Sunday, 14 August 2011

Stockholm syndrome -- Part 3


Star on a dish in the National Museum, Stockholm
Still with me? Thank you!
     Thursday was, dangerously, 'shopping day'. Oh my god, but the shops were beautiful and expensive. We took our twelve-year-old label-addict to NK, Stockholm's answer to Selfridges, which was cruel, really, as our pockets are more suited to H&M. H&M was pretty good too. David didn't believe me when I told him that the Swedish state controls sales of alcohol and that you have to go to a special shop to buy booze, but it's true, so we went to a Systembolaget shop, just for the experience. Quite nice really, as I had envisaged a grubby hatch in a concrete wall with unmarked bottles being shoved through in exchange for a bundle of notes. The Systembolaget website (linked above) is fascinating, with a report on 'What would happen if the state monopoly ended?', complete with morbid animations showing the undermining of Swedish values -- it's easy to laugh, but the contrast between the superb city experience we had in Stockholm and the complete rampaging nightmare we returned to surely includes alcohol as a factor.
'floating' exhibition at the Architecture Museum
After that we went to the Architecture Museum, which was a beautiful, airy space. Half of it was full of a strangely eclectic collection of models of buildings, some of which I suspect must have been brought from other places (old colleges and so on) -- pretty interesting. In the other half there was a very cool 'floating' exhibition about landscaping as an aid to sustainability. It was really just a lot of pictures and text, so could have been done just as well in a book, I guess, but the suspended display surfaces looked good.
In one small area there was a show from the Konsthantverkarna, Sweden's oldest craft association, and this was full of excellent objects, some beautiful, some quirky, witty and mad.
In the evening we went for a meal at Grill, a restaurant which was also quirky, witty and mad.
Oh no, it's Friday already -- the week's nearly over. We took the train and then a bus to Sigtuna, Sweden's oldest town. It had a great museum, where the pointy-headed man above was displayed along with a lot of other very interesting finds. Mr Pointy is a Viking -- his helmet probably signifies 'supreme power'. Vikings did not wear horned helmets, apparently, only in 'twentieth-century mass culture', it says in the leaflet. It says King Canute of England also wore a pointy helmet, but he was a bit of a dunce.
     The postcard above the Viking king gives an impression of Sigtuna high street as my photos were no good. It was very posh, a bit like Fowey or Lyme Regis, aimed at upmarket tourists, I guess. But very nice. We had our lunch in a very very old cafe -- ignore the creepy mannequin:
The Tant Grön cafe, Sigtuna
The interior was lovely and cool on a very hot day.
Yay, I finally had a kanelbulle, the famous cinnamon bun of Sweden. Very delicious.
I had been so good all week, buying little more than a few postcards and some nice matchboxes.
But I did want to bring back something nice to remember Sweden by. So on the way back from the train station, we jumped off the bus near a row of antique shops we'd spotted previously. The best shop was Bacchus Antik, near Odenplan. Oh no, too much choice...

 How to choose? It was nearly impossible. Having narrowed it down to cups and saucers, I could hardly bear to make up my mind but it was all so mightily expensive. In the end I got a couple of cups and plates in the Salix design by Stig Lindberg from the mid-Fifties.
Just one morning left in Stockholm and the kids went on some of the rides at Grona Land. They are fearless!
Thank you for sticking with 'What I did on my holidays'. It's a bit 'then we did this, then we did that' but I wanted to have a record of my best holiday ever. Now I can't wait to go back -- I'm already dreaming of the next trip.
One of hundreds of 'perfect places' we saw -- this one on the lakeshore at Sigtuna

4 comments:

Kitsch and Curious Elsie said...

Fantastic posts, Jane! It all looks wonderful, and I'm not surprised it was your best holiday. You seem to have packed in such a lot, but at the same time it all looks leisurely and beautiful.

Menopausalmusing said...

Loving Mr Pointy Head.....

What a fabulous trip.

Printed Material said...

Jane,
Thanks for the whirlwind tour of Sweden. I like 'a little bit of this and a little bit of that' a lot! Lucky you to come home with some Stig Lindberg pieces... but the matchboxes are good too. Are they the start of a new collection...

Ellen said...

Wow Jane! What a great trip to Stockholm! The beautiful photos show that you've seen wonderful things.
By the way, I love the way you write! If my English were any better I'd probably write some more in my posts as well...

Thanks for taking us to Stockholm!