First up: Stockholm (3 days, 3 nights)
#1 On Friday night, my Stockholm-raised friend Magnus invited a couple to savor a meal with us. This was the “fanciest” meal, and food venue, I believe I’ve experienced.
Working 6 years at Chilis, and living in America where portions are literally half my size, certain concepts felt foreign and refreshing: The concept of progression of courses, every flavor tied together with the lighting, the art of the plates, the colors, bite sized and punctuated flavors, only local in season ingredients (no melon here in Sweden), wine perfectly paired to accentuate or subdue, the selection being placed in front of each guest at the same time…the tasting, and talking to strangers with such fervor and open freedom, and feeling the nourishment pour into my memory like a soothing communion broth
Check these out:
#2 Visiting the Noble Museum: So…free university? bi-lingualism?
Emphasis on reading literature, reading global newspapers, and practicing a “craft” (art.music.projects) Sweden definitely is the smartest locale I’ve encountered. And this theme was superbly reflected at the Noble Museum. The prize is awarded here and the tradition reflected in the great inventor and fortune maker of dynamite, Alfred Nobel. Sure, it’s fun to learn that the 10 million Euro prize for Literature, Medicine, Science, Peace, and Economy comes only from interest and that the dinner is the most expensive celebration in the world each year (December 10th) but more so, it was inspiring to read about each winner and the process of recognizing LIGHT in this world. (Sorry, no pictures!)
#3 Shopping: I scored BIG time in Stockholm, acquiring two new household “loves” that brighten my face just reflecting on them. First off, I happened upon a lovely store rushing through Gamla Stan on my way to a boat tour when I saw a sign, HILDA HILDA, with adorable textiles hanging from it. I engineered canceling a museum trip to go back before she closed.
#4 Conversations while SHOPPING: Whether it be on a walking tour of popular places from the book Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, or talking about life with Lott Hilda, or flirting with Julem (who sells cheese from his one cow, Edna, in the gourmet market of Hotorsgshallen…or Hay Market), or over dinner at Herman’s (a cool vegetartian place over looking the water that hit my “I miss Whole Foods Buffet” spot, I loved the carefree ness of my strolling and conversations. First…Stockholm’s subway is also known as the world’s longest art gallery at 68 miles (109 kilometers). The majority of the subway’s 100 stations include paintings, sculptures and mosaics. Second…the talking MATTERED: What’s wrong with the Fast Food Industry?
Should alcohol and cigarettes be heavily controlled and taxed? What fun books are you reading (Nina gave me a recommendation for the Jane Eyre Affair, which I am digging into after Girl)
#5 Nature: Discover a city like no other – a city built on 14 islands People in Stockholm are FIT, mostly because of all the green space surrounding them. My favorite place to get my legs stretched of course, was their Djurgarden island. This used to be the royal hunting garden but then turned to public enjoyment 150 years ago. It was once of my MOST FAVORITE JOGGING EXPERIENCES ALL YEAR! Listening to Sia and Florence and the Machine, and the Weepies, I trotted along the sea path and practically ran into the Princess’ flock of sheep. I mean come on, seriously! AWESOME-Ness times two mornings.
I WILL return! If you know my “been there, done that” attitude, that’s saying A LOT!