Friday, May 12, 2017

A Nice Day in Stockholm

Thursday, 11 May, 2017:

A chilly day, perfect for a morning exploration of some new areas of Stockholm.

 Hey, that reminds me,
only . . .

. . . more days until Laurie
arrives in Scandinavia!

 This was my guidebook today

From Stockholm's Central train station, I planned to work my way towards Sergels torg and the Norrmalm district of the nation's capital city to see a few more of these 111 can't miss sights.

 #52 The Kristallvertikalaccent
No shine, no sparkle

Inaugurated in 1974, at night this 89 foot obelisk, made up of 80,000 glass prisms shines brightly over the Sergels torg.

Today, not so much. The obelisk is covered, as you can see, as the city is in the middle of a 14 month process of cleaning all 80,ooo of the glass prisms.

I saw it last Spring during the daytime only, it was big but not impressive. I guess you have to see it at night.

Here is what it looks like when
working thanks to Google Images

Even this way, it doesn't do too much for me.

 #52 The Five Trumpet Blasts
A touch of New York

Near the Sergels torg, these five rather ugly buildings are from the 1966 and are each 19 stories high.

When inaugurated as a tribute to Swedish functionalism style of architecture, Stockholm's mayor Yngve Larsson compared them to five trumpet blasts welcoming in a new era in the city's history.

I liked these five eyesores far less than the Kristallvertikalaccent.

Now, I needed to walk up Drottninggatan towards my next designated view sight but, as happens in these city walks, I was distracted by other things.

In front of the RELOAD Foodbar

Another solid, mostly
underground, food market

How could I resist?

Seafood is good for you

 So are fruits

Red meat, not so much

But yet . . .

 I like cheese too

Not sure what this is,
maybe bull's tails?

I definitely know what this is

 Colorful fruits


Pinche baboso?

Not too cold for some
to do a little sunbathing

Purveyor of fine
Vampire Killing Kits?

That is all I could find out about old Ernst on-line.

Although intriguing, there just has to be more to his story than this.

One of the fun things about my 111 places to see guidebook is that it forces me to visit areas off the beaten tourist paths.

But sometimes I do wander into
BAD neighborhoods by accident


It's a teed up ball

A fine old building

I was almost at my next sight for the day and it was going to be a good one.

#2 The Aeter & Essence Factory
A paradise of herbs and spices

It looked quaint from the outside as it should being that they have been in business since 1887 when founded by Adolf Fredrik Lilieblad. They moved to this spot in 1889.

The family's fifth generation continues to run the business today.

 Enter the shop and you
are blasted by delightful aromas

Old School scale

 So many different herbs, spices
and homemade blends

Reasonably priced


I bought a package of the cacao

Hot chocolate tomorrow morning for sure!

Too dangerous for an old
man like me

Cooking Italian tonight?

 That Old School scale up close

Kanel is cinnamon


This was a GREAT sight for a foodie like me.

Johan August Strindberg

This museum is dedicated to this Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter.

I did not enter but I liked the sign.

 Another of Stockholm's
fine old buildings

I walked about another block up Drottninggatan, looked to my left and saw a majestic statue atop a hilly park.

I opted to explore it only to realize that without trying to, I had wandered into sight . . .

#97 The Tegnérlundenpark
Where thoughts take wings

This is the statue that
got my attention

 We also had some kind of a
workout class doing their routines

The park is surrounded by
great old buildings

This one is a church

The park has a stream too

All of this was good, but the star of the park is a small statue dedicated to . . .

Children's Author
Astrid Lingren

She got her inspiration for writing her book Mio, My Son while observing a young boy seated on a bench in this park.

I am going to have to read this book before going home.

Onward and upward to sight . . .

#28 Ernst Herman Thörnberg
The Socrates of Stockholm

A delightful little statue just outside the eastern entrance to the Brunkeberg tunnel, it is an ode to a man who was both rich in knowledge and a tad eccentric as he always dressed in a fur hat as well as two coats or jackets. His shoes were normally covered by galoshes and his ears were stuffed with cotton.

 Why you ask?

The sculptor even put cotton in old Ernst's statue's ears too.

The reason for our eccentric philosopher's odd behavior was simple, he was terrified of thunderstorms.

The galoshes had the capacity to act as lightning rods and the hat and coats would help keep his body dry.

He also hated noise, hence the cotton balls.

As I said, this little statue was next to the entrance of our next sight . . .

 #13 The Brunkeberg Tunnel
The ideal spot for an original photoshoot


 Lots of photo-ops
as it turned out

The tunnel is 758 feet long and 13 feet wide. It burrows through a rock ridge thus connecting two adjacent districts of Stockholm, Norramalm and Östermalm.

I liked it!

This was the last of the six sights from the 111 guidebook  on today's agenda. Fortunately for me, they got much more interesting after the first two duds.

Total sight count is now 12 down and only 99 to go!

 I like the way you are thinking

 Colorful underside of
a bridge

Fifa Time #1

Since I love the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel, I opted for the Chocolate Budapest treat on the left with my coffee.

It was delicious, what else would you expect at this fine establishment?

 The Konditori Vete-Katten
is my favorite one in Stockholm
established in 1928

It was a bit early for Fika Time (is that even possible?), so after enjoying my snack, I was off again.

 A Swedish Socialist Activist

Another tribute to social activism

By the way, I have a trivia question for you.

Can you name one thing that El Rio, California and Stockholm, Sweden have in common?

That's right, they both
have a Red Wing Shoe Store!

I had been wandering about for another 90 minutes when I realized that all of that coffee made need to desperately find a WC.

A Café

Perfect, but that name? It was the same as that of my favorite Fika Time spot in Stockholm. Did they have two locations?

No, they just had a quieter back area that I had no clue existed until now.

After using the WC, I felt that
I owed it to the store to have a
second Fika Time today

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Oh look, today is Sweden's
National Chocolate Ball Day

I had never had one before today

As advertised, it is indeed a ball of rich, moist chocolate covered with coconut flakes.

It was my first.

It will not be my last I'm sure.

First U15 game next week,
what shoes to wear?

From the old, ornate
Post Office building

I like how the three crowns
make a Happy Face too

Another good day in Stockholm but it was time to head home as we had a practice tonight.

Highland cattle grazing
near our practice field

Scrimmaging the U13s

Joel Granlund, sans helmet, was our emergency, non-contact QB, tonight. He is finished with his concussion protocol but we did not want him taking a hit. I also blew a quick whistle for him as needed.

 Joel hit a 40 yard TD bomb
on the last play of the scrimmage

Joel is a Warrior and a leader in the finest sense of the words.

Overall, I was much more pleased with this week's U13 scrimmage than last week's.

A HUGE thanks to Bengt Granlund for helping me out tonight! Otherwise I would have coached the team by myself which is not a good way to do business.

We still have a few players who need to learn how to practice HARD on every rep/snap, hopefully they will learn from tonight's "do better" post practice discussions.. 

Finally . . .

The day's Physical Fitness
Report was a good one!

After two weeks of living in Sweden and visiting Latvia, the combination of my European diet of constant eating and a no-vehicle-all-out-walking regimen has yielded positive results.

So far, I have lost 3.3 kilos or about 7.25 pounds since leaving Camarillo 14 days ago.

Sweden, walking and Fika Time . . . 
For a Healthy Lifestyle!

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