Monday, May 13, 2002

Thursday. Day One in Stockholm.

We fly with Skyways (budget division of SAS) direct from Manchester to Stockholm Arlanda. A smooth journey with surprisingly decent food for a low-cost airline! Unfortunately we find out upon arrival that the bf's bag has been left behind in Manchester and won't arrive until the middle of the night via Copenhagen. Bah. Anyhow it's Manchester Airport's fault, not SAS. Oh well. Our hotel, the Rica City Stockholm, is at least right by the train station and tube T-Centralen. On the way there I can't help but notice it's completely deadsville. We needn't have worried - it's a bank holiday!

We freshen up and head over to our friend Anna's flat in Karlaplan. Although we expected to see a fair amount of her, we're really touched to find out she's made plans for our entire stay.

On to Södermalm. First stop is dinner. She takes us to a retro cafe that serves Italian food. It's fantastic and I'm desperately envious of all their collectable decorative touches. We then head to a bar (apparently run by socialists!) where the bf once DJd. Next stop Chutney, a vegetarian/vegan cafe where her friend works. More wine. It's no smoking there until the chef calls it a night and lights up himself. Oh what the hell, I'm on vacation! Uh oh. Last stop of the evening is a hopping pub where we have to fight for a table. A man grabs my shoulder and starts nattering at me in Swedish. Anna tells me afterwards that he thought I looked like someone from his hometown of Gävle (I discover that I'm taken for Swedish for the whole trip, actually...) Oh heaven, are we pissed. Anna sneaks us onto the tube with her pass, something I would never do when sober. We stumble back to the hotel and crash out...

Friday. Day Two in Stockholm.

I wake up with a walloping hangover and swear never to drink again. The bf thinks it's hilarious as I barely manage to keep some breakfast down. Luckily Swedish sunshine is the new hangover cure and I'm feeling much better by the time we head out. This is Shopping Day. After a quick tourist visit to Gamla Stan for some Moomin goodies, my first stop is 10 Swedish Designers in Götgatan. They've been selling items made up from their fantastic prints since 1970. I may have too many bags already, but I just can't say no and snap up a few more for "presents". Nearby is a dusty shop called Curiositat, I think, where I find a 70s gingerbread tin adorned with Swedish ski stars and a cool 50s print for my kitchen.

We head back to T-Centralen to meet Anna and her friend for lunch. They take us to the top of the Centre for Culture, which has a little-publicised terrassen where you can eat on the rooftop. What a view!

After lunch Anna takes us to Marimekko where I splurge on a new duvet set. Their eye catching 60s style designs are just impossible to resist.

We drop off our finds and head back to Anna's flat, where we meet her bro Lars before walking to the amusement park Gröna Lund in Djurgården to see the Hives. New bit: While Anna is getting ready, we watch a Norwegian programme about dog shows. Our jaws hit the floor in disbelief as a woman w@nks her dog to keep him calm before the show. They show *everything*. In another scene, we're treated to a graphic footage of a vet performing a caesarian birth on a giant bulldog. Lars is a bit embarrassed, but eventually he just shrugs and says "That's Norwegians for you."

Anyhow, onto the Hives. You may remember I've seen them before and was less than impressed, but tonight is unique and much much better. Surrounded by gaudy rides and eating my Fisk Meny (chips and fishfingers smothered in curried mayo), I'm quite blissfully happy. Afterwards, we take the ferry back to Slussen and have a drink in a mad Czech bar where gorgeous, unflustered nordic barmen pull dozens of pints. Although we find a seat in another bar shortly afterwards, last night's escapades are catching up with me and we make our excuses after midnight.

More tomorrow...


Anonymous Michael said...

So, I do not really suppose this is likely to work.
sex pillows | custom fabric | pumpkin muffins

8:17 am  

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