Isotopes as diagnostic tools in astronomy, geology and biology

Open Yearly Meeting of the Nordic Network of Astrobiology

Höör, Sweden, 11- 13 June 2013



 

Access
Please see the Venue & Access page for details.

Accommodation
Please see the Venue & Access page for details.

Allergies
During the conference it will be spring, although pollen seasons of different plants arrive later in Sweden than in Central Europe. If you have a pollen allergy, check with your doctor about possible medication during your trip to Sweden. For an updated pollen forecast go to Polleninfo and click on the map for Sweden.

If you have any food allergies, please inform the local organisers (mentioning it on the registration form will do).

Banks
Banks are open from Monday to Friday 9.00 - 16.00. Most banks are closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Currency exchange offices are open from Monday to Friday from 09.00 to 18.00 hours. If you want to change cash or cash traveller cheques, it is highly preferable to do so at a bank. ATM machines are widespread in Sweden.

Climate
The climate in southern Sweden not so different from Central Europe, but slightly colder and more humid, characterised by wet summers and fairly mild winters. The weather is often breezy and humid. Throughout the month of June daytime temperatures will generally reach highs of around 20°C that's about 68°F. At night the average minimum temperature drops down to around 11°C, that's 52°F. Average humidity is 73 % in June, the month usually has 10 days with rain. Please note that there will be Nordic twilight during the meeting (see below).

Crime
Reading the Wallander crime novels one can be forgiven to think that Skåne is a centre of crime with murderers lurking around every farmstead. But, Höör is a very safe place. The most common problems to hit foreigners are pickpocketing and car break-ins. There are some problem areas in Malmö, though.

If you want to report a crime, contact the central police station, Ringvägen 1. It only opens Tuesday 09:00 to 15:00, so it is better to ring 11414. For emergencies call 112. The non-emergency local number for the Swedish police is (+ 46)77 1141400. Most officers speak English very well.

Drinks
There is no significant amount of grape wine grown in Sweden, but there are a lot of microbreweries and the local corn brandy "Skåne Akvavit" is very popular. At celebrations where a buffet is served, it is common to eat the first (fish) course of a Swedish buffet with a small glass of strong liquor - "the fish must swim"(often accompanied by a small song, a "snapsvisa").

Driving in Sweden
Car headlights must be lit at all times (even during the day and the Nordic twilight). Traffic drives on the right. Speed limits range from 90-120 km/h on main highways,60-80 km/h on smaller roads and 30-60 km/h in towns and cities. Your vehicle must carry a warning triangle, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, and wheel chocks. Seat belts are compulsory in front and rear seats.

DO NOT drink even minute amounts of alcohol before and during driving. The legal limit of alcohol in the blood is zero and drink-driving is punished by heavy fines and/or imprisonment.

Credit cards are accepted at most petrol stations. Sometimes petrol stations are unmanned and open 24 hours a day.

For emergency car repairs call the "Assistancekåren" service, toll-free within Sweden, Tel 020 912 912 (number available within Sweden only). In case of road emergencies call 112.

Emergency
112 is the general emergency line throughout the European Union (similar to 911 in the U.S.) By the way, Sweden was the first country to introduce a general country-wide emergency number.

Food
Although Swedish food is down to earth and one cannot expect the French Haute cuisine (and can happily forget the associated chi-chi), it is now internationally highly appreaciated ad in some places even fashionable.

Traditional Swedish food "Husmanskost" is sometimes a bit on the heavy side to supply people with the energy needed to work hard in a rough climate. Soups are popular, pork and beef are widely eaten, lamb is more frequently seen now. Swedes like mincemeat, in form of meatballs ("köttbullar") and mincemeat loafs ("köttfärslimpa"). Potatoes are a common side-dish, often boiled or in mashed form "potatismos" or as fried potato cakes ("raggmunk"). Very good fruit cakes are found in Sweden. Sometimes it is common to eat pea soup with pancakes at Thursday evening. In older times kitchen maids had the afternoon off on this day, so the food had to be pre-pepared.

The traditional Swedish buffet "smörgåsbord" consists of three parts. The first part are different kinds of fish (pickled herring, salmon). Then one goes over to the warm dishes (meatballs, "Janssons frestelse"), finishing off with the desserts. It is common to take a new plate with each course.

Coffee is usally served after each meals and often free in restaurants. Bread is also put on the table before meals and included in the meal price.

Immigration
Sweden is an associate member of the Schengen agreement which exempts travellers from regular personal border controls between 21 European Union (EU) countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden) and two European Economic Area (EEA) countries (Norway and Iceland), as well as Liechtenstein and Switzerland. People coming from Great Britain and Ireland are subject to personal border controls upon entry to the Schengen area. Border controls can, however be imposed on travellers from all states.

A list of countries whose citizens need a visa to visit Sweden can be found here. If you need a visa, please start the paperwork AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Not only can handling times be long, but it might be difficult to find the embassy responsible for citizens of your nationality and location. In many states, Swedish embassies do not hold consular offices and the visa applications are handled by embassies of other countries. Information about conference visa can be found at the Website of the Swedish Migration Board.

Please note that conference organisers only issue invitations for visa applications to invited conference participants.

Internet
The hotel offers Wifi connections, which should work everywhere (except the church where wireless communication is supposed to be practised since long without any electronics). Free Wifi is getting more common also in Sweden in cafes and restaurants.

Medical Services
In case of emergency, call 112 (general emergency). In case of non-emergency it is best to contact the next medical centre "Vårdcentralen". In Höör this is "Vårdcentral Höör", Storgatan 2, phone ++46-(0)-413-351100. It opens Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00. There is a consultation fee.

