Tag Archives: Sweden

The Vasa

20 May

This marks the end of my Sweden posts, but I definitely saved the best for last. The Vasamuseet was practically the only thing I knew about Stockholm and wanted to see before getting there. It’s a museum for a complete warship from the 17th century. What’s not to love?

P1070371The Vasa

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17 May

Södermalm is the cool, hip section of Stockholm. You know the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” series? (Of course you do, it’s one of the most read series in the world.) Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist spend most of their time hanging around Södermalm, just like their author Stieg Larrson. Anyways, it’s a totally awesome place to go wander around.

Stairs in SöderStairs in Söder.

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The Nobel Museum

13 May

Nobel MuseumThe Nobel Museum

So, as it turns out, I found the Nobel Museum to be incredibly fascinating. I’m a sucker for a decent science story. The Nobel Museum is one of the more famous places in Stockholm – the Swedish Academy of Sciences is located on the second floor of the building and they host the Nobel Prize Winners every year.

Alfred Nobel’s probably one of the most famous Swedes ever. He invented dynamite and was a consummate businessman, making him fabulously wealthy. Nobel never married or had children, so he dedicated his fortune to fund the awards that we know as the Nobel Prize. His one page will stipulated that a prize be given in physics, chemistry, and medicine/anatomy each for eminence, a prize in literature for work “in an idealist direction”, and a prize in peace for the person who gives the greatest service to international fraternity, reducing standing armies, or initiating peace congresses. Interestingly, in a time of severe nationalism, Nobel said that the prizes would be given regardless of nationality.

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Old Town

10 May

Stortorget SquareStortorget Square.

Gamla stan is universally recognized as the original site for Stockholm, dating back to the 13th century. Many of the buildings date back to the Renaissance and even the Medieval period (which was 1100s-1500s for Sweden), making it really freaking cool looking.

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8 May

For some reason, I’ve always wanted to go north. Scandinavia always held something that caught my interest. Was it the Vikings? That super cool Danish friend I had in high school or those awesome Norwegians I met in university? When I was looking at families that needed a nanny, I specified three cities – Paris, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. I almost went to Denmark instead of France, if you can believe it. I’m grateful for the past year in Paris, don’t get me wrong. But I wanted to see what it was like further north.

I’m glad I waited until spring though.

This is City Hall, where they throw the Nobel Prize party.  The gray floaty dots aren't UFOs, my camera lense is just borked.

This is City Hall, where they throw the Nobel Prize party. The gray floaty dots aren’t UFOs, my camera lens is just borked.

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6 May

Wanderlust and Lipstick is a site that I’ve been rereading for years. They cater to the “solo lady traveler/ lady who dreams of solo travel” market, but it’s got a lot of really useful and practical advice. Plus, their newsletter kind of spurred me onto my latest foray into international travel. I mean, it’s been a while since my last adventure, which was the UK back in November. (I really don’t count in-transit as a legitimate adventure, unless I end up somewhere cool for several days at a time. *cough* Bangkok *cough* )

So when I decided to actually do something with my spring holiday, I bought tickets to go to Sweden.

For the past few days I’ve been enjoying the lovely city of Stockholm. I’m still away on vacation, so I figure I’ll leave the Movits here as a nice little placeholder until Wednesday. I can now say with some certainty that their music video was shot in Gamla stan, the old historical district of Stockholm. It’s actually a really cool place and you’ll see a lot more of it in my next few posts.

Food Friday: Kaffestugan

27 Apr

My favorite cafe in Chengdu by far is Kaffestugan. It’s a cheery little cafe just out of little north gate. The entire shop is well lit and bright, the crowd is usually pleasant, and they have free wifi Plus, the coffee is fantastic.

A nice vanilla latte.

Kaffestugan is run by a pair of Swedish/Korean expats, so the place is very foreigner-friendly. The menu is in English and Chinese, and the food is straight up Swedish. This is a good thing because oh my god this stuff is delicious. They have a lot of Swedish delicacies, but I mostly go for anything with salmon in it because I am starving for seafood.

I spent a fair amount of time here back in November writing for NaNo. The bagel with cream cheese and lox is a nice snack.

 An open-face salmon sandwich. Mmmm.

I usually save Kaffestugan for a bit of a treat. A coffee isn’t too expensive – a cup will run you about 25 kuai, plus cheap re-fills. They have other excellent drinks, like a hot cocoa that is probably the best I’ve tasted outside of the Ghiradelli factory coffee shop in San Francisco. Cakes and other sweets are about 20 kuai a plate.

Huge cup of hot chocolate.

Apple Cake. Spongy, with just the right amount of cinnamon. The vanilla ice cream doesn’t hurt, either!

The one and only downside is the location. Kaffestugan is on the third floor, above a number of Chinese shaokao and hot pot restaurants. This means that the smoke from all these little individual barbecues starts to rise around dinnertime. It gets downright smoky inside the cafe by eight or nine and has driven me out once or twice. But Kaffestugan is a fun place to spend an afternoon and I highly recommend you visit if you’re in the area.