Monday, July 28, 2014

Road Stars

After trolling through Kenya and South Africa for our last couple of mini holidays, Johan and I decided that a summer in Scandinavia was just what we needed. For months in advance we started scheming all the things we wanted to do, like going on a guided walking tour of our neighborhood, riding our bikes from Copenhagen up through Southern Sweden and eating gravlax at Stockholm's Saluhall.

BUT THEN! After months and weeks of anticipating all the things we wanted to do (which, by the way, research has shown to boost your happiness even more than your actual vacation), the weather gods threw a bunch of curveballs our way, rendering all of Scandinavia so damn hot we wound up doing only some 3% of all the stuff on our imaginary itineraries. Instead we stayed inside sipping too many Aperol Spritz'es while having the following Beckettian conversation on repeat:

Me: It's so hot
Him: I know...I can't believe how hot it is

THAT SAID, we did actually make it to Sweden. Not by bike but by air conditioned Volkswagen, and here are a few photos from the trip, which I would like to save and show my future grandchildren:

Here's Johan in front of a sign in the parking lot of a pull-up, which I think my family has stopped at every single time we've gone from Copenhagen to Stockholm (or thereabouts). It's funny, but once you approach this location, you always feel it's time to get out, stretch your legs, stock up on chocolate and ice cream and go pee.

On this trip, we went to McDonald's more often than I'd like to admit. But the thing I like about McDonald's in Sweden is that fact that they just take your order for a meatless burger like it's no big deal. In Denmark they're usually: "You want a burger without the meat? A burger...but no meat? Sorry, I need to call my manager...." 
Loved this sign. Wanted to bring it home and use it as a bed spread. Good work you, anonymous art director. I hope they pay you well anf give you a company car.

This was our first destination: My mom's country house. So cute :)

I kind of forgot to take pictures, which is silly, considering how picturesque everything is at her place. BUT, I did snap this photo of a cute little tree house, which my mom made. My mom is clever like that.

My grandmother was visiting too, so she, Johan and I took off on a mini-road trip to the city of Mariefred to eat lunch and check out a nice castle. Then I took this photo of Johan and my grandmother for their future company web page. I dig my grandma's relaxed CEO pose. Generally, I just dig her a lot :)

Then my grandmother took this photo of Johan and I. Love her even more! :)
Then we drove on to Strängnäs where most of my lovely family lives and my grandmother took us out for ice cream by the harbor. She's gonna hate me a little for posting this photo, but I just love it! Reminds me of one of those photos you would've kept back in the pre-digital camera days. "You'll have to excuse our faces, but look at that scenery!"

In the evening, Johan and I continued to Stockholm, where we stayed at my mother's peach colored city house....kidding! We stayed at her apartment - this is just a pretty little castle in the island of Djurgården.

One very specific thing we looked forward to doing in Stockholm was eating. Good food is my primary reason for traveling these days. It used to be visiting art museums but now I'm all about trying out restaurants. First stop was Ramen Ki-Mama. I'd also really recommend Beijing 8, if you're down for dumplings.
That said, we did stretch ourselves and go visit Artipelag - a newly built art hall slash cultural venue in Stockholm's archipelago. 
Everything was so Nordic and organically integrated into the surroundings it was almost too perfect.

They had a very dreary art exhibition, but I really liked this bit. It's furniture from the 1930s by Axel Einar Hjorth for a sportsstuga, a sports cabin or weekend cottage where one would retreat from city life to do sports and enjoy the outdoors. In fact, the entire place was kind of a modeled on a sportsstuga, I'd say.
The best part of Artipelag, we both agreed, was the location, right on the water overlooking the Stockholm Archipelago. If it weren't for that fact that our parking ticket was about to expire, we could have stayed on the sun-heated rock for hours. 


Johan said...

Ehm, er Göta skrumpet ind eller har jeg igen haft vokseværk?

Sarah Carlson said...

Haha, det var lige præcis det mormor selv sagde, da hun så billedet!

Morina said...

Haha, woman, really diggin' your sense of humour!