If you are a citizen of any of the Nordic, EU/EEA countries or Switzerland, you have access to essential health care if you register beforehand at a social insurance office in your home country and obtain a European Health Insurance card. If European health insurance cards are not yet issued in your country, ask for a form E128, or a form E111. With this form you only pay the normal patient fee, just like all other Swedes. People from other countries are strongly encouraged to obtain a travel health insurance.

Pharmacies are widespread in Sweden to the new more liberal laws. The nearest one to the conference centre is "Medstop Apotek Kronan" at Föreningsgatan 7. It opens Mon-Fri 09:00-18:00, Sat 10:00-14:00. Please note that 6th June is a public holiday in Sweden (National Day). There might be reduced opening hours. It is worth to remember that many drugs sold over the counter in other countries are available on prescription only in Sweden (this includes contraceptives). People using medication constantly are advised to bring it with them.

Please note that 6th June is a public holiday in Sweden (National Day). There might be reduced opening hours.

Money
Sweden has its own currency, the "krona", plural "kronor", code SEK. Coins exist for 1, 5 and 10 SEK, notes for 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 SEK. Pictures of notes and coins can be found at the website of the Sveriges Riksbank.

Cash machines (ATMs), in Swedish "Bankomat" or "Sedelautomat" are never hard to find in Sweden. The nearest cash mashine is at Storgatan at the SEB bank in Höör, Storgatan 12. Currency exchange offices, however, are more elusive, especially after business hours. Banks often do not offer very good rates, since there is not much exchange business any more due to the widespread use of credit cards. The latter are very widely accepted, but sometimes this does not include "Diners" and "Amex" due to their higher fees for businesses.

Nordic Twilight
During the conference it will not get dark in Höör. Although the hotel has curtains, some people might find it hard to sleep. So some sleeping cover for the eyes could be a good thing to bring.

On the other hand, the Nordic Twilight makes romantic night walks possible.

Post office
Post offices are generally located in supermarkets and open during their shopping hours. The nearest post office is in the COOP supermarket at Mejerigatan 2 and opens daily from 08:00 to 21:00. Please note that 6th June is a public holiday in Sweden (National Day). There might be reduced opening hours that day.

Public holidays
Please note that 6th June is a public holiday in Sweden (National Day). There might be reduced opening hours at shops and services.

Public transport in Skåne
Information about the local transport can be found at the website of Skånetrafiken. For schedules long-distance trains check the excellent web site of the German Railways (in 6 languages) or the Danish State Railways or Swedish State Railways.

Sightseeing
There is not so much top do in Höör itself. However, The Ringsjö area south of Höör is a nice place for walks. However, the charming city of Lund and the Danish capital Copenhagen are only short train rides (20 resp. 50 min away from the conference venue).

Shopping
Shops generally open 09:00 - 18:00 (Mon to Sat), supermarkets even longer and on Sundays. Most popular souvenirs are:

  • Swedish design products
  • Glassware from Kosta Boda, Orrefors etc.
  • Special food: smoked reindeer, salmon, cheeses, lingonberry and loudberry jam, moose sausage
  • Outdoor equipment and clothing (often of very high quality in Sweden).
  • Swedish liquor (Akvavit)
  • Amber jewellery (in Denmark).
  • For children: Brio quality toys and children books by Astrid Lindgren, Gösta Knutsson and many others.

Taxis
Taxis are safe and cheating tourists is not very common. Taxis are equipped with taxameters. However, they are expensive. Nevertheless, often fixed rates exist to or from airports. As everywhere, it is a good ide to enquire with the driver beforehand which costs are to be expecte and if a fixed rate appear. In some place there are extra charges to enter the railway station or airport area.

When setting off, the taxi's meter should be turned on. It is illegal for driver to smoke or to allow others to smoke in the taxi. The driver is not allowed to ask for more than what is on the meter. Ask the taxi driver for the receipt from the meter's printer. Credit cards are widely accepted in taxis.

Telephone
For calls to Sweden: Dial ++46 (the country code for sweden), then the area code (without the 0) and the subscriber's number. If you want to make a call from Sweden, dial 00 + the country code + area code + the subscriber's number. Mobile phones are very common (and annoyingly overused by some people). Pay phones are not so frequent anymore, many of them only accept phone cards. These have to be bought in advance at the newsagent "Pressbyrån".

The GSM network works on frequencies of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz (dependent on the carrier) . If you are taking your mobile phone with you, make sure that it is able to work on these.

Time
Central European daylight saving time (GMT + 2) will be in force during the meeting. There is no time shift between Germany, France and Sweden and a 1 hour time shift between London and Sweden. If it is 1 o' clock in London and 2 o'clock in Frankfurt it is 2 o'clock in Sweden. Daylight saving time is in force in Sweden during the meeting.

Tipping
Tipping is less common in Sweden than in the rest of Europe. In restaurants, service is included in the bill, but if you get a good service in a restaurant where the bill is sent to the table you can tip 5-10 %. In case of bad service it is OK to give nothing.

Toilets
Called "Toalett"or Toa in Sweden. Often they are marked D or "Damer" for ladies and "H" or Herrar for Gentlemen. At railway stations and in department stores it is common that a charge of 5 SEK applies for toilet usage.

Venue
Please see the Venue & Access page for details.

Voltage
The electricity supply in Sweden is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. European-style 2-pin safety plugs are in use.

Weights and measures
Sweden uses the metric system. With goodies and fruits, sometimes "hekto" is used for 100 grams

DISCLAIMER ! All the information given above is to the best of our knowledge. However, we cannot accept any liability for inadvertently false or incomplete information on this site.