Mon 14 Oct - Stockholm, Sweden / London, England

Nostalgia big time for Hans, a London walking tour for Di.

Di is up first...

Di got going just after 9am, having a nice chat with Dario and Cate about travel (and Hans... Or so she said...) while waiting for the tour to commence. Here is a photo of Di's hosts.

Di took the tube into the city but it was still peak hour on the trains at least until 10am.

Tour starts at monument. So far no rain but I am prepared with ll bean jacket.


Well, it did not rain on Di's parade! Or walking tour. In fact, Di thought the walking tour was very good. The focus was on the Southwark area and the Thames with plenty of discussion on how the Victorian times were a mix of...

  • fast development (like the railways); and
  • backward infrastructure (like no sewage for 2.5 million Londoners until 1865! with the result that shit was flowing in the streets and Thames)
The tour pent some time in the old slum areas where Charles Dickens set a lot his stories which was also the film site of "Lock, Stock and 2 smoking barrels".

A few more photos from the tour...

Tour guide Richard, the 3rd of 6 Richards working for London Tours.

Under the London Bridge... NOT falling down...

Crossing the London Bridge, with the Shard building in the background.

A few dodgy characters took an interest in the tour and made their own commentary.
Main festure here were slums and a paupers graveyard.
Mint Street was still considered unsafe for all unless daylight and in a group.
"Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" was supposed to have been filmed here.

After the tour, sought out lunch at Borough Markets. Paella... Very generous. Lots of chorizo, 3 mussels, nice prawn and chook too. Tasty, but too much.

Yep, Di gave the paella the thumbs up, much to the amusement of the vendor in the background.

A few more market photos follow...


In the afternoon, Di paid Carolyn a long visit then in the evening went to see a movie, "Sunshine on Leith", Leith being the area between Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth (the water north of Edinburgh).

Leigh's favourite lads, the Proclaimers, make a cameo appearance in the movie's first 5 minutes. Di liked the movie, and in particular the fact that she recognized so many of the settings from our stay up there.

That's all from Di for now (home around 8pm after a big day). And pretty much the end of reporting the present time for today, so to say...

Warning, warning... If a trip down Hans' memory lane is too much, you may stop your reading here.

You see, Mike and Hans drove around the southern suburbs of Stockholm for many hours, tracking down and photographing places and buildings that meant something to us in the past...

First though, we went to Webland in Fruängen at their 10am opening time, for Mike to get a new Nokia mobile phone as the old one has... Let's say... An accident. Hans offered to take a photo for recording purposes, or even two photos as a "before" and "after" but Mike declined.

Next to the suburb of Fruängen is Långbro with its old mental hospital. Hans and Mike were not sure what was going there these days, but Hans had an old friend from technical college whose father worked here and the two of them lived there then. Hans spent time there on and off back then, mostly outside in the park, drinking beer. Mike was there too on occasion.

Hans and Mike couldn't quite make out what building Karel Vlasak lived in then, but the parkland looked spectacular today. A few shots...



Next destination was Älvsjö.

Ericsson, the telecommunications company, gave Hans his first permanent job as a computer operator back in 1978 and this was the building where Hans worked. It didn't look much different today from what Hans could remember from back then.

The adjacent suburb is Solberga and another of Hans' friends from technical college lived here at Kristallvägen 103. Many alcoholic beverages have been consumed here and Hans slept on the floor after wet nights many times.

The kitchen window of the Backlunds is to the left of the entrance.

Ahh... Hans and Mike's first home in life. In Hans case, until the age of 9. The suburb is Johanneshov, local train station is Skärmarbrink and the address is Burspråksvägen 5.

Hans outside Burspråksvägen 5.

Down Burspråksvägen with number 5 to the middle on right. We lived on the 2nd floor, in a 1 room apartment with sit in kitchen, on the other side of the building, facing the very busy Nynäsvägen, the main throughfare straight south out of Stockholm.

Lilla Gungis (the small playground) from when Hans and Mike lived at Burspråksvägen 5.

Hans and Mike took a wander around this old neighborhood and here is finally something new. Park furniture with a difference... Would it encourage homeless people...?

Back in time again... Hans and Mike's playschool and kindergarten. Still there in some form...

This is where Hans and Mike used to slide down the hill on saucers in winter. It seemed so big and intimidating when you are so small yourself...

Massive changes to the other side of Nynäsvägen across from where Hans and Mike used to live all those years ago. Then, it was all wooded there apart from a sandy area where gypsies had put up caravan camps. Now, the Globe stadium, built some 20 years ago, dominates the skyline... The Globe hosts major events including rock concerts and Eurovision contests.

