Posted by: Team McSlade | June 30, 2010

Stockholm Syndrome

Sweden (or Sverige to the locals) is a great way to relax after the hectic nature of Italy (hectic only in the sense that there was so much we wanted to do and that generally required traffic and crowds).
It definitely ehdålgaan’s the östvogt off of the velkgasten.
If you don’t understand that last sentence, that’s OK, as its nonsensical Swedish that I learnt from the Muppet’s Swedish Chef. We have (more to the point Ryan has) been making up our own Swedish words to great effect, these words haven’t been used in any conversation outside of TMS, but they have kept us amused.
While we are deconstructing the Swedish language in a Shakespearean way (he also made up his own words, one such gem being ‘fantastic’), the Swedes have learnt English to great aplumb, so well it’s almost embarrassing.
Add to this they are quite tall, not that this has anything to do with lingual skills just that Jo was amongst contemporaries in Spain, now she’s looking at the navels of Swedes. 6’4” is fairly normal for many here.

The self proclaimed Capital of Scandinavia, Stockholm, oozes that Nörsca fresh feeling. Kate and I were talking about how it just feels like Scandinavia. Yes, none of us had previously been into the home of Vikings and other such pillagers, but it just feels different.
Pine trees and meadows with hay lay in the outskirts (our airport is a lazy 100k’s from the city – a pox on your house, Ryanair, for a second time) with the city built on islands interconnected by bridges and ferries.

An interesting solar effect here is the ‘midnight sun’. The sun has been setting at around 11.30pm and then rising between 12.30-1.30am. By 4am, it’s as good as midday on an Australian summer’s day. So with poor sleep in humid Venice combined with poor blockout curtains in Stockholm, Jo is now feeling hungover without having a drink for over four months.
It smacks you body-clock for six as you don’t feel like you should be going to bed ‘so early’ , yet it’s past midnight when you look at the clock.

1.07am

T-shirts kept telling us that the city was built in 1252, and a royal wedding has just occurred. Think of Charles and Diana back in the early 80’s, but with a brunette and a real Prince Charming (although he’s marrying into the blue blood, not her). Sadly our luggage restrictions would not allow for us to buy garish plates with the happy couple printed on them, nor the postcards, t-shirts, cups, glasses… they even cracked the popular Swedish magazines for front page billing.  

Bikes abound in the city, trees are plentiful and a three day pass on the public transport is awesome. You get to use trains, busses and ferries until you burst, taking you across the city and out into the countryside. The Swedes are even logical in their timetabling with busses and trains connecting with minimal lag time (Adelaide, please take note of this…).
We found some fairly nifty cinnamon buns and chocolate balls in Saluhall, the Swedish Food Hall. Also, Reindeer Mix was bought. Blitzer, Vixen, Donner and Cupid all made the grade with Rudolph being spared due to sensitivity issues for children.
Rye bread was used to scoop up the reindeer dip with great effect. Jo and the kids baulked at eating Santa’s mode of transport, but when in Scandinavia…

A trip out to Sigtuna – the first town in Sweden – dating back to 790AD was visited. The town boasts both the smallest Town Hall in Sweden (‘perhaps even in Europe’ read the tourist brochure) and the most Rune stones in any town in the World. 4 gold stars for you, Sigtuna.
The Rune Stones were basically memorial stones for Swedes, with one placed on a highway before the guy died that read something along the lines of ‘Anund had the stone erected in memory of himself in his lifetime.’ 5 stars and a Rune Stone to you, Anund.

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So remember to elgvaarrt your strögekleft and we are off to the UK…

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Responses

  1. Welcome to my world!! 🙂 I hope you enjoyed!! And safe trip to England and Australia!


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