Final full day in 2 different countries for us... Which means final get togethers and final goodbyes, although Hans has one more social engagement tomorrow Sunday...
First off is Team Di, where Di first had a few chores and small items to buy in the morning so she wandered to the local shopping centre and laughed when she saw this name. It immediately made Di think of indigestion!
Some tough parking enforcement in Kensington. Bye bye car...
Di met her mum and Alan outside V&A at 1pm and they wandered into South Kensington to find most restaurants with queues for lunch. Finally found a table at an Italian deli squeezed in beside the kitchen. After lunch, they headed to Kings Road Chelsea for done shopping at Marks & Spencer's. Alan did well with 2 new trousers and Di got a new belt.
Di, Audrey and Alan took then took a bus to Battersea Park. A short wander before an afternoon cuppa with Carolyn.
Afternoon tea with Carolyn was lovely but it was hard to say goodbye knowing that Carolyn's time is limited. Mum was also a bit mushy, but it's easier knowing she and Di will see each other again in Australia in 3 months time.
Then home to West Brompton to say goodbye to Di's hosts, Dario and Cate, before they go out with friends this Saturday evening. Di felt that was also a bit sad as she thought that they have been lovely to live with.
A quiet night in followed for Di with packing and a simple dinner. She will be leaving the flat to fly to Amsterdam, Holland at 7am tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Team Hans plans for today were threefold:
- Mike was going to drop off Päivi in Vällingby for a get together at her boss' place. Due around midday, after picking up Päivi's daughter Hajar along the way.
- Afternoon cuppa at Pekka's place. Pekka lived in Skärholmen with Hans and Mike and as he is the same age as Hans, they were in the same class for many years
- Dinner at Alex and Magnus place
Hans, Mike and Päivi were in the car around 10am, and at Hans insistence, took a detour down to Skärholmens Gård. This is it...
Skärholmens Gård has an expansive lawn towards Lake Mälaren which is just behind here.
Great light on the road towards the water and Lake Mälaren, with Skärholmens Gård immediately to the left of this picture.
On the water, with Sätrabadet in the background straight ahead. All the Skärholmen kids went there in summer, weather permits of course.
Hans, Mike and Päivi picked up Hajar, dropped her and her mum off, and Mike and Hans then drove through the northwestern suburbs of Stockholm for a while, including trying to localize where Mast Palast Fikonskaft aka Mats Alama, another Swede in Australia (North Curl a Curl) lived once upon a time.
The best bet was this apartment block, bottom floor, far left, but don't hold anybody to it.
On the way towards Pekka, Hans and Mike stopped for lunch at a "classic" venue, E4-Baren. It used to be next to the E4 road, but has since moved some distance away from there.
Yes, Hans Classic "day after" meal was cheese burger and pommes frites. Time has changed and so has Hans perhaps, but this meal was shite. No other word for it. Burger was ordinary at best, and pommes frites are now bottom of the range fries or strips as they call them here.
Ramlösa mineral water was the only thing that still met Hans expectations.
Hans and Mike suspected that the only thing common here was the name, E4-Baren. It used to be managed by some older ladies, but now there were two blokes doing the cooking. Oh well...
Soon after we stepped into Pekka's place at Älvsjöbadet, where he lives with his wife Yen and daughter Li.
Dad and daughter...
Mum and daughter...
And a photo of Hans and Li that Pekka took. Quite like it. Di says "very cute"...
Hans and Mike had coffee and chatted with Pekka about the past and the present. Pekka has a two bedroom unit, but they has a lot of stuff. Never mind all the kiddy things, Pekka is also heavily into music and computers so there were also many instruments and several computers present. Pekka said that the family needed a bigger place, and Hans and Mike could see that.
Li was initially a bit shy when Hans and Mike arrived but soon warmed up and when Hans took out the iPad, she was there wanting to touch and scroll it. She even let Hans put her on his lap for a short little while.
Back then to Mike's place for a break, including testing out and playing with Skype. No, this was not a good look on either side.
A liberate amount of candles were spread across Alex and Magnus apartment at dinner time. The food was delicious and was washed down with a Marlborough Pinot Noir from New Zealand. By the way, the pre-dinner beer was a Spanish San Miguel. Feeling very international here...
After dinner, Hans, Mike, Alex and Magnus sat down in their living room, connecting via Skype with Vic and his girlfriend Nina in Romania. Vic had left Stockholm the day before to fly across there.
Nina and Vic, directly from Romania.
The international theme was not finished there. Magnus mum, who is Australian, had baked an Australian Pavlova cake with a twist, a chocolate Pavlova which was offered for dessert. Hans was impressed.
After some 3 1/2 hours, full with food and drink, Hans and Mike called it quits, thanked the hosts for their generousity and drove back to Vårberg. Home by 10pm, and Mike had a beer that his daughter had kindly offered him before leaving while Hans took a lower profile and just blogged (this). Good night.