stockholm

Letter from Stockholm…

In Stockholm we are waiting for spring to arrive. It’s quite cold for being the second half of march and I think almost everybody is longing for the sun to warm our frozen limbs. Usually we get some warmth when the sun starts to rise higher and higher on the sky moving towards midsummer. This year, however, we just get the light and it’s still sub-zero temperatures during the days. Let’s go for a walk trough the city center…

 

Kungsgatan

A view from along “Kungsgatan” from “Stureplan”

 

The snow is almost gone but not everywhere. Now the ground is covered in ice here and there and it’s quite slippery on paths and sidewalks. At least people are coming out to enjoy the sun that has been low on the sky for so long.

Easter is close in Sweden

Easter is close.

On different squares you’ll find salesmen trying to sell everything from groceries to flowers to different decorations. In this picture you’ll see a typical Swedish Easter decoration for sale. It is small birch twigs with differently colored feathers.

Kungsträdgården

“Kungsträdgården”

 

People dining at “Kungsträdgården”

People dining at “Kungsträdgården”

At “Kungsträdgården” people are sitting outside to enjoy the sun and dining outside on the walk although it’s still a few degrees below zero outside

 

Ships waiting for summer

Ships waiting for summer

Down by the seaside the boats are waiting for summer and to start transport people out to archipelago outside Stockholm. There are approximately 30 000 islands in archipelago and it is a popular destination in the summer.

The ship “af Chapman”

The ship “af Chapman”

A “Skeppsholmen” the old ship “af Chapman” is moored. “af Chapman” is an old ship converted into a youth hostel. If you are interested in the ships story you can find more information here – http://www.mightyseas.co.uk/marhist/whitehaven/wsbc/dunboyne.htm

“Nationalmuseum”

“Nationalmuseum”

“Nationalmuseum” has a beautiful location in the Stockholm city center. “Nationalmuseum” is Sweden’s premier museum of art and design. The collections comprise older paintings, sculpture, drawings and graphic art, and applied art and design up to the present day.

The Stockholm palace

The Stockholm palace

The Stockholm palace is the official residence of the Swedish monarch. It is right at the center of the city located on “Stadsholmen” in “Gamla stan” (old town).

“Riksdagshuset” (Parliament house)

“Riksdagshuset” (Parliament house)

Not far from the Stockholm palace you’ll find the house of parliament. It´s an impressive building located on a small island of it’s own.

Fishing for salmon

Fishing for salmon

It is possible to fish in the Stockholm city center. Most people fish for salmon and trout. Fishing is quite good in the city center and the largest salmon caught had a weight of 21.8 kg and the largest trout had a weight of 13.4 kg.

Well, now it’s time for me to go home for the day the last picture is from the central railway station in Stockholm. I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour and I wish you all a really good spring!

//Bengt

Stockholm central station

Stockholm central station

 


Julskyltning – a Swedish Christmas tradition

“Julskyltning” or “skyltsöndag” as it is usually called is a tradition in Sweden since mid-late 19th century. In the middle of the 19th-century the shops started make special preparations before Christmas by decorating their display windows. It took a few years and in the late 19th-century it made a breakthrough as a happening before Christmas. There were a lot of competition between different shops to make the best display and preparing the displays involved a lot of secret keeping. At a given time on a specific day the displays were uncovered and the people of the city could go and enjoy the new displays. The “Skyltsöndag” used to be the last Sunday before Christmas but nowadays it’s usually the last Sunday in November.

At this time of year the sun rises at about 8.30 am and sets in the evening at 2.45 pm in the Stockholm area and Christmas decorations involves a lot of illuminations that makes city a glow in the night.

The preparations for “skyltsöndag” also involves decorating the city for christmas and below you will can see photos from Stockholm taken this year of decorations and display windows.

One of the more known department stores in Stockholm is NK (Nordiska Kompaniet). Their displays at Christmas are visited by a lot of people and something of a happening. The display for this year has a book theme.

