Sunday, November 30, 2008

Stockholm

We spent Thanksgiving in Stockholm, Sweden, a lovely city not known for turkey dinners, football, or parades with giant cartoon character balloons. As expected, it was cold and got dark early (around 3:30!) but the city had a warm spirit and candles set in many shop and apartment windows for the Christmas season gave it a special sparkle. Set on a bunch of islands between the Baltic Sea and a fresh water lake, the city is relatively compact with a handful of brick and copper-topped towers gracing the skyline. We toured the Royal Palace (modeled after Versailles) and the Vasa Museum, home to a fully reconstructed 17th century merchant ship which sunk in the city's harbor on its maiden voyage. At Skansen, an open air museum on Swedish life and folkways, we saw glass blowers, reindeer, and the world's largest cigar. We satisfied our need for Swedish meatballs but did not indulge in the French hot dog which seemed to be for sale everywhere.

Without a doubt, the highlight of our trip was the day we spent with Christer and Cecilia, a Swedish couple who made a special trek to Stockholm to see us. Over 25 years ago, Christer was an exchange student and spent the school year at my in-laws' house and his picture is still hanging on the wall there. The two of them had a whole afternoon of activities mapped out for us complete with snacks -- thermoses of glögg (hot mulled wine) and a tin of pepparkakor, a gingery Christmas cookie which we enjoyed on a short ferry ride. They took us to dinner at a medieval pub featuring still more glögg and a true groaning board of Swedish specialties which we chased down with beer and snaps (aquavit). Each toast with snaps was accompanied by a song and a great cry of "skål!" It was a day well worth giving up turkey and the trimmings.


6 comments:

As Seen Through My Eyes.... said...

I am awarding you a French Award!

Here are the Rules for the Award, if you wish to play:
1. Please put the logo on your blog
2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs
4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them

Isabelle said...

French hot dogs... That's interesting!

Starman said...

How much was that French hotdog?

Anne said...

There are about 8 Swedish kroner to the dollar so that dog costs just a bit over 3 bucks.

Kimberly said...

Hey, where's the potato chip update? I'm curious to know what flavors they have in Sweden. Cloudberry? Meatball?

Anne said...

Kimberly, you're a woman after my own heart! In addition to regular potato and Thai sweet chili, we also saw cheese onion. I wish I had taken a picture of the Doritos that were "cool American" flavored.

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