Saturday, May 26, 2012

SWEDEN: Gamla Stan summer edition

Coffee in Gamla Stan

When I last visited Stockholm it was in early February, subzero temperatures and slippery ice clinging to every street surface, especially in the old town centre Gamla Stan. It was still a very attractive city but it was difficult to move very quickly in those conditions. Gustav has visited Stockholm a number of times before but this is the first where there is no schedule of rushing between relations to dictate every moment.

Tugboat

Once we found the correct way out of the Tunnelbana station i.e. not the harbour side shown above, we settled into our priorities of coffee, breakfast and Moominware. I seem to remember there being less tacky souvenir shops last time: I really can’t fathom why people would want to come to Sweden to buy Hello Kitty mementoes and Norwegian troll dolls. Still it was a sunny day and we had a good coffee under our belts, and a cacophony of international voices waiting to have their photos taken with Munson.
Gustav handles the tourists

Munson meets gnome  Swedish TARDIS
Gamla Stan side streetsFrom the cobbled streets and colourful alleyways of Gamla we passed the Moomin parliament (where Gustav assures me that Momminpappa reigns) and up Jussi Björling Alley in the Kungsträdgården park towards the area known as Östermalm ie the eastern quarter of the city.
Soluhull food hall
Our primary reason for going there was to visit the Saluhall food hall crammed with purveyors of fine cheeses, seafood, coffees and the rest. I picked us up some take-away food there to eat in the square outside while Munson made cow-eyes at the locals.
Saluhall spreads Aussie wine at the System Bolaget

We hopped on the metro again to cross town to Södermalm (our stop yesterday) so that Gustav could say hi to an acquaintance who was displaying some of his comic-book art at a design market. After that we had to pick up some wine and beer at one of the state controlled System Bolaget outlets before it closed at 3pm – the last chance to buy packaged alcohol on a weekend.

Odds and ends
From there we returned to the flat to change clothes and have a nap before going out again late afternoon. Standing outside the supermarket at our metro station, I looked down at Munson, comfortably docked against my ankles and was reminded of a photo I took four years ago on his first morning in public, little aware of the adventures ahead for either of us.
Munson - 2008 to 2012

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