 

Nordiska Kompaniet

This is the NK store at Hamngatan, Stockholm

 

tomten

An illustration of a famous poem called “Tomten”

 

 

Pettsson och Findus

“Pettsson och Findus” – two much loved characters from a series of children books.

 

 

Tomtebobarnen

“Tomtebobarnen” is a children book written by Elsa Beskow.

 

Tant Grön, Tant Brun och Tant Gredelin

“Tant Grön, Tant Brun och Tant Gredelin” is another book for children written by Elsa Beskow.

 

 

Pippi Longstocking

“Pippi Långstrump” or Pippi Longstocking is another much loved character from children books written by Astrid Lindgren.

 

Alla vi barn I Bullerbyn

“Alla vi barn I Bullerbyn” is another book by Astrid Lindgren.

 

Sturegallerian, Stureplan, Stockholm

This is the Christmas decoration at Sturegallerian, Stureplan, Stockholm.

 

Biblioteksgatan

“Biblioteksgatan” or Library street close to Stureplan in Stockholm. At the end of the street you’ll find the Swedish National Library.

 

 

Sergels Torg

This is the decorations at “Sergels Torg” in Stockholm.

 

 

Klarabergsgatan

And finally a view along “Klarabergsgatan” close to the railway station in Stockholm.

 

Wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy new year!


The first known picture of a Swedish Lucia.

St Lucia SwedenThis is the first known picture of a Swedish Lucia. It was painted in 1848 on Koberg Castle in Västergötland (today the residence of Princess Desirée, the king’s sister). The artist was lieutenant-colonel and count Fritz von Dardel, owner of the castle and aide-de-camp to king Karl XV.

Von Dardel, who married one of the previous owners of the castle, seems to have been surprised by this vision of beauty. As you can see, he was quite proficient with the paintbrush, having studied art in Paris, and he made a lot of similar drawings to amuse the king’s court, and he also wrote a number of books.
The picture is a watercolour, painted 1848, now on display in Nordiska Museet, Stockholm.


Inte Allemans Pee Rätt

I’m just taking a break from my study “homework” to write this article.Swedish paid toilet

I’ve been battling with a bunch of questions while sitting in the wonderful biblioteket (library) of Medborgarplatsen.

Well, time passes and I need to go to the toilet. What you would expect to do in a normal library of Italy is just go to the toilet, but it’s not that easy here in Sweden.

Your toilet use in this public building has a fee of 10kr! And you cannot pay with a credit card or banknotes!

I’m lucky, because knowing how things work here I’m saving all the coins I can get (which is a pretty hard task since papermoney and coins are used kinda rarely in Sweden) and keep them in a special pocket in my jacket!

But things don’t always go this smooth when you need a toilet in Stockholm. This is how I discovered it the first time, the worst 30 mins of my life I guess:

I was in central station waiting for my train to go home when I suddently realized that I shoudn’t have eaten spicy food at the Indian restaurant…

Please let me add no more explanations to the reason why I rushed for a toilet. :-D

I asked on the run for the toilet in a fast-food store, but they told me “the floor above”.

City Toilet

I was kinda surprised about that answer because in Italy we do have a law that makes it mandatory for any business related to the public to offer total and free use of the toilet while the business is open (and even if you are NOT a costumer).

Luckily for me I had a 10kr coin in my wallet, but there were two or three people waiting in line with a worthless 50kr banknote, and they looked like they needed to go so badly to the toilet that they would pay 5 times the price to get in there!

Is it possible that in Sweden there’s the allemansrätt in the forest but not the right to go pee for free in the city?

Next time you visit Sweden, take a bunch of 10 and 5 kronor coins with you, trust me, they may end up being more important than all of your paper money and credit cards! :-D

Alessio

PS: I heard from my room mate Mona, that it may be true a legend that states that sometimes when guys are in need for a toilet they use a empty cup of coffe or soda while alone in a blocked elevator in a public transport station.

Need to try and see if it works…