Tag Archives: Sweden

I see music

13 Aug Suburban teenage wasteland blues: A photo project

A pretty while ago I started a photo project. I made up five topics and everyone had to shoot a picture to each. However, we never managed to find a date to present our work. Since I like at least some of my outcome, I’m showing it to you know, dear reader.
Do you have a photo task for me? Please tell me! I’m looking for new challanges!

The main topic of my work was “album titles”.

1. A Creature I Don’t Know (Laura Marling)

A creature I don't know after Laura Marling, shot in Vasa museet Stockholm

2. Waiter: “You Vultures!” (Portugal. The man)

(translation: Special Antaloian barbecue take-away (more or less…))

Waiter you vulutres, a picture taken after Portugal the man

3. Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues (Strung Out)

Suburban teenage wasteland blues: A photo project

4. Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (Social Distortion)

Somewhere between heaven and hell: a photo project, taken in Sweden

5. Bordsteinkantengeschichten (Muff Potter)

(Engl: Sidewalk Stories)

Bordsteinkantengeschichten: A Photo project after Muff Potter

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Miniature – Stockholm #7

30 Jun Reindeer toys in Stockholm Nordiska Museet

It’s Saturday, it was Saturday: our last hours in Stockholm.
It was raining, we were tired and had only time till early afternoon. So what to do?
We decided for Nordiska Museet – I thought that old Viking exponents are displayed there. Big fault! Instead I meant the Historical Museum (makes sense, hm?). The Nordiska Museet is in fact pretty boring. It’s a museum to show Swedish culture. I’m not sure if that’s true. I liked the part about August Strindberg (culture – check) and about fashion (hm, Swedish culutre?!). Examples of Swedish living rooms from different times (culture – check). There were also lots of old toys, that I liked (Swedish culture?! They were not even Swedish …). See pictures below.

French army toys in the Nordiska Museet in Stockholm

Swedish Santa Claus Tomten in Nordiska Museet Stockholm

Miniature Sami in Stockholm Nordiska Museet

Reindeer toys in Stockholm Nordiska Museet

Tin soldier toys in Stockholm Nordiska Museet

Apart from that: A lot of handcrafts (yawn!) and examples of Swedish celebrations like Midsommar but without real explanations (at least I didn’t find any), not even in Swedish. And it was impossible to find the staircase to the third floor. Not worth it’s 90 kronor entrance!

So that was it. Hope you enjoyed my little Stockholm series. Feel free to leave comments!

Little frogs – Stockholm #6

29 Jun Sunshine on the little island Grinda in Sweden

My very first (adult) Swedish experience was like that: After I’ve already spent about at least six hours all alone in my car (and that was only the second half of my lonesom journey) I entered South Sweden by ferry, still some hundred kilometers to go to my new home for the coming months. It was raining, it was getting dark, I was awfully tired and the signs on the road told me to be aware of elks. You can imagine that it was in some kind horrible. But it was also that impressive that I fell in love with this country in minutes: More or less alone on that tiny highway (compared to German highways every highway is tiny I guess…), driving though forests and just once in a while you see a house or two or three and that’s a town. So, people ask, why the hell I spent my summer holiday in Sweden. Well, yeah, nature, but why don’t you go to Allgäu (South Germany, the part where the Alpes are)? Because it’s something completely different! Scandinavia is just something so special, you can’t find in Germany.

So it was no question that we would leave Stockholm for the countryside. And, what a great coincidence, it happend to be Midsommar! Our choice fell to a small island called Grinda (Björkö is at the inside of Sweden in the Mälaren lake, Grinda is in the ocean). But first, we had to spent another two hours on the ferry.

A girl looking out of a window on the fairy from Stockholm to Grinda

Grinda is a very pretty island in an archipelago with lots of forests and some bathing places. So you can sit down, relax and enjoy the sunshine (okay, the summer breeze was indeed a little cool, but, yes, Sweden can be warm and sunny). As I told you before, I don’t like taking landscape pictures. But here are some I want to show you. It’s just so damn beautiful.

Sunshine on the little island Grinda in Sweden

Sunshine on the island Grinda in Sweden on Midsommar day

Sunshine and ocean on the island Grinda in Sweden

But our walks around the island were of course not the highlight of the day. It was Midsommarafton, the big celebration day.
We don’t have anything in Germany that you can really compare to what happens here. The Swedish raise a Majstång, comparable to our maypole. And then they dance around this pole, singing classic folk songs and it’s quite odd. The most famous song is about little frogs!
If there is a celebration like that in Germany, it’s maybe May 1, but I don’t know anyone from the city going to the countryside for that. In fact, if people celebrate it, it’s more about sitting around and having a beer (Germans are always having a beer!). No one who consideres himself at least a bit cool would ever jump like a frog around the maypole. But, when I watch the Swedish, I think that we Germans definetely do something wrong. This celebration looks like a lot of fun! As far as I see everyone takes part and I really like that. I wish Germans wouldn’t be that narrow-minded!
Dear Swedish readers, please explain, what it’s all about!

