Along with kilos of fresh shrimp, Smogen (in Swedish “Smögen”) made me eat my words, as often happens when I broadly prejudge a destination before seeing it with my own eyes. It’s not that I don’t like Sweden, but it’s so flawless on the surface. I’ve made a career out of finding flaws. The Swedes have, generally speaking, human civilization mostly figured out in my opinion. Of course, having a very low population density in a stable part of the world with vast amounts of natural resources helps.
Though the Swedes have the nuts and bolts of society in place, they also fill in the cracks with their cheerful demeanor and tolerant attitude toward minority groups, immigrants, and addictive pop bands. Frankly, there’s a lot the rest of Western Europe could learn from their example.
So, when it comes to Swedish summer towns, Smogen quickly reminded me that peaceful isn’t necessarily boring and that there is no limit to the amount of shrimp one dedicated mouth can eat.
Smogen is about 130 kilometers north of Gothenburg and sits along a particularly beautiful stretch of North Sea coastline.
Best known for its fresh shrimp, if you’re looking for a good view and food in Smogen, the place to head to is Gostas Fiskbutik. A full meal with shrimp, main courses, and a beer run costs about 50 Euro per person (~415 Swedish krona); which is typical for this part of the country.
It is much easier to get the right sunset shot when sunset lasts for 4 hours during the long (19-hour) Swedish summer days.
The crosswalk is close enough, besides, cars don’t drive very fast here.
Smogen is known for its shrimp, Sweden for its meatballs, but much less talked about is its candy. For instance, these flavors of licorice, sold along the water in a Saturday market, helping add to the average Swede’s 43kg annual consumption of sugar [PDF].
There’s a boat converted into a hotel just behind this fishing vessel, which I originally confused for the other. I’m glad I didn’t ask the wrong captain how much it would cost to sleep on their boat.
Smogen is actually an island, connected to the neighboring town Kungshamm by bridge. This is a view on the drive out, but if your feet get a chance, I recommend walking up the pedestrian path of Smogen Bridge for excellent views and photo opportunities.
There was an infectious positiveness around when I was in Smogen, people dancing and singing in the lone grocery store in town; one tall blond lip-syncing Coolio with fierce passion.
The coast of Smogen’s surprises don’t stop there and I’ll be writing about those in the coming weeks. From Lysekil south and Tanum’s famous rock cravings north, it was one of the most beautiful ways to relearn an old lesson.
Absolutely gorgeous photos, Anil.
Thank you Barbara 🙂
Now I have some idea what Sweden looks like. I like the idea of a four hour sunset – great photos.
It’s wonderful, except when the opposite happens in winter!
Hi there, I have a gravatar but my comment did not come up with my photo? Jan
Hi Jan, I see it there. Still not showing up?
Wow, beautiful! I’m thinking of going to Sweden this winter, and these photos make me want to go even more (though it won’t be nearly as sunny or warm while I’m there). Part of the reason I want to go is precisely because of their open attitude towards immigrants. I believe they were the European country to resettle the largest number of Iraqi refugees in the last few years.
Definitely not sunny or warm but still nice 🙂 Which part of Sweden will you be visiting?
Well, Stockholm is on my list of places to go, but other than that I’m not really sure yet. I’ve heard about an ice hotel in northern Sweden which sounds “cool.” 😀
I saw a documentary on them building the hotel not too long ago, it was fascinating. Hope you get a chance to stay there!
These are completely stunning. The colors are magnificent. Filters? Post-production?
No filters, some editing, but the colors are thanks to nature…and Sweden 🙂
Yep, It is there now thanks Anil!
Looks like pure peacefulness and beauty – a perfect place to breath fresh air and eat lots of shrimp. Wonderful set of photos!
The air there at times made me wonder what I’m breathing most of my days 🙂
Loved the pictures! Especially the hotel by the water. Great!
Thank you – actually they might be summer homes. Though I love the idea of having a boat for a car 🙂
These are some really beautiful photos man. I usually use my iPhone 4s when traveling to take pictures because in general it does a real great job but what did you use for these? Also, is Sweden completely in HDR- these colors are so vibrant!!
Thanks, I used my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 (http://foxnomad.com/about/tech-gear-and-gadgets-i-travel-with/). Many are in HDR but some of the above aren’t. The colors though are thanks to Sweden and it’s high latitude. Really beautiful in the summer when the sun just hangs around low in the sky for hours.
Loved those photos. Sweden looks so awesome in the summer!
Thank you and summer is definitely the best time to go – unless you like freezing cold and snoooow!
Beautiful! I spent two summers working on Smogen back in the early 1990’s. The warm smoked shrimp and breakfast shrimp sandwiches were fantastic.
Do you by any chance have a photo of the pathway between two massive rocks? It was on the peninsula part, and was absolutely beautiful.
When my sister moved to an island of all rock, no grass or trees, I thought it would be really stark and sad. Instead, the loveliness of the few tiny things that grew in between rocks, like old roses, was absolutely stunning.
As an American, it was a culture shock to see how the Scandinavians behaved at Midsummer, drinking for three days straight! But the national holiday for eating crayfish and drinking Aquavit was awesome!
Unfortunately not specifically, here are all of my photos from Smogen:
…and yes, Swedes definitely know how to have fun – they’ve got to make the most out of the sunlight and slight warmth they get each year!
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!
Stunningly beautiful and your images made me feel like I was there! It looks like my kind of place to visit with the long hours to photograph summer sunsets and lots of shrimp to eat; two of my favorite things to do! Thanks for sharing!