Carl Milles’ sculptures are all over Stockholm. He had quite a life, being born to a Swedish militant and started with carpentry. Sweden then help fund his artistic education(anatomy) in Paris, where he met his soon to be wife, who was also an artist, a portrait artist. His brother and sister were also artists. In Millesgarden it stated his sister was an illustrator and had some of her “cartoons” on display, but wikipedia says she was a sculptor. He lived in Sweden and in the United States, Michigan, I believe, and also moved back to Europe, Rome. Overall, really enjoyed his sculpture garden and studio. Was a very pleasant place to visit!
Keeping with the momentum of seeing more of Sweden since our friends have left, I have decided to visit a few more museums. Tuesday May 14, we woke to rain! But around lunchtime I headed out to the Nordiska Museet, Nordic Museum. This is a massive and beautiful building on Djurgården, and was built to preserve and display Nordic culture through the ages. Everything from furniture to clothing, tablesettings and toys. Was a fun museum, but surprisingly(to me) it seems so large from the outside, there is alot of open space on the inside…I suppose to keep adding in the different the trends/styles for centuries to come!
After spending time in the Nordic Butik…..hhhhmmm, I ventured out to the Thiel Gallery. Unfortunately they were just coming off the Munch exhibit…by a few days! So the museum was small but very pleasant.
Then I headed home on foot….turned out to be a dry, but chilly day.
We are coming off a long holiday weekend. There was a Red Day on Thursday May 9th, due to it being Ascension Day here in Sweden. Red Day means all businesses and schools are closed, so Greg was home so we of course went on a bike ride. We went out to Ekerö (again)…..did 60+ miles….working our way up…..felt really good. Little secret….we signed up for the halv vatternrunden…..(the full was sold out long ago). The halv is 150kilometers, (93 miles) and really looking forward to it!! More on that in another post.
The kids also have Friday off….so for them a 4 day weekend. Greg is not so lucky….But we are expecting good friends from home on Friday night(May 10)…..George and I go off to meet them at the airport. They have been spending the day in Paris with a 12 hour layover in France….hope they had a good time!!!!!
Saturday, May 11, 2013
So Saturday we head out to the Stockholm City Hall….Stadhuset. We have never toured this and it was really nice! We had beautiful weather (all 3 days they were here BTW). The first room you enter is the Blue Room, originally the plans called for the brick to be painted blue, but since the completion took over 10 years the name stuck, but the natural brick was more desired. We learned that there were two Piazzas….and yes, it was influenced by Italian architecture. It is not that old, @100 years old, but made to look old. The Nobel Prize Banquet (1300 guests) is held here, and the stair case leading to the NOW covered internal piazza was accepted only after the queen tested 10 different staircases, wearing flowing gowns with trains and heal shoes so she could truly test the comfort for a woman in formal clothing descending the staircase.
Next is a Boat Tour!
Interesting to know that because where she sank in the Baltic Sea, which has low salinity, and an area that was sheltered from stressful currents, she had a stronger survival than if she sank in the salt waters of the Atlantic or Pacifc Oceans.
Traveler Tip….alot of museums keep the lighting low, to perserve the artifacts, but when you are a jet lagged, over walked tourist these atmospheres can drain your energy even faster!!
So before Diana passes out from exhaustion….we send the kids off, by train to the apartment. We enjoy some Stockholm sun and rum!
Then we head out to dinner….Lebanese!
Sunday, May 12, 2013…..Happy Mothers Day!!
Today I made traditional pannekackor for Collin and Diana….which are crepes but made with a blend of whole wheat, but still thin and served with cream and jelly. Then we headed off to Gamla Stan to see the Royal Changing of the Guards. But first we checked out the Royal Armory.
The Medieval Museum is across the street. We head over there and check that out before unleashing the kids. Greg takes George and Collin and Maddy out bike riding, they hang out in Kungsholmen and then go to the amusement park called Grona Lund for the evening. There are no pictures but Collin did a death defying ride called the TILT, where you are tilted looking down, feet hanging in the air and dropped. Collin in now invincible. Diana and I escape to Prince Eugenes home and gallery, stroll Gamla Stan and go out for tapas.
