‘Kulning’: A hypnotic Swedish singing tradition (BBC Travel)

Skallskog is a secluded farm without running water or electricity that most Swedes have never heard of. Hidden deep in the Nordic wilderness, this humble collection of cattle barns and russet-red farmhouses may seem like a place of little importance. But this is where you’ll find the disappearing roots of an ancient Swedish singing tradition …

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Swedish runestones open gateway to ancient Viking civilization (CNN Travel)

Vallentuna, Sweden (CNN) — Drive north of the Swedish capital for about half an hour and you'll reach the lakeside district of Vallentuna, a pleasant community with cobblestone churches, picnic areas and playgrounds.  It's also a journey deep into Sweden's ancient Viking past. Scattered among Vallentuna's greenery are dozens of mystical runestones that form the gateway …

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What happened to Christiania’s dream of becoming Denmark’s hippie paradise? (CNN Travel)

(CNN) — Seen from a boat drifting along Copenhagen's wide canals, the neighborhood of Christiania is a verdant enclave walled off from the city by thick trees. Half a century after it was founded as a breakaway anarchist commune, it seems to have matured into an unlikely slice of paradise. But all is not well …

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A simple online system that could end plastic pollution (BBC Future)

Poorer communities in the developing world bear the brunt of plastic pollution. Could a new digital payment system spark a clean-up revolution? It was once a shoreline buried by enough trash to render it invisible, warranting the unfortunate nickname “toilet bowl”. Now the Philippines' Manila Bay beach is unrecognisably clean compared with a few months …

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Europe’s baffling linguistic enigma (BBC Travel)

Though the Basque and Armenian languages share no superficial resemblances, they do share a baffling litany of words and grammatical elements. A few steps from the entrance to the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, one of San Sebastian’s most visible landmarks with its sky-piercing gothic spire, lies a simple, two-faced earthen slab. In this corner …

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