Thursday, October 27, 2011

9 years later


Dale and I recently celebrated our 9 year anniversary. It fell on a Wednesday this year and the weekend before and after we were busy so we celebrated Wednesday night by going to dinner on Djurgården at  Djurgårdsbrunn.
I had actually eaten here before at my works farewell for summer celebration before everyone left for their 5 weeks of vacation and I enjoyed it. The restaurant if right on the Royal Canal so it has a nice view and it's in the city but also far enough away to feel a bit out of the mix too. We ordered the Fall Menu which included chanterelle soup, steak and potatoes, apple pannacotta, chocolate truffle, and a glass of champagne. Surprisingly we both thought the chanterelle soup was the best part of the meal! It almost made a mushroom eater out of me, almost. :)
As we were leaving after dinner it was very dark but not so cold so we walked towards home for a bit while waiting for the bus and we had a good view of the radio tower.
I'll make the final picture this post the obligatory anniversary photo. Here's Dale and I after dinner, awe. I'm pretty sure I am the luckiest and pretty darn spoiled too.
Love Always,

Monday, October 24, 2011

Bondens Marknad


On Saturday's there are a few Farmer's Markets around Stockholm. On a recent Saturday Dale and I were finally around and didn't have plans so we finally got a chance to check out the Farmer's Market on Södermalm. 
It was pretty busy but it was also obvious it is the end of the Farmer's Market season. Apples galore, and apple juice were definitely in abundance. There were still the Swedish favorites, chanterelles! But I'm not a mushroom fan so I passed on those.
There was also a very colorful stand of make your own bouquet. I just loved looking at all the pretty and bold colors. But, I happened to have fresh flowers at home already so I passed on those too.
We did buy some things though.
Here are the goodies we came home with. Farm eggs, yummy tomatoes, and fall honey. All of which were delicious! I'm really enjoying the honey. It's already crystallized a bit unlike the vast majority of honey in the States and it tastes so fresh. My honey expertise it not enough to tell what the fall taste is though. In total, the market was not nearly as big or diverse as back in Colorado but there were still quite a few booths with different offerings. 
Love Always,

Thursday, October 20, 2011



Dale and I recently went canoeing around Stockholm! Well, not that recently anymore. We went the day before my Mom arrived but I forgot to write this post before I wrote about her visit so here we are. Anyhow, we were originally going to go kayaking but when we arrived to the kayak rental shop we learned you need to make reservations at least two weeks in advance. With the weather so iffy here I would never want to make a reservation for an outdoor activity in advance. So, on to plan B, a canoe rental shop on Djurgården.
We only rented the canoe for one hour but we were having so much fun we stayed out there for hours. We wanted to go around the whole island but after we realized how long we had already be gone when we were only a quarter of the way around we turned back.
The weather was perfect and it was very calming to slowly watch the city life turn so quickly into the wilderness. I am still always astounded how quickly you are in the wilderness in the capital of the country.
I'm a pretty good canoer but I did spend a good portion of the trip in the position depicted above. What can I say, I like taking in the view!
It was also fun watching all the different boats go by. Dale and I really liked this one.
If you have a sunny day in Stockholm, I highly recommend getting out on the water!
Love Always,

Monday, October 17, 2011



For Mom's last day in Sweden we took is easy and enjoyed the city. It was a windy day but I took her to the city overlook on Södermalm that I like to show people. That view never gets old.
Again, it was a windy day. I swear my Mom's hair doesn't look like that usually. 
Then we walked around a bit before we had our final fika together, and it sure was a good fika!
It was so nice to have some quality time with my Mom and we had an amazing time. What a treat! Love and miss you Mom!
Love Always,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Up in Uppsala