MONDAY May, 13, 2013
Today we are heading to Globen, to ride on the Sky View, which takes you above this large round hockey, music convention center south of Stockholm.
We hop back on the train and go to Slussen, and walk the cat walk to the Katarina Hiss, or Elevator, which is not working. But this elevator connects Slussen to Gamla Stan, and gives tremendous views of the south side of Gamla Stan.
Now off to sneak into Georges school so Collin can meet his classmates….kind of tricky cause we played hooky today….then off to Haga Park, and the Butterfly Museum.
We then fortify with some ice cream, and head off to souveiner shop. The boys have just about lost it….can’t walk any farther and are just plain pooped, so we walk down Drottningatan, window shop, but let the boys walk home. Diana and I head to Nordiska Kompaniet…NK…and stroll the high end clothing and eventually end up getting some nice authentic swedish memorabilia….and dinner!
And the sad goodbyes as they take off at 4:30am on Tuesday morning, was a wonderful visit for all and I miss you already….
….which really went unrecognized here in Sweden. I just needed a title for the post. I should have titled it, electric bikes can kick your a$$. Funny story….Greg and I are out Saturday enjoying a bike ride to Lidingö, and we are cruising right along the bike path, and we come up to an elderly couple on city bikes, you know, with wicker baskets in front. They were cruising along really well. So we just decide to sit back and see if there is a break to pass….the gentlemen is quite a bit ahead of his lady, who is pedaling like the dickens. I thought geesh, when I am her age I hope I can climb that hill with her strength….suddenly I am licked, I am standing on the bike pushing and she is pedaling like she is descending down hill. I beat myself up for just so long….then realized. ELECTRIC BIKE.
To celebrate the fact that I am not yet in need of an electric bike….we enjoyed a nice meal out at Un Poco. Fantastic meal!! Highly recommend!
Sunday we plan to head out to Ekerö. This ride is pretty much the go to ride for the serious bikers in Stockholm. It is fast and safe and a good way to get in some distance.
And the last few Mondays I have been getting out riding with another mom from the kids school. She is an active triathlete training for an ironman in November and a half ironman in September….it is nice to ride with another mom!!
Wednesday, May 1, 2013, the kids don’t have school. It is considered a Red Day in Sweden and most companies are closed as well. April 30th there are big celebrations with bonfires and singing, to celebrate the eve of May Day(The start of spring, and also Labor Day, so many unions have parades on May 1st). We head out to Skansen an open air museum, celebrating swedish wildlife and culture and early lifestyle), on the island of Djurgården, to celebrate Valborg Swedish style.
So, I have included a little information about May Day or Valborg below.
Walpurgis Night in Sweden is a very special event and a great way to experience Sweden’s traditions. Walpurgis (Swedish: “Valborg”) on April 30 is a widely celebrated event in Scandinavia, most of all in Sweden.
Walpurgis Night precedes Labour Day in Scandinavia on May 1 and many Walpurgis events continue over night from April 30 into that holiday.
The forms of celebration in Sweden vary in different parts of the country and between different cities. One of the main traditions in Sweden is to light large bonfires, a custom which began during the 18th century. Lighting the popular bonfires began with the purpose of keeping away evil spirits, especially demons and witches.
Many Swedes now celebrate the end of long, dreary winters by singing Spring songs. These songs were spread by the students’ spring festivities and Walpurgis Night celebrations are especially common in university towns like Uppsala – the nightlife in Uppsala is especially active then.
Walpurgis (Valborg) being celebrated on April 30 creates a double national holiday in Sweden. On this day, King Carl XVI Gustaf celebrates his birthday. So you’ll see Swedish flags all around the country to salute the King and show him respect.
May Day/Labor Day (May 1st) follows Walpurgis Night celebrations with a wide choice of events, parades and festivities.
