Sweden has harsh climate and beautiful nature. This combination makes Sweden rather special. In winter, hundreds of the lakes surrounding Stockholm are frozen and so is the adjacent Baltic Sea. This makes exceptional opportunity for long-distance ice skating ¾ sometimes almost all the way to Finland ¾ but more often in the more than 1000-island archipelago just east of Stockholm. Skating in this environment is my favourite pastime and way to recharge the batteries in winter.
The very same environment offers equally challenging opportunities for kayaking once the ice is gone. Even during the most hectic summer vacation period ¾ when a good share of all Swedes are out in their sail- or motor-driven boats ¾ there are parts of the archipelago where a kayak is the only floating device permitting access. The many tiny rocks and islets make the waters difficult to navigate and expensive to hit for the owners of bigger boats. In their almost guaranteed absence you may have a whole mini-archipelago to yourself ¾ if that is your cup of tea. It is definitely mine.