Back in Sweden, Mom and I decided to take a day trip on the train North to Uppsala. It takes about an hour total to get to Uppsala and Uppsala is the fourth largest city in Sweden with a population of about 150,000. Uppsala very much reminded me of Fort Collins, Colorado and it is also a University town housing Uppsala University, the oldest University in Scandinavia. We wanted to see Scandinavia's oldest church the Uppsala Cathedral.    
The church was just amazing and full of detail. Swedish Kings and notable persons are also buried at the church and it was pretty interesting to see Gustav Vasa's sarcophagus and Eric the Saint's casket. Gustav Vasa most notably united Sweden, created a central government, and defeated the Danish. He was a pretty important King for the Swedes. Dale and I happen to live in Vasastan so it has been interesting learning about  Gustav Vasa and realizing so many of the places around us are named after him. Eric the Saint, on the other hand, spread Christianity in an effort to unite Sweden and conquer Finland. For many many years after his death his casket was paraded around town on his patron day, May 18th, but that practice has since ceased.
While we were in the area we decided to take the bus 10km to Gamla Uppsala. Gamla Uppsala is home to Viking burial mounds and we spent a little bit walking around the mounds learning about the medieval practices. Apparently there used to be many more mounds but now the three mounds pictured below are the best preserved and they were the royal burial mounds. 
Our day in Uppsala also happened to be a rainy windy day but Mom and I still made the most of it. We did learn later it was so windy because Hurricane Irene was moving through Sweden. Kind of funny our first Hurricane was in Sweden!
I hope to get another chance to go up to Uppsala so Dale can check it out. It's a small town, but I thought it had a lot of personality.
Love Always,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Copenhagen Culture


We spent our next day in Copenhagen soaking in the culture at museums and of course the world famous Tivoli. We started out walking past the Tivoli which had us pretty excited to visit later that night.
Our first real stop though was at the Ny Carlsberg Glypotek which is an art museum and happens to be free on Sundays, the day we were visiting! The building its self is beautiful and has a nice winter garden.
We spent quite a while walking through and looking at the Egyptian artifacts, Greek and Roman statues, and my favorite - the impressionists. Mom's favorite piece is even on display here, Degas sculptures!
Once we were thoroughly overwhelmed with everything we had saw, we left for sit for a lunch and think about everything we had seen. We stopped at a genuinely Scandinavian restaurant where we each ordered a smørbrød. Here's mine - a safe but satisfying radish, potato, and bacon. Yummy! 
Next we were off to the National Museum of Denmark which is always free. Hooray for free and fabulous things to do in the world's most expensive cities! Anyway, inside the museum we went through a lengthy exhibit taking us through Denmark's pre-history, middle ages, renaissance, and modern history. It was very interesting! One of my favorite things I saw were these instruments from the Iron Ages which are something like strange trumpets. 
Mom really liked the runestones which are so unique and so Scandinavian. 
We relaxed for a couple beers before heading to the Tivoli Gardens. At the Tivoli we walked through the beautiful gardens, played the traditional 5kamp, rode the roller coasters and watched the laser light show. 5kamp is a fun little competition where you play carnival games for silly prizes. I started out in the lead but Dale ended up winning, Mom was in the middle and I was the loser. Whack-a-mole is my game but it turns out I'm not so good at launching frogs into ponds. Oh well, you can't win them all! 
The park is also quite beautiful at night and we enjoyed all the lights and the laser show.
It was a very busy day with a lot to take in but it was also a lot of fun. It's amazing hoe close Copenhagen is to Stockholm and how entirely different the cities feel. The culture is so much more laid back and relaxed in Copenhagen which I really like, but with that comes some dirtiness. In the end, I'm still happy to call Stockholm my home.
Love Always,

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Crazy Copenhagen (Day 1, Part 2)


As we continued our day in Copenhagen we made our way to the Christiansborg Palace. Along the way we saw some beautiful brightly colored houses. I don't think I could ever get sick of looking at these houses. 
Christiansborg Palace is the seat of Denmark's three branches of power; the executive, judicial, and legislative. Here's Mom and me in front of the palace. It's a mixture of three styles, baroque, neo-baroque, and neoclassical, due to two fires.  
We kept walking over to Christiania to check out the Freetown before dark as we'd heard from our guide book and the locals that Christiania wasn't safe after dark. Along the way we saw this church spire. We didn't climb it but I thought the architecture was interesting.
Finally we were at our last destination for the day, Christiania. Christiania is a self governing portion of Copenhagen famous for its anarchic state and pusher street's hash stands. In 2004 Denmark police took down the stands and has been slowly trying to reintegrate Chrisitania to the rest of Denmark but while we were there pusher street was still alive and, shall we say, thriving. No photos are allowed on pusher street so I didn't document that for you but here's Dale and Mom entering Chrisitania and some architecture inside the 'town'.

