Thursday, June 23, 2011

Return to Sweden - June 23 2011

Can you identify all of the
ice cream flavors?
It's so comforting to be back in Sweden - we already know how to read all of the signs and ice cream flavors - yet Stockholm feels so much deeper and wider - a true imperial city. Last night we walked for an hour after dinner and barely touched the surface of Norrmalm (downtown), Gamla Stan (old town), Södermalm (south town)

Our new friend Florian
Met for coffee with a friend of a friend (now a friend proper). He told us about some of the "alternative" Midsummer celebrations we can attend tomorrow, including one that has replaced dancing around a maypole phallus with dancing through a female c**t (his description, not mine). Then he gave us a Gay Map of the city, presumably printed for pride weekend. It should be fun visiting sights recommended by this map!

Metro station art
Took the free guided Stockholm metro art tour. There are 100 metro stations in Stockholm, 91 with art installations. We visited about 6. The art ranges from tiny subtle tiles to rainbows across archways to an exhibit on Carl Linnaeus Swedish father of Latin species nomenclature. I've seen really amazing photos of some Stockholm metro stations - in time I hope to return to visit more of them.

See-sawing at Kulturhuset
Stayed on the metro and popped over to Kulturhuset (culture house), which is a 7-story center of art galleries, cafes, small theatres, and a handful of kitsch shops. There was an exhibit on the Swedish artist and author Stig Claesson, I loved the 1960s video where they showed him painting, and you can look at the finished pieces there on the wall while watching him make them.

Dinner at Mest

On the way out, they wouldn't let us use the toilet - you have to use a Scandinavian cell phone to send an SMS/txt message to the toilet - you are charged 5 Kroners and the gates opens. Thankfully there's also a free toilet 6 floors up :)

Restroom with paid entry via cell

Walked around the city some more - it's a bit overwhelming because there are so many things to see and do. Ended the night at Mest bar & Restaurang in Södermalm. They make the most wonderful salmon dish cooked and served on oak planks - of course smothered in mashed potatoes.

Trying to steal the Nobel prize

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