Walpurgis in Swedish is “Valborg” and Walpurgis Night in Swedish is called “Valborgsmassoafton”.
Well since returning to Sweden on April 6th, the weather has turned for the better. The days are longer, the sun is high and blue skies abound.
Unless it is raining. Hasn’t been too overwhelming with rain, but we have had a few days so far and helps to clean the sidewalks of winters mess. Though, in Stockholm when all the snow is gone, they sweep the streets, with a water/brush system and keep the stone that was spread for ice safety, wash the stone and reuse it. They will start that process on May 1.
Last weekend we went out for our first bike ride. Greg and I got on the mountain bikes, and Maddy joined us as we headed out to Drottningholm. The weather was perfect!!
Georges class attended a Chess Competition at Globen on Friday, April 12th. They came in 2nd place and now have to attend the National Chess Competition on June 1st in Västerås! So exciting!!
So after a few rainy days this week this was just a pretty ordinary week. On Saturday, with a heavy heart, I took my bike off the trainer. I loved my mornings of getting lost in my thoughts while reaching personal goals of endurance! Now I get to ride with Greg and get pushed even harder!! Greg and I got out to Lidingö on Saturday.
Saturday night Stockholm hosted Culture Night, and opened the Royal Palace and other official buildings up for the public, from 6pm till midnight….we enjoyed the Royal Armoury, The Royal Palace and The Medieval Museum. And the Royal Palace was filled with guides that were dressed to the hilt in costumes of earlier times.
Sunday, George and Maddy head out to play football with their friends, Kaylee is hanging with her friends, so Greg and I get out for another ride. We head to Ekero.
The schools in Sweden have another break (I know, I know seems like we were just in Rome due to Sport Holiday, last week of February), but here we are at Swedens Easter Holiday(March 29th – April 5). So we spent Easter having dinner with my parents at the Neighborhood Club and my brother his wife and my niece and nephew were there as well. This is where it hurts….not seeing them for 8 months there is alot of growth!
Saturday, March 30, we left for home!(6am flight so we left the flat at 4am!!!) So much excitement filled us all. I didn’t take many pictures, I was way too busy visiting, hugging, shopping and cleaning the house! But I know we all enjoyed seeing our house and friends and being in a familiar place again. Maddy had a sleepover, then Kaylee had a sleepover, dinner with Lianne and Barry, lots of wine with friends, we all had dentist appts…..some of us more than one, more than two but THREE! Foiled physicals because mom forgot a note allowing Nana to take them. Haircuts, and copious amounts of shopping from organic coconut oil and spirulina to Forever 21, converse and SOCKS!!! We go through more socks.
PS….Cannot believe I forgot to mention and give a shout out to my favorite spin teacher JOAN! I brought my bike shoes all the way from Sweden for her class! I wouldn’t have missed that for anything!
Whirlwind dose of familiarity that we all needed!
Greg was able to get to TUCKERMANS with a few of his friends the Monday after Easter…no joke, being April Fools day you may question me! Click on the word TUCKERMANS and it will bring you to the video his friend made. They were all disappointed that they were not able to ski the headwall due to avalanche danger.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SWEDISH EASTER TRADITION
Easter in Sweden is spent celebrating over the entire weekend.
(1) The Thursday before Easter(Maundy Thursday), young girls dress up as witches and go from house to house with a tea kettle collecting candy or small change. It is not considered a “red day” or day off from work, but often businesses close early to start the long weekend.
(2) Then Good Friday (Långfredag, Long Friday in Swedish) which commemorates Jesus dying on the cross, but in tradition Swedish children were not to “play”, which may explain why it is a “long” day in sweden.
(3) Saturday, Påskafton, is a day to get together with family. Also children are often given their Easter Eggs, filled with candy from the Easter Rooster.
(4) Sunday, Påskdagen, or Easter Day, is national holiday as well as
(5) Monday, Annandag Påsk, so Sunday and Monday are off and enjoyed with lots of food and rest.