at amazon.com or elsewhere on the web. We got
it from the Visby
tourist information office, so you might have to wait to see it until
you get to Gotland.
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