The Globe has been given some completion by the new Tele 2 Arena which is a football stadium and Hammarby IF's (1 of 3 major Stockholm football teams) new home arena.

As you can see below, the whole area is an entertainment district called Globen City (there are more arenas outside of the picture).

A kilometer or two further south in the suburb of Gamla Enskede is the building where Hans lived between 1980 and 1987.

Hans' apartment had 1 bedroom, large living room, large kitchen and a tiny tiny bathroom, all on 60 square meters. The window to the left of the entrance of Stockholmsvägen 5 was to the living room.

This is the back of the building where the 3rd window on the ground floor housed the kitchen and the 4th was to the bedroom.

Close to Gamla Enskede is Skogskyrkogården, The Bush Cemetery. Hans and Mike's parents are buried here.

Hans and Mike had bought and brought two plants for the 2 graves. The grave to the right belongs to their Uncle Oscar who died 6 days before their father.

Mike had previously planted the pine tree in front of the parents' grave, which loved the environment and despite pruning is still growing berserk. There were no tools available for further trimming today so pruning was left to Mike for some other time.

The suburbs are all very close and 5 minutes later Hans and Mike arrived the building of Hans' very first own apartment in Kärrtorp.

This is the balcony and window and only source of natural light to the tiny 26 square meter "jail cell" where Hans lived for 3 months in early 1980 before he traded up to the apartment shown earlier in Gamla Enskede.

More often than not when Hans lived here, winos used to hang just inside this entrance. Hans remembered that it could feel like running a gauntlet passing through these non-perfumed and rowdy characters.

Today, there was nobody loitering in there. Perhaps the times have changed... Still looked bleak in the area though.

Time is approaching 1pm and a couple of hundred meters up the road is Jesse's Krog, a favourite place for lunch in the mid 80s.

The small restaurant is there today so we decided to have "Dagens Lunch", lunch meal of the day, a relatively unique Swedish invention where you pay a price for a hot meal, drink, salad, crispbread with butter and coffee afterwards (Hans has seen the same concept in Spain).

There were 3 hot dishes to choose from. Hans had pasta with seafood and Mike had falukorv (a Swedish type of wurst) wrapped in bacon with mash. Pretty ordinary food, but it certainly filled them up.

Next to the suburb of Kärrtorp is the suburb of Björkhagen. Hans and Mike's cousin Peter used to live at Karlskronavägen 13, and Peter's mum apparently still lives there. Let's check it out...

The Michalowski's living room is to the left and the main bedroom is to the right. Hans and Mike had no intention of going in, just taking a few photos, but suddenly Peter's mum Erna, our aunt, appeared behind the balcony door.

Hans and Mike were gone faster than a paycheck...

Next stop is Hellasgården in the Nacka Nature Reserve. Somebody "enhanced" the map...

Hans and Mike used to go to Hellasgården as kids and through school, for a day of outdoor adventures such as orienteering.

It was closed today Monday, but it looked pretty much the way they remembered it. Lots of hot chocolate from thermoses was consumed around there.

Behind Hellasgården is Källtorpssjön, a small lake for swimming and picnics around it. And since there was a sauna adjacent to the lake, and as some people heat up in the sauna for a later dip in the cold water, there was a bloke getting into the water just to the left of us in this picture.

The bloke was old... And naked... There are never ever any cute young girls going skinny dipping like that...

The tall aerials called Nackamasten have been a feature forever and were the main TV and radio transmitters to the south of Stockholm. Not sure about their roles today.

Mike is having a contemplating moment on the beach...

Brännkyrka Gymnasium is where Hans went to techical college for 3 years between 1973 and 1976. The school had apparently been renamed since last time Hans was checking it out, whenever that was.

Hans is down by the old schoolyard.

Ahh... The memories.

After a full day down the memory lane, Hans and Mike then decided to go back towards Mike's place in Vårberg, but not before an afternoon cuppa at Café Lyran.

Café Lyran has this feel of yesteryear and is an all year favourite. Hans and Mike were there too last time when Hans was in Sweden.

Coffee for both and a very tasty cinnamon snail for Hans and a very tasty Danish for Mike.

Part of Cafe Lyran's popularity is its location, high above Lake Mälaren in a wooded setting.

Hans and Mike were surprised to see a London cab in Cafe Lyran's car park, painted white, with UK registration plates and steering wheel on the right side... And yes, apparently licensed as a cab in Stockholm.

On the way home, Mike picked up Vic at Fruängen's subway station and then a long blogging session for Hans followed.

Pea and ham soup with knäckebröd or crispbread for dinner, then more walking down memory lane by listening to old hits from Spotify.

Now it is good night from both of us.


No comments:

Post a Comment