This is the currency I’m going to be dealing with for the next 12 days – the Swedish Krona (or kronor in the plural). Although Sweden is part of the European Union, it’s opted out of adopting the Euro. Wouldn’t you know it: I have some Euro left over from my time in Italy. But no, the Swedes found a legal loophole and love their currency so much, they have opted out of taking on the Euro.

How’s that? Sweden joined the EU in 1995 and is officially obliged under the Treaty of Maastricht to adopt the Euro. Apparently, there are five criteria a country needs to meet to adopt the Euro. Sweden maintains one of the conditions is being part of ERM II and, since joining ERM II is voluntary, the Swedes can stay outside of the Eurozone and keep their currency.

The banks I visited in Christchurch asking for Swedish krona nearly fainted in the aisles. One banking dude quipped that no-one from NZ visits Sweden so why would they have krona? Yeah, I know: I can whip some cash out of an ATM at Stockholm airport (or Bankomat as they’re called). But after 24+ hours on a plane, the last thing I want to think about is tackling a foreign ATM machine. I’ll be lucky not to look like some walking zombie by the time I get off the Lufthansa flight.

I eventually managed to get my hands on some krona before leaving NZ and the NZ dollar buys more bang for its buck. NZ$480.00 bought me around 2,500 krona. Yeehah!

The 50 kronor depicts the Swedish opera singer, Jenny Lind, and the 100 kronor shows Carl Linnaeus. I know this name very well from my old information science days. Linnaeus is better-known as the Father of Taxonomy due to his system for naming, ranking, and classifying organisms. Mmmmm….wondering if that Swedish pop group, ABBA, is on any kronor.

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