Joy and me in Lilla Essington
Overlooking the many canals in Stockholm, which consist of 14 separate islands connected by 57 bridges
an outdoor bar that is desolate during the winter, but still offers great views
shopping the streets of stockholm
Joy admiring some of the old architecture in the center of town
Overlooking the canals at sunset. It's not even 3pm yet.... the kid's book tells us to look to the left if you like boats and to the right if you like cars. This is to the left.
There's one of the many statues of the king who is always pointing towards the water. The sky at sunset is really beautiful.
Gamla Sans - old town. This is a very tourist populated street, but luckily there are few tourist in town in Nov. I found the same cute cafe with brick walls and the best sandwiches that I remembered from 6 years ago! Stockholm gets very festive for Christmas. This tree is one of several that went up for the holidays.
The Tunnelbana (aka subway)
The subways in Stockholm are wonderful! So quiet, clean and efficient. They are deep underground and accessed by escalators. The time the next train is coming is posted, both at the platform and at the top of the esacalator so you know if you need to haul. A coffee ad that exclaimes "Press and enjoy!" The swedes are a lot more open about their sexuality.
And now more seriously, the numerous stations serve as platforms for art.
Day 2: Walking around, cooking all day and the feast On the second day, after a little snafu on a meeting point (I attempted to use the pay phones), Joy and I walked around a little island called lilla essington where we had lovely buns. Then we had persian food for lunch (there is a lot of middle eastern cuisine due to the immigrants) and then the remainder of the day was devoted to the turkey feast!
New condos on lilla essington. Balconies are the in thing now. And all buildings have to follow a color code (and you thought they all just naturally looked color-coordinated and wonderful together). These all look appropriately colored.
ah - scoop up your potatoes at the supermarket! 9.90 crowns for a kilo (translation - $1.40/2.2 lbs = $0.64/lb)
Me in front of the palace
This is the most well-preserved royal palace in Sweden. Built in the 1600s, this castle represents European architecture for the period, giving it a postion on the UNESCO world heritage list. There is even a little Chinese palace, which Otto pointed out was based on what they thought a Chinese palace would look like - no one had actually ever gone to China. They were a little bit off.
Guard! Most Swedes serve in the military for 1 year. This is one of the post you can get-not bad.
The grounds are really beautiful, though pretty barren in the winter. We had the whole place to ourselves. It was nice to escape from the city and see the suburbs.
We stopped for lunch where Joy and I shared this shrimp smorgasbord, a traditional open-faced sandwich.
After returning to the city, we hit up the julemarket (Christmas market) at Hornstull near the water. It was very festive and I saw a real native Swede in a traditional tent and ate reindeer meat. December brings julemarkets, glogg (spiced warm red wine) and saffron buns.
Princesa torta. A slice of traditional birthday cake. Its green outside is rich, thick marzipan (almond paste). The inside consist of 3 types of cream, including a layer of jam. Yum! This was one of the last fikas that Joy and I shared.
Our last evening was spent celebrating Emily, Joy's aussie friend living in Sweden, birthday. We went to Emily's place, a typical swedish apt - a one bedroom, living room kitchen and yes, they really do have ikea furniture. Then after hitting up an Indian restuarant we went to a Debaser, a club/music venue, to see the Kooks. We waited in a queue (apparently queueing is the new in thing to do in Stockholm) to get in. We saw the encore, stuck around a bit to people watch, which is one of my favorite pasttimes. We saw lots of people in the fashion of stripe shirts and skinny jeans. Then we called it a night.
The next morning, it was off to the airport ...
Joy and I drinking hot chocolate. Svea is a slang word for Sweden - like saying Mother Sweden.
I had a wonderful time with Joy in Sweden! It was nice just to hang out and see the Sweden that Joy loves since I had apparently already done all the touristy stuff 6 years ago. So, this time, I really got to see first-hand the Swedish culture - we hung out with the Swedes, dined and shopped and chatted with them. Joy and I had many great tea times and lazy mornings, fikas, explorations and of course, non-stop chattering. I already miss Joy and the Scandinavia I grew to love. We were asked constantly by the Swedes, why did you choose Sweden? Joy and I would just look at each other with a knowing smile. Why not? I would definitely not mind living in Scandinavia again!