Author: Clarissa Hirst

Make Sweden your home through travelling

An understanding of culture and place is fundamental to connecting with Swedes and their country. In my experience as a newcomer here, exploring different parts of Sweden has helped me connect both with my new home and with the people who live here by fostering a deeper understanding of...

RUWOMED and the economic empowerment of women in rural Palestine and Lebanon

Nedaa Salama’s PowerPoint slides are captivating but I don’t want to look at them. As she addresses the full room of researchers, policymakers, project leaders and media representatives in her native Arabic, I only have eyes for her. I’m at the European Commission in Brussels, attending a session called...

Weekend Away: Discovering Värmland

Located between Norway, Lake Vänern and the regions of Västra Götaland, Dalarna and Örebro, lies the province of Värmland. This cultural heartland 300km west of Stockholm is undeservedly overlooked by visitors to Sweden. Värmland-based Australian expat and travel writer Clarissa Hirst offers her suggestions for how to spend a weekend...

My week as a journalist in Brussels

I was flown to Brussels with 2 nights accommodation, given a press badge and allowed to cover the European Week of Regions and Cities (EUWRC) as a fully accredited journalist. Sounds pretty incredible, but what did that actually entail? Let me introduce you to the life of a journalist in Brussels… [Read...

Falu Mine: where Sweden’s cottages get their colour

A red cottage in the countryside is one of the most recognisable symbols of Sweden. If you want to learn about where that rust-red colour comes from, you should pay a visit to Falun Mine (Falu Gruva) on the outskirts of Falun, a town in the central province of...

Wild Adventures in the Glaskogen Nature Reserve

There aren’t many places left in Europe where you can wander through primeval forest for hours at a time without encountering a single soul, but Glaskogen Nature Reserve in western Sweden is certainly one of them. Whether you’re after some lugn och ro (peace and quiet) or are itching for some active...

Cheap and Free Things to do in Karlstad

Karlstad is the surprisingly lively capital of western Sweden’s Värmland region. It’s home to one of the largest coffee brands in the Nordic countries, as well as a successful ice hockey club and Sweden’s largest rally event. Okay, okay: so it might not be as dynamic a city as Stockholm or Gothenburg....