Showing posts from July, 2015

Hej då!

This trip to Sweden is now over, and with it I collect all our things and memories, stuff them in bags for sorting, cleaning and reviewing over the coming year.  The weather was not on our side, but I'm sure with us leaving it will quickly improve! ;-)  Nonetheless, we had a marvelous time, and look forward to coming back.  For now WOW (airline) is waiting and home, with all its things to do and our friends and family there.  I just wish that I could pack my Swedish loved ones and bring them home with me too!  “You lose sight of things… and when you travel, everything balances out.” – Daranna Gidel

Off we go to the Stockholm Archipelago!

I've always dreamed of visiting Stockholm's archipelago -  I have a thing about islands and having grown up with repeats of Astrid Lindgren's "Vi på Saltkråkan" on tv (see below) - I wanted to see it for myself!

So Friday, the sunniest day of the week we headed off to explore Vaxholm which is the island closest to Stockholm.  (Hey, we have two kids and only one day to explore so cut us some slack.)  The boat ride,which was very comfortable, left at 11:00 from the pier near Kungsträdgården (the Kings's garden, in the center of town) and the trip only took an hour.  There are many other departure times and islands to discover ( about 30,000 in all!) but the company we used was

We bought our tickets onboard (150 krones/adult) and settled down for some coffee and picture taking.  I can't wait to share them with you!  The sea is beautiful with pines and pretty houses dotting shores along the way.  Once at Vaxholm we went for lunc…

friends, silver and gold

For our Stockholm friends...

Stockholm Shopping

A  chilled day of shopping in Stockholm is never wrong, there is so much to see and buy!  I hope that this little blog posts gives you some good ideas for places to spend your hard earned "kronor". First we went to Sergels Torg - seemingly the mecca of H&M - and where did we end up?  H&M of course, but with a twist, H&M Home (not yet in the States) where we scored a nice shower curtain and a cool pillow for the boy.  Oh and this guy welcomed us.  ;-)
We bought some books and cool pens at Akademibokhandeln before hitting the cheapo store TGR for a couple of fun essentials, like an umbrella.  Then it was a quick walk to Gamla Stan (Old Town) by following Drottninggatan and the crowd.
We had a nice time but the tourist press kind of got to us, so finding Happy Sthlm on Stora Nygatan was a real treat.  We bought some beautiful hand printed dish towels for lovely and light gifts there (shh, don't tell.) Also I checked out Olars Ulla, a unique twist on clothing th…

Vasa Museum

We're here in Stockholm, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe! We are blessed to have been able to arrange a house swap with friends - a great way to save money and get a feel for the culture.
Luckily for us our hosts have one of the cutest and most well - organized homes I've ever seen, and it's located a short walk from the metro or "tunnelbana".  That's where we'll be heading tomorrow when we go on our first excursion to the Vasa Museum.
The Vasa is a warship that sunk in 1628 in the Stockholm harbor much to the dismay of Swedish King Gustaf II Adolf and of course the sailors, many of whom couldn't swim.  I've read a great children's book on this event to my children (told from the point of view of a pig) but they've never seen the ship.  It was rescued from the sludge in the 1960's well preserved after hundreds of years in the muck and now it sits in its own museum on Djurgården - one of the many islands that form Stockholm.

öppna landskap (open fields)

On a drive through the beautiful landscape, my son took this scenic film through the car window.  It gives you a good sense of how open and natural the view is in Skåne.  Enjoy!  Personally I will definately look at this video again in the winter months to come.

Happy Birthday Princess Victoria

July 14th was Princess Victoria of Sweden's 38th birthday and she was celebrated with much modern-day pomp.  My parents cajouled me into watching the concert on TV and this is who we saw perform - Carola, Medina, Ola Salo, Mariette, Sven-Bertil Taube, Kristin Amparo and John Lundvik.  It was a strange mix of old, new, big pajamas, flowing dresses, turbans, pop, rock, old-timey music and rap.  The songs my parents didn't like were my favorite and vice versa.
Seated in the front row were the royal family from Princess Madeleine (new mother), her husband Chris,  Prince Carl Philip and his new wife Sofia, Queen Silva and King Carl-Gustaf, Princess Victoria and her husband Daniel and someone else.  The thing with having a royal birthday apparently is that you are not really allowed to have fun but you have to pretend to be by smiling insipidly at everything.
You also have to wear a traditional Swedish dress which includes a fun hair handkerchief (see above) so that new Dolce Gabban…

Astrid Lindgren's Värld (world)

Looking for something fun to do on your Scandinavian vacation?  Head to Astrid Lindgren's Värld (world) also known as ALV in Småland.  I haven't been to the place on the island of Gotland that is also a Pippi place, but I can highly recommend the "real one" in Vimmerby.   This is where Astrid Lindgren grew up and you can see how this quaint village greatly influenced her work as a children's book writer and her attitudes about childhood.  There are plays throughout the park, like this one from Emil's world (Emil in the Soup Tureen).

This play at the castle was based on Ronja Rövardotter (Ronja the Robber's Daughter) and had the boy riveted to his seat and used real horses!  The action was incredible.

 Below is a scene from one of Karlsson på Taket (Karlsson on the Roof) - a very funny story about a naughty boy who lives on the rooftops.  It had the kids in stitches.  You might think that the park was just plays, and although it is Sweden's largest ou…


Magpie (skata) or blackbird (koltrast)?
Sweden has yet to decide the new national bird but they are both a contender.  The magpie, despite the blackbird's beautiful song, gets my vote.  Just love their sassy attitude.  When we lived in Ljunghusen, in Southern Sweden, you'd often find them ambling down the road, just moseying along and not at all worried when a car came along.  Or maybe just our car -- we had an old red jalopy at that point so given the size of the bird and the relative size of the little car, I guess they just weren't concerned.

Mapies are reputed to be thieves stealing things that are shiny and stashing them away. I mean a girls gotta have her bling! Another reason to vote for the "skata" (Swedish word for magpie) is the Latin name which is "pica pica".  Isn't it cute?  So I guess it's time to vote: check out the contenders and cast your vote here - Vote Skata for Swedish National Bird (unfair influencing?  Who me?)  Tee, he…

Power to the Goat

Here's the band Goat - in my humble opinion they look like macabre Harlequins but they sound like they've done one too many downward dogs.  Goat is reportedly from Korpilombolo in Northern Sweden.  Here's what Wikipedia has to say, and I quote below.  (If you've read Popular Music from Vittala by Mikael Niemi this might not come as a total shock.)
 "...Korpilomboloin Sweden which, according to the band's own publicity, has a history ofvoodooworship after a witch doctor came and lived there. Supposedly, when Christian crusaders came and destroyed the village the surviving people fled and placed a curse on the town. This has been described as "a lovely story, if possibly not entirely rooted in reality."[4] The band started playing music when they were children, as part of a local community tradition, and there have been many incarnations of Goat who have recorded over the last "30 or 40 years". There are now three original "core" me…