June 19, 2010

Hej from Sverige!

Two days without internet=sad blog. But yes, we arrived, after my first connecting flight in who knows how long. We had to stop in Amsterdam, where the duty-free shops sold orange slipper clogs and orange slipper soccer cleats, and I learned how to speak Dutch. (When we asked a gate agent “How long is the flight?” she turned to her colleague and said, “Huw lung ist die flut?” So basically, turn any vowel into a long u.)

We arrived in Stockholm exhausted on Thursday afternoon, and Dad proceeded to take us in the wrong direction than the big shopping street. We wandered through various residential neighborhoods and, for the first time ever, I could not find where we were on the map — because I was looking in the wrong place. We ended up taking a taxi, and I successfully directed us home from dinner (mediocre Italian) despite swaying with tiredness. I fell asleep at 9, when it was (of course) still light.

Friday we walked around some more after a lovely crepe breakfast, attempting the find both an adapter plug for the blackberry and the Jewish Museum. The architecture is very interesting – everything is 5 stories tall, built in the 17/1800s, and in a unique style. Everything seems pseudo-something else, but more playful somehow. Lots of buildings have Russian-esque domes on top, and some have portions that stick out from the rest of the building. Some have huge Swedish modern additions. I like everything though – rarely do I walk past the window of a design or clothing store anywhere else and think “I would gladly own all of that” rather than “Huh, could be good.” The clothes here seem to be fashionable but not outrageous, and the furniture is all modern or modern reinterpretations of classical (King Gustav style). Anyway, we found the Jewish Museum, which was much smaller than expected, but staffed with friendly women, one of whom came here on a Kindertransport in 1939. They gave us more information (from the newspaper!) about the upcoming royal wedding and its associated parade.

The crown princess (they changed the laws of crown inheritance from first male to first child when she was three) Victoria is marrying her personal trainer, Daniel Westling – apparently a real Disney story. The wedding (today at 3.30) will be followed by a parade. This requires closure of the Royal Palace and most major streets, as well as the early closure of some museums. It’s really adorable, though – a sign with a countdown at the airport declares Stockholm to be the World’s Capital of Love, and the faces of the nearlyweds adorn postcards, commemorative teasets, chocolates, and billboards.

In the afternoon we also saw the Medelhavsmuseet, which I mistakenly believed to be the Medieval Museum but was instead a museum of Mediterranean antiquities. It had an amazing mummy collection, and for a while we sat in the upstairs Baghdad Cafe and watched people in ball gowns go to some A-list event. We walked around Gamla Stan, the historical district,  in the evening and had elk burgers for dinner.

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