Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Zero Hour Has Finally Arrived!

Wednesday, 31 May, 2017:

It may have been a damp, rainy day to most people in the greater Stockholm megalopolis, but to me it was the BEST day in over a month.

You see, today marked . . .

days until Laurie arrived on a . . .

. . . Norwegian Air plane just
like this one flying over
me at our nearby bus stop

I was getting ready to go to Stockholm's Arlanda Airport to meet her flight which was due to land at 1:35 p.m.


We had a glitch, her flight had been delayed for take-off in Los Angeles, no doubt in some way due to President Trump.

Though re-scheduled here on the Norwegian Air website for a 2:52 p.m. landing, her plane didn't touchdown on Swedish soil until 3:15 p.m., a full hour and forty minutes late.

I had a similar delay with this airline when I flew here a month ago, I guess that punctuality is not a big thing in Norway.


We properly celebrated
once we got to the house

A huge "Tack så mycket" to Jesper Douhan for meeting us at the airport and driving us home!

With Janne at our bus stop

After giving Laurie enough time to unpack and freshen up a bit, the Welcome to Stockholm party would continue in the city where we would meet up for dinner after their work days were over with . . .

 Lotta and Aiki

We dined at an Italian restaurant near the Stockholm Central train station called Vapiano.

Lotta's picture of four hungry
people deciding what to order

Our neighbor's photo of five now
fully sated, happy sassy diners

My pasta and the taste of Laurie's risotto were fantastic! 

Vapiano was a great choice to celebrate, wine and dine before returning home and letting Laurie crash.

It was even better than I thought it would be to be with her again.

Still, she is kind of goofy.

Fortunately, I love goofy.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Raw, Rainy Day in Stockholm and a Great Practice in Upplands-Väsby

Tuesday, 30 May, 2017:

So excited today as I only have to wait . . .

 More day . . .

. . . to be re-united with my bride!

Thus it was my last day to visit a few more of my guidebook's hidden sights of Stockholm at my own pace on a rainy day.

 A walk in this park on the
island of Södermalm was a must

 It looked like we had more
allotment gardening houses
in this park ala the Tanto Colony
from yesterday

What does that sign say?

 I'll remember to avoid this
if I'm being chased

Sight #37 The Garden on Rails
Not your usual allotment association

To review, the first allotment garden society in Sweden was established in 1895 and in Stockholm the first was established in 1904.

Today these gardeners are organized in 300 local societies all over Sweden. We even have one across the street from the bus stop nearest to our home here in Upplands-Väsby.

While the societies rent the land from the local authorities, each member owns their own house if there is one.

There are approximately 26,000 members of the Swedish Federation of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners. 

 No quaint houses here

This is a garden on an
abandoned railroad track

Boxes filled with
herbs and vegetables
Leftover from the old
rail road days

I liked yesterday's Tanto Colony visit much more.

I marched on to the next nearby sight . . .

This was not it

This statue sits in front of the Eriksdalsbadet Athletic Complex. It mainly consists of a whole bunch of both outdoor and indoor pools.

 The outdoor pools

An indoor pool with an early
morning swim meet in progress

Another tranquil scene
on Årstaviken Bay

 Cool graffiti

 More boating bliss

That's where I'm headed,
the one on the bottom

Sight #102 Trädgården under Bron
Let's party

Closed, of course, this is touted to be a bit of an Alice in Wonderland experience located in the area below and between the tall concrete pillars of the Skanstull Bridge.

It hosts hip, open air parties
in the evenings I am told

Although it looked interesting, I think that I would prefer a night at the Boule Bar that I saw yesterday near the Tanto Colony.

I returned to the Eriksdalsbadet to have a look around inside.

 Athletic themed statue
seemed appropriate to me

 The swim meet just ended

This is a really fine venue for swimming.

Onward to the next sight.

A boy and his pet lion

Feed the children

Sight #3 The Anna Lindh Memorial
The end of the people's politician

This unpretentious three meter green glass column is found on the steps of Södermalm's Medborgarhus.

 It commemorates slain
Foreign Minister Anna Lindh

She was a popular politician who was stabbed to death in 2003 while shopping in the women's section of the NK department store.

NK didn't really think that a reminder to shoppers in the store about this tragic event was a good marketing ploy, thus this memorial in an open air spot far from the NK store.

This Saluhall or food market
is next to the
Anna Lindh Memorial

It was new to me, so, needless to say, I went in to see what they had to sell. 

Interesting fish display

It was about the only interesting sight in this underwhelming market.

 The Kvarnen restaurant/bar
is a good one that I discovered
last Spring

They are also a big supporter of the local Hammarby IF football team.

 They like their beer here

And I loved their free restroom!

It was time to head home as I had to prepare some things for tonight's practice, our first team function in ten days.

My iPhone warned me
about the weather at practice
 It wasn't that bad

 Our practice field at Södervikskolan
is located in the Hammarby
neighborhood of Upplands-Väsby

Working on get-off and punch
with our Offensive Linemen

Good finish Max!

We only had nine players at practice on this damp evening but they worked hard on improving their individual techniques.

 Meanwhile, back at home,
Badass Janne and Aiki
made a fabulous fish dinner!


The weather did not
compromise my commitment
to physical fitness

She is almost here . . .

Monday, May 29, 2017

Another Day, Another Sight Checked Off the List

Monday, 29 May, 2017:

I spent the morning breaking down the video of last weekend's Warriors game and typing up my game notes to send to our players. On Tuesday we will hold our first practice since that game against the Djurgården U15 squad as a four day weekend and a fundraising work night eliminated all of our practices last week.

Finished with my American football duties for the day, I suddenly realized that in only . . .

more days . . .

. . . Laurie touches down
in Stockholm!

 I opted to walk to our local
train station today

 Random church in my goal area
of the day, the Södermalm district

 First stop,
Tantolunden Park

It is a huge park on the eastern side of the island of Södermalm hard by the Årstaviken Bay.

My reason to visit this park was to take a close look at one of my 111 Must Things to See in Stockholm guidebooks sights.

Sight #95 The Tanto Colony
Blooming gardens out of an emergency

A rocky mound rising up in the middle of Tantolunden Park has several small colorful wooden sheds/homes surrounded by lush flourishing gardens.

Lots of flowers

Similar allotment colonies are found all over the Stockholm area.

Quaint Shed

The Tanto Colony dates back to World War I when people farming these small plots had to grow vegetables to distribute during those good shortage days.

When WWII came, food was needed
once again and the Tanto
Colony responded positively

Idyllic home

Lots of good views at the
top of the rocky mound

Quite enjoyable Tanto Colony view

Sitting by the dock of the
Årstaviken Bay

Beach Day in Södermalm

A Spring dip to remember

Nice boats

I wonder if you can play
boule here?

Not only can you play boule
here, they also teach groups of
newbies about the game itself

Old boule hands at play

I like this place! Maybe Laurie will join me in a game or two.

An orange-banana smoothie
hit the spot!

 One last shot of the
Årstaviken Bay

On the walk back to the nearest Metro station I had to pass by the Zinkensdamms IP, home of the . . .

. . . Stockholm Mean Machines

Their youth teams were practicing so I observed for a bit.

I needed a late afternoon American football fix.

48 hours . . .