Midsommarafton on the island Grinda in Sweden

If you want to learn more about the little frogs, it looks like that:

I’ve teached my boyfriend to sing it and he threatend me to do so till Christmans. So everybody: Små grodorna, små grodorna är lustiga att se…

Time travel – Stockholm #5

28 Jun An old konsum supermarket in Skanse Stockholm

What you might think is kind of lame about historical museums: You’re inside, watching old stuff, can’t touch anything and everything is somehow dead. But, there has been this clever guy called Artur Hazelius who invented a whole new kind of museum: The outdoor museum! Today outdoor museums – or open air museums – can be find everywhere in Europe. But the very first of it was Skansen in Stockholm, founded by Hazelius in 1891.

It’s like a film in a film … just that it’s a village in a city. Skansen is placed quite central in Stockholm, on the island Djurgården (if you didn’t know yet: Stockholm is built on 14 islands). You enter it and you enter a whole nostalgic world, displaying Swedish culture from around the 17th till the early 20th century.
In Skansen you can find buildings from whole Sweden, which were just broken down at their original places and built up again here. Weird, isn’t it? But it’s not only houses. Hazelius wanted to show culture not architecture. You can visit many of those buildings (and even a Sami camp), see how it looked inside in 1920, and there are “museum actors” sitting there, preteding they were a school teacher or a farmers lady and they tell you all about the people who’ve been living in this house and how it all was about at that time. Pretty cool!
Right at the beginning of Skanse their is a little village with all you need: a drug store, a book binder, a store for herbs (although I’m not really sure that all of these stores have been from the same time…) and my favourite: an old konsum supermarket from the 1920s. I loved it!

And if you think that this all is not great enough: wait, there is even more! There is also a zoo in it with Nordic animals like elks and reindeers (of course), foxes, lynx (finally!), bears and wolves. The bears were pretty active and entertaining all their happy visitors when we were there.

Skansen was not only very interesting for historicans and kids, it has in addition many cool things to take photos of:

An old gas station in Skanse Stockholm

An old konsum supermarket in Skanse Stockholm

A mirror and a wall in a cafe in Skanse Stockholm

A mirror effect picture in Skanse Stockholm

An old telephone box in Skanse the open air museum in Stockholm

When we got a little tired, we sat down outside this sweet little café (see picture with the mirror) and had a piece of cake. It was crowded with sweet sparrows (you might think they’re annoying but we love them). They actually sat down on the chair at our table and watched us. Look here, aren’t they cute?

Little sparrow bird catched in Skanse Stockholm

Oh, hello, Sweetie!

Feeding a little sparrow in a cafe in Skanse Stockholm

Ha! Almost!

After many hours walking around Skanse, we decided against the theme park Gröna Lund, which is right next to it (just imagine: this city has it’s own open air museum and a theme park in it’s centre!) and took a long stroke through Djurgården instead (despite this actually means “animal park”, it’s not a zoo). There we found a field with… field art? We didn’t understand. Maybe Swedish humour?
Kind of art in a field in Stockholm Djurgården

Any restaurant advice for that day? Not really. To be honest, we sat down at the closest Subway restaurant, and I fell asleep at 8 in the evening. We walked around a lot!

Visit the Vikings – Stockholm #4

27 Jun A landscape picture from Björkö island in Sweden

Today we make a trip to the Vikings.

In ancient times, Birka on Björkö island has been the most important trading place of Scandinavia till it’s been abadonned around 970. The bad news: Thus the old Scandnavians built their houses from wood, nothing is left from Birka. The good news: The island is still beautiful.

I’m not much into landscape photography. I prefer to see it with my eyes, not with my lense. But I took some impressions from Björkö.

A landscape picture from Björkö island in Sweden

Viking tour over Björkö island where Birka has been till 970

(Almost) a real viking.

Viking attack on Björkö island in Sweden

An impression of Björkö island in Sweden

A wooden dragon a Björkö Island in Sweden

Some spiders in Birka, Björkö island in Sweden

We made a Viking tour over the island with our (almost) Viking guide. But thus I’m a) an historian and b) very interested in Scandinavia, I already knew most of what he told us. It still was very exciting and I can heartly recommend to take a trip to Birka!

If you don’t know so much about Vikings so far, here are some facts:

1. Vikings were not the old Scandinavians in general but just those who went on a “viking”, which means a journey with a boat.

