After our scenic backwards train ride, we arrived in Stockholm, ready to roll. Or in our case, walk. We checked into our boat (you read that right; more on that later), dropped off our gear, and headed off in search of the Globen, the huge arena where Sundin once played.
It turned out that the enormous white sphere was visible from most parts of Stockholm, so no worries getting lost on the way. Much to my dismay, however, it seemed to be firmly uphill. So, upwards we marched, stopping on the way for sustenance at Muffin Fabrikken.
Notice how the muffin is almost the size of The Boy’s head? That’s not Photoshop, is all I’m saying. Anyway, they were delicious (especially mine, which was Hallonberry-flavoured), and up we kept trudging until… we got there! The Globen!
Much to our disappointment, it wasn’t open either, and did not seem to sport a gift shop. Perusing the attached mall yielded no results either. But, the evening was young; perhaps Wednesday might lend better luck?
And it did! On Wednesday morning, a drizzling, dreary affair, The Boy and I finally, finally managed to get to a store selling SEL merchandise. And what did we find? We found that they sold more NHL stuff than SEL. Best of all, the personalized jerseys here (see future souvenir held up by The Boy) were actually less here than they are at home.
Not only that, but the lady in the store, clearly impressed with the amount of gear we were purchasing, gave The Boy a free Alfie hat. W00t! See? Well worth the trip to Europe!
After that, we stopped back at the Muffin Fabrikken for yet more muffins — we even stocked up for Thursday’s train ride back to Malmö. Once again, the muffins were enormous and tasty.
I am happy to report, having had a choklad hasslenöt muffin for dinner Thursday night, that in addition to being enormous and visually appealing, they also keep quite well.
I’m getting ahead of myself here. Wednesday, despite starting off drear and grey, ended up quite nicely, with the afternoon spent at the Vasa museum (see? we went to a museum!), and an educational boat tour of the city, and ridiculously tasty food, aboard our hotel-boat, the Queen of the Mälaren.
Thursday morning, prior to booking the train, we headed over to Skansen, which is sort of an outdoor cross between a museum, a zoo, and one of those “historic times/lives of the pilgrims” type villages. Almost all of the small buildings were made of wood, and smelled wonderful. Example of the rustic goodness?
They had mini-farmsteads and village squares set up from different eras in Sweden’s history, and because it was a Flax Day (!! Yay for fibre arts!) they also had people showing how flax was harvested and sorted, how the crap was beaten out of it, so it could then be spun and plied. Very awesome. Well, for me. Possibly less awesome for The Boy; but there were other things there of interest for him. For example, frolicking bear cubs:
Possibly the best part about the trip to the park was some awesome views of Stockholm itself, as there were frustratingly high hills on the island of Djurgården. The only disappointing part (for me) was that they didn’t sell any of their wooly or lineny goodness in the gift shop, in knittable form. (And while I considered buying some of their woven cloth, I decided against it, as it was all already in finished form.)
Wednesday night, we wandered some more around the older part of town (Gamla Stan) and ended up in an Irish bar, listening to a British guitar-player with an uncanny sense of what song people would really like to hear. He ended up playing (to our shock) A Fairytale of New York, by The Pogues, despite it being a duet, which impressed The Boy and I to no end. A very nice way to wrap up our stay in the city.
So, everyone was right: two days really wasn’t enough time in Stockholm, but we knew that before we got there. Although I’d be happy to go back to see more of it, The Boy and I agree that we think Stockholm is too big-city a place for us to live. Thus agreed, we hopped back on the train for Malmö, where we stayed a quick night, ate a delicious breakfast, and headed back to Copenhagen for our flight home.
It’s been an awesome trip, but I will be more than happy to board that plane. Soon!