Sun 13 Oct - Stockholm, Sweden / London, England

Rainy day in London and sunny day in Stockholm... Again.

Today, we start with Di's experiences.

Di slept in to around 8am and was out by 9.30am to a very quiet London Town. This is the northern end of the road where Di stayed.

Di went back to the hospital and was pleased to see that Carolyn was recovering well. The two of them chatted for an hour, well, that should be mostly Di. Some time just after 11am, Di went to what she refers to as the "same old place", the Chinese Dim Sum place with excellent karma.

Di caught the train to Petticoat Lane markets which we passed on the way to Liverpool Street station when we went to Cambridge exactly a week ago.

Di enjoyed the markets, had fun but it was wet.

After loitering around the markets for a while, Di then headed back to town. Or so she thought... Oops. She did not pay attention and ended up on the wrong train. Quick turnaround at Whitechapel.

Later, Di had a taco salad for dinner at her accommodation and relaxed for the rest of the evening by reading books.

Oh yes, almost forgot. Di also found a new iPhone holder for Hans, one that can be hooked onto the belt which had proven to be very handy during the trip... Thank you, Di :-)

Meanwhile, further north in Stockholm, the Mike Carlen household did not really move at all until well after 9am despite the excellent weather. Post breakfast and showers, the 5 of them, Hans, Mike, Päivi, Alex and Vic were in the car and on the way to Djurgården, the recreational island just east of downtown.

Mike found a parking spot on Strandvägen and the crowd then walked across the small bridge called Djurgårdsbron towards the island. Here we are looking back over the bridge.

A map depicting the area. Hans and Co were now at the bridge to the left on the map.

This was really a stunning autumn day, cool and crisp air, and sunny. Mike and Päivi got a bit... amorous.

From left, Hans, Päivi, Mike and Vic with the photo taken by Alex.

They passed the new Abba Museum on Djurgården and it was definitely drawing a crowd. Hans and Co were not tempted despite none of the Swedes having paid it a visit.

Outside Gröna Lund, the amusement park which Hans visited a lot in his younger years. He had seen lots of bands here including Eagles, Clash, Uriah Heep and Ian Dury. It was closed today and perhaps closed for the season although the dates on the cylinder seem to indicate otherwise.

The memories...

Of course, an amusement park always seems to evolve with new attractions finding their way there. This ride was definitely new and looked pretty scary.

The ferry between Gamla Stan (Old Town) and Djurgården. It seems to have been there forever and Hans have taken trips on it many times in the past, but not today.

While we are onto a naval theme, a Viking ship was passing by...

...and this very interestingly named boat was anchored a bit further ahead. Of course, no wine grapes grow in Sweden...

Nordiska Museet (The Nordic Museum) with palm trees in front... Yes, that's what Hans was told. These whitely wrapped poles apparently have palm trees inside, covered up for the season to protect them from the cold. Still seemed a bit far fetched to Hans.

Warning - perhaps a bit overexposure to autumn colours, but it did look pretty damn good today.

Along Djurgårdskanalen (The Djurgården Canal).

OK, one more...

Djurgården's Värdshus (Djurgården Inn) was and is still a very popular destination for weekends and in particular Sundays.

Now, below is another gem on Djurgården called Villa Godthem. The restaurant still today serves a very famous (well, in Hans circles anyway) dish called Plankstek.

The spiel from Villa Godthem's website describes the dish as follows: ‘Plankstek’, a traditional dish that originates from Hungarian cuisine where it is called ‘Fatanyeros’, is comprised of a pan-fried steak served with duchess potatoes and seasonal greens on a wooden platter.

Hans couldn't resist to bring in a picture from the website so that the reader would get an idea how it looks like:

Villa Godthem was closed the last time when Hans was in Stockholm (2010), but apparently it is now back in business. Hmm, a visit may be required...

After flaneuring on Djurgården, Mike drove a bit further into downtown Stockholm for Hans and Co to see an outdoor photography exhibition focusing on European wilderness. One of Päivi's neighbors is a photographer and some of his work was exhibited her, hence Päivi was interested to see it.

It turned out that the photographer's daughter and Hajar, Päivi's daughter were hanging around there. Unfortunately, no pictures of them, but here is yet another one where technology plays a big part.

And verdict on the exhibition... There was some seriously good photography and motifs featured there. They had chosen the participants well...

The exhibition was at Nybrokajen so Hans took the opportunity to shoot a few pics across the water towards Strandvägen, one of Stockholm's most exclusive residential adresses.


Immediately to the left of the building above is Kungliga Dramatiska Teatern (Royal Dramatic Theatre) where there outside is a statue of one of Sweden's most loved actresses, Margaretha Krook.

The interesting thing with the statue is that it is made partly of copper and is facing south, i.e towards the sun, with the result that it is very hot to touch. That in itself has made it an attraction as it is so hot that you almost burn yourself if you put your hand on its tummy (which a lot of people had done given the much lighter colour there).

No visit to Stockholm will ever be complete without a visit to Cafe Sturekatten.

Ahh... Hans has been going to Sturekatten for coffee and apple cake with custard since many years before he migrated to Australia.

Home away from home. Sturekatten still looks and feels like you were sitting in somebody's living room.

The happy crowd...

THE dish, coffee and apple cake with custard. Fan bloody tastic.

After feeling very satisfied on coffee and cakes, we again drove a bit closer towards Alex and Magnus place, but first stopped at the train station to let Päivi off who took the train back to her place in Kallhäll, a suburb north of Stockholm.
Alex wanted to show Hans this place, the "only Australian pub" in Stockholm. It was closed this Sunday so Hans couldn't check out its inside. Hmmm... Fish and chips cost app. A$20...

The wander took Hans and Co through Vasaparken, but not before yet another wurst from a street vendor. Sigh, Hans was starting to get a bit sick of wurst, despite the superior quality vs say Australian or American wursts.

Hans and Co finished off the day with a visit to Alex and Magnus (Alex' boyfriend) place for a late afternoon cuppa.

Hans hadn't seen Magnus this time around until now and last night Magnus had been out and about with the boys with the result that he spent most of the day recovering in bed. Magnus is the bloke standing up and has a Swedish father and an Australian mother.

Alex was a bit cheeky with Magnus as she hadn't seen him since the day before... Or was it just a show off for the camera...?

Technology distracts yet again...

Vic was then on Skype with his girlfriend Nina from just outside of Bucharest, Romania. Hi Nina...

The 2 M:s, Magnus and Mike. Son-in-law and father-in-law... One day perhaps...

The view from Alex and Magnus' balcony on the first floor off Lindhagensgatan. The balcony is glassed in and is facing south with the result that it was very hot inside when we arrived and before the windows were moved to the side.

On the way back to Mike's place, Hans and Co stopped to get some beetroots for tonight's dinner, the Swedish traditional dish pyttipanna.

Just around the corner from Mike's place in Vårberg, there is a spot on the road where there are excellent views over Lake Mälaren, a huge freshwater lake west of Stockholm. Yep, it was pretty all right.

Orange sky colours during sunset.

And more fabulous autumn colours...


This is the water tower in the neighboring suburb of Sätra, a landmark which is hard to miss around here.

Mike and Vic both got into the photography and shot a few themselves even though they must have seen these views many times before.

So, pyttipanna for dinner and then a lazy evening which was alcohol free for Hans.

Gosh, Hans needed that. The drinking is always a bit full on for the first couple of nights when Hans sees his brother.

From two European countries, one hour time difference, Hans and Di say good night.


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