I have the hugest tick list of places to visit, that grew substantially longer once our little lady came out of school. When I came back from Sweden, I set about making one for the immediate surrounding area that we would be living in (as if I needed an extra reason to make another list!!). I thought I’d tackle a more countrywide list once I’d been in the country a while and familiarised myself with the immediate area first, taking baby steps so as not to get too overwhelmed (plus an international move on top). However, I did want to see that there were things to get excited about doing with the children. So, during our visit last week, I raided the city’s tourist information for any relevant information and maps (I did accidentally come away with something in Polish which is proving a bit of a challenge to wade through!), and they definitely came up trumps.
I already have a whole page worth of places to go and see, and things to do, from nature reserves and beaches, to submarine museums and stone age rock drawings. Tourist information was a massive source of information, and when I picked up one of the publications I had got for free I was gobsmacked as to what I had in my hand. It was simply called the Blekinge Excursion Guide, so I thought it just had adverts for trips and places. When I opened it up I was surprised they didn’t charge for this publication. It was a book that detailed 43 walking/cycling routes in the great outdoors (just in the one county), and had short titles and descriptions of another 60! There is quite a detailed mini route map for each route, an information box on how to reach the area, facilities, and who owns the land. There is also a good descriptive narrative about the route detailing what you can expect to see, both in terms of wildlife and landmarks, and the history behind it. I couldn’t believe I had picked this up for no charge, and quickly realised this was going to be our bible for getting out and hiking round the great outdoors of the county we’ll be living in. In Sweden, they have a law called Allemansrätten: It is a right based on practice and it has medieval traditions. It dates back to the time when travelling could be a big and dangerous experience. Between the villages there were vast areas of forests that didn’t really belong to anyone and there was almost no forestry. Sometimes people had to travel through the forest, and so they had the right to collect what they needed for survival during the journey, for example, nuts, acorns, wood, grass for the horse and timber for repairing a broken carriage. The Every Man’s Right today is the right for everyone to use the nature for recreation and tourism, after it was a way to survive from the beginning. However, it isn’t just a right of freedom to roam and forage over land that may be owned by others, it’s a matter of responsibility too.
The other recent exciting publication addition to my collection is the Handbook of Nature Study, that will compliment our year long curriculum about nature. It’s quite a hefty and large publication, so I am expecting to learn a lot, and teach a lot to my trio over an awful lot of years!! 🙂