August 11, 2004

Most suicides are committed with a knife and fork

Apparently that's a Swedish proverb. Just a little too appropriate for me today, eating oh-so-tasty baked goods in the park.

I had a great Swedish speaking day today. I had some almost-conversations in the shops, where the kindly shopkeepers pretended to understand me, so I felt terribly successful. Hurrah.

We just spent a lovely long weekend in Stockholm. It's a nice city in the summer heat. It's all built on islands, so it's possible to take ferries everywhere on a hot day. Apparently the Stockholm archipelago has 24,000 islands. Perhaps it could be the place where I finally realise my dream of having an island of mine own.

We stayed with Patrick's friends, and slept on their balcony. I hadn't considered sleeping on my balcony (it's a lot smaller), but I may have to give it a try one of these nights.

We touristed our way through Gamla Stan, the island containing much of the old town. It's chockablock with tourists, cute little cafes with umbrellas, and very dull royal buildings, but with excellent palace guards. Particularly loving the hats. Goodness, I wish they had dress-up opportunities for tourists. In fact, perhaps they could staff the palace very cheaply indeed that way. It'd go down a bomb on the international tourist circuit. ;)

We also took in the Vasa museet. The Vasa was a ship built in 1628. It sank on its maiden voyage (not enough ballast, apparently). Someone found it again in the 50s, and there's been some dedicated restoration work. It's an awesome sight.

I took their 10-month old baby on a walking tour of the Modern Art Museet. It gave me a whole new perspective on modern art. An enormous mobile with alphabet letters? Fantastic. Fizzing electrical sparks as artwork? Just the ticket to keep the nipper entertained.

My favourite place was Junibacken. It's an exhibition based on the stories by Astrid Lindgren. e.g. Pippi Longstocking (aka Pippi Långstrump) and Emile. Goddamn it was magical. There's a train through a world of stories. Yes, it sounded crap to me too, until I went. The train doesn't just chug around on the ground, it whirls through the air, up inside the crazy helicopter man's house on the roof, with secret doorways opening in front of you . . . One moment you are passing storybook miniature cottages, the next you are shrunk to Borrower size, being menaced by a huge rat, surrounded by buttons and candle stubs the size of a table. You pass through the afterlife, and go underground in the troll caves.

As soon as I was finished, I wanted to go on it again. Luckily I was distracted by Pippi Longstocking's house. I played. :)

Posted by eithne at August 11, 2004 09:12 PM | TrackBack