It was interesting to see a hippie commune, I had never been to one before. No cars are allowed in the city and we saw several sheds on the main streets which served as closets for people to take or leave what they wished. Seems like a strange way to live for me but we saw children and families happy as can be. 
What a busy and interesting day in Copenhagen!
Love Always,

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Crazy Copenhagen (Day 1, Part 1)


Our first day exploring Copenhagen was a big one! We set off to Kastellet in the morning. Kastellet is a star shaped island which was originally made as a fortress but today serves as a park with an active military area. 
We had a nice morning stroll through the park looking at the animals, buildings, and statues. 
Right next to Kastellet is the National Symbol of Denmark, The Little Mermaid Statue which was built in honor of the famous tale by one of Denmark's most famous citizens, Hans Christian Anderson. The statue its self is not so impressive but when in Rome, right?
Next stop was the Saturday market because we just happened to be in town on a Saturday and we wanted to see what goodies we could find. It was a nice outdoor flea market at Israel Plads filled with antiques and vintage goods. Unfortunately though none of us found anything we couldn't live without. Fortunately though it also happened to be opening weekend of the new foodhall at Israel Plads so the place was packed and there were a ton of free samples and delicious looking (and smelling) food!
For lunch we settled on a confit de canard sandwich with cupcakes for dessert. I'm still the picky eater I've always been and duck leg sandwiches (with skin still on) didn't quite do it for me. Even Mom got a bit skeptical when she noticed the skin too!
Good thing we had divine cupcakes to fill the void the two bites of sandwich left in my tummy!
Stay tuned for the second half of the day. This was quite the adventurous day!
Love Always,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To Copenhagen We Go


The day after the Tessin Palace we hopped on the train for a 5 hour ride through Sweden to Copenhagen, Denmark. The train moves pretty fast so it was difficult to get pictures out the window. The picture below was on the bridge halfway between Sweden and Denmark. It was interesting how flat things got the more South we went, not that Stockholm has big mountains to begin with. I also never tire of how sparse things get so quickly as you exit Stockholm. Anyway, the shorelines of the two countries were pretty and I liked all the wind farms out on the water.
After we got off the train we checked into our apartment I rented through Airbnb. It turned out to be in the middle of the red light district but besides that it was a nice place. We went out to dinner somewhere along Nyhavn where we got to sit outside and enjoy the view and the weather.

After dinner we walked home along the world's longest pedestrian mall. Luckily it was late enough that everything was closed so it wasn't crowded and we could enjoy looking at the architecture.
Then we were home and called it a day. Traveling by train is surprisingly exhausting even though it's so much easier than flying.
Love Always,

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Tessin Palace


I signed up for the American Woman's Club back in April after my friend Fernando told me about it. I thought it would be nice to have some people of a common background to meet up with now and again when I really just want to talk to another native English speaker, besides Dale that is. I went to one mixer in May and met a good range of women my age to 80 something and they were all very nice. Then the club went on a hiatus for the summer and just started up again in September. This is the 100th anniversary of the club, the oldest in the world, and to celebrate they are doing all sorts of fun and fancy events and I hope to go to some of them. One of these events just happened to be a tour of the Governor of Stockholm's Private Residence, the Tessin Palace and it just happened to be the same time as Mom's visit. So, I signed me, Mom, and Dale up. The tour was in the evening so before we went Mom and I went and got pedicures which was great. It always feels nice to be pampered.
When we arrived at the Tessin Palace it wasn't much to look at. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful building but the front is not so impressive.
Once we walked in to the Palace it opens up into an amazing courtyard. It's just beautiful.
There was even a very enthusiastic Swedish lady that explained 3 of the rooms uses and the details in the rooms. She did a wonderful job and we were all sad we couldn't see more of the Palace. We must have only seen 25% if that. But the parts we did see were beautiful. In my opinion it was much more impressive than the Royal Palace but the top floor of the Royal Palace was closed when I went. It also could be we were allowed to drink wine on the tour. Wine makes any tour better. Here are some pictures I snapped of the inside.
We drank some wine after the tour and mingled a bit and as things wound down we walked through Gamla Stan before stopping at a restaurant for dinner. I never tire of walking through Stockholm. I mean, seriously, how could you tire of views like this? 
Be still, my beating heart.
Love Always,