Pam Arentson of Redwood Falls is 100 percent Swedish.
So, making a trip to the home of her ancestors has been one of those bucket list items for her.
“I have always wanted to go to Sweden,” said Arentson who, along with her husband Larry, talked about their visit to the European country that took place this past October.
The Arentsons shared their experiences as part of the Redwood Falls Public Library’s travel series March 11.
It was their son, Brandon, and his wife, Heather, who initially booked a trip to Sweden, with Pam and Larry asking if they could come along, as well. The two couples did a few things together, but much of the time they went their separate ways, said Pam.
The Arentsons spent most of their time in Stockholm, which Larry said is made up of a number of different islands, adding to get anywhere meant crossing bridges.
He added the population of Sweden is approximately 10 million people and is 170,000 square miles in size – about double that of Minnesota.
Larry said the couple visited a lot of museums and palaces, and one of the highlights for him was visiting the Vasa museum. The Vasa was a warship built in 1626. During its maiden voyage, the ship traveled about a mile and then sank, said Larry. That ship sat at the bottom of the Baltic Sea for 300 years.
“The cold water of the Baltic Sea preserved it,” said Larry.
Ultimately it was raised from the water and put on display. Years of preservation efforts have helped to keep the ship on display, but Arentson said the long-term future of the ship is unknown.
Pam said it was nice to be able to stay with extended family not only because it gave them time to connect, but it also provided a different perspective on everyday life.
Pam said she appreciated seeing flowers just about everywhere, as well as the food, such as Ostkaka, which she said is something she grew up eating.
The Arentsons also made a stop in Iceland and took a tour of the entire island the one day they visited.
All in all, they said it was a great trip, especially connecting with Pam’s Swedish roots.