2. Vikings were probably the best sailors ever. They travelled from America (yes, they’ve been there before Columbus) to Arabia. Their boats have been quite tiny compared to the big fleets but that made them very fast.

3. Vikings were no pirates. Yes, they were warriors (in disfortune for many poor English monks) but they prefered to trade whereever they could.

4. Vikings did not were helmets with horns. Romantic nonsense.

5. Dead vikings were not burned on their boats. But still, boats took an important role in their funerals. Viking grave hills often have the shape of boats and the dead got all impossible stuff (coins, food, combs, tools, everything) for their journey over the deathly river. Archaeologists even found two women who were burried on a real ship!

And today, I’ve again a restaurant advice for you: If you want to eat traditional Swedish I can recommend Blå Dörren (“Blue door”, anyway, it’s not blue) in Södermalm. It’s a bit touristic but very tasty and affordable (for Swedish rates).

Visit Blå Dörren here: Södermalmstorg 6, 116 46 Stockholm

Royal cheese – Stockholm #3

26 Jun A cheesy picture of a fountain at Drottningholm in Sweden

Thus it’s almost 100 years ago that Germany got rid of it’s last monarch, many (female) Germans see royalty more like a fairy tale than in any political way (if there is any). We think it’s funny and somehow romantic. Although I don’t care much about modern kings and queens in general, I still somehow like the Swedish. I mean their stories are really romantic, aren’t they?
Let’s just take ol’ king Carl Gustav who met his Silvia at the Olympic Games here in Munich in 1972 (yes, just a few meters from my old flat!). But they had to wait till Carl Gustav’s father died because they were not allowed to marry before he became king, because she was not royal.
34 years later their first child Victoria married her fitness trainer. If that’s not a fairy tale then I don’t know!
By the way, did you know that Victoria’s and Daniel’s baby daugther is the first Swedish heiress on the throne in that dynasty? Since the Swedish made the French war minister Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte to their king in 1818, no Swedish king married a Swedish woman.

So far about history. On our third day in Sweden we visited Drottningholm Placace (“the palace of the queen”). That’s the place where king and queen actually live. It’s an interesting place for me as an historian, but quite boring to take photos. But it finally gave me a reason to try out this kind of “sparkling function” my camera has, that creates hearts on water. It looks really cheesy, but is just perfect to make silly tourist pictures of a royal palace, eh?

A cheesy picture of a fountain at Drottningholm in Sweden

Swans at Drottningholm Palace in Sweden

Never forget to make pictures of the swans as a good tourist!!!

If you want to visit the probably most amazing café in the entire world, you have to go to Sturekatten. It’s an old house from the 18th century. You walk up a narrow old staircase and enter a really nostalgic world on two floors. The whole café extends over two former flats (at least I guess that they have been seperated flats in the past) and you find old tables, paintings and decoration in every room. It’s just as you walk through an apartement from the 1940s,  just that the owner has a quite bizarre taste in furniture, placing chairs and tables in every room… Make sure you don’t miss it!

The most amazing café ever: Sturekatten in Stockholm.

Visit Sturekatten here: Riddargatan 4, 114 35 Stockholm

Ship shame – Stockholm #1

24 Jun Miniature of the Vasa ship in Stockholm.

Some of you, my dear readers, might know that I’ve been living in Sweden for a couple of months some years ago. However it took me six years to talk my boyfriend into making holiday in the north. Now, finally, we spent a week in Sweden’s beautiful capital Stockholm!

Scandinavia welcomed us on our first day with heavy rain, so we decided to hide in a museum. I’ve heard a lot about the Vasa Museet, so that was our first sightseeing spot.
Vasa is a Swedish dynasty but also a famous ship. Vasa should become the glory of the Swedish fleet in the 17th century. Instead it became the biggest shame, even more shamefull than the Titanic: It sank in 1628 on it’s maiden trip … after about 20 minutes.
But the ship found indeed late glory. It was recovered after more than 300 years. Just imagine to dig a giant ship out of the mudd! And now it has its own museum and is very impressive.

Miniature of the Vasa ship in Stockholm.

Vasa miniature with people in Vasa museet Stockholm.

Vasa ship in it's museum in Stockholm

Guns on the Vasa ship in the Vasa museum in Stockholm

We were lucky and it stopped raining during our visit at Vasa museet – even the sun came out on the afternoon. We walked around Gamla Stan (the old city of Stockholm), passed the castle, watched a change of guards …

… found rabbits …

Lamp in rabbit shape in a window in Stockholm

… ducks …

A duck in Stockholm Gamla Stan

… and another picture for my distribution box series!

A distribution box in Stockhom Gamla Stan

Next on the robot: Södermalm.