Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shocking ( and Sexy) Swedish Land Use Law!

This past July I spent a month in Sweden visiting relatives & trying to get a grip on the ways of this somewhat shy & mysterious people. I happened upon a marvelous booklet put out by the Swedish Institute, stocked in an official tourist information kiosk (open 24 hours!) set in the middle of a busy Gothenburg cobblestoned square. Called SWEDEN & SWEDES, it was incredibly well-written, telling me much more about Strindberg than I really needed to know....BUT. I chanced upon this amazing passage (backpacker alert):
"Love and respect for Nordic nature is a key element of the Swedish soul and modern society. In Sweden there is an ancient and globally unique law known as the "common right of access," which gives everyone the right to move around freely (as well as to raise a tent, pick berries, mushrooms and flowers and so on) in nature- even on private property- as long as they are not in sight or hearing of a residence."

Does this not absolutely knock your socks off? (The question, of course, that immediately occurs: does this include non-Swedes?) I await responses!


Simona said...

Since "allemansratten" is a law it must apply to all people in Sweden - even foreigners. As long as you show respect and don´t destroy anything it´s a privilige för everyone - including tourists and other non-swedes.
Although why anyone would raise a tent when there are perfectly good hotels in Sweden is beyond me...

Manja said...

What's unique in Sweden is that it applies everywhere; but most European countries have dedicated "free camping" or "nature camping" zones. And yes, it applies to everyone, Swede and non-Swede alike.
Cool blog, Barb!