When you're planning a trip, or need some info while on the road, there are guidebooks, and tourist bureaus, and government agencies, and now—uniquely in Sweden—there's a single phone number that can connect you to any of several hundred Swedes to ask questions directly about their country.
The so-called 'Swedish Number' can be called by anyone from outside the country; the call is transferred to a random member of the pool of volunteers who have signed up. Then it's up to you and the Swede to have a conversation and hopefully provide the information you're looking for.
It's a project of the Swedish Tourist Association, designed to connect visitors with 'real people' rather than tourism officials. The system is designed for an unlimited number of volunteers. The association says "We also want to create pride and knowledge about Sweden, nationally as well as nationally."
So far, over 500 Swedes have signed up, and more are expected. On the first day of service, there were over 200 calls from all over the world to the number, which is +46 771 793 336.
Photo: Market in front of Radhus in Ystad.