Bandying Words. Tales from a Swedish pilgrimage #travel

Today in the company of a Baptist pastor (long story) I stood on a mountain top on the exact geographical centre of Sweden

I write this looking out over a wide lake fringed with forests as a group of locals discuss ways of boosting tourism in this area.  A barbecue is simmering behind us.

I don’t know if they skate on this lake in the winter but I do know that winter sports are obviously huge here…you should have heard the groans and what I assume was Swedish bad language when their ice hockey team  was beaten 6-0 by Canada last week ..

But there’s another sport that to my shame  I’d never heard of.  Bandy . It’s like ice hockey  on a  frozen football pitch with a ball instead of a puck

My shame because there is good reason to believe it was invented in England

Indeed my home town football club Nottingham Forest was  formed as a football AND bandy club.  As was my boyhood team Sheffield Utd. Who knew ?

Bury Fen Bandy Club actually went unbeaten for 100 years (take that Arsene Wenger) and England won the European Championships in 1913 (take that Roy Hodgson and any other England manager you care to name)

Famous players included Prince Albert who was a dab hand in goal.  And Shakespeare even referenced the game in Romeo and Juliet

“The Prince halth  expressly forbidden bandying in the streets of Verona”

The things one learns……

Stuck in the middle. Of Sweden

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Scene from today’s trek

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