Monday, May 28, 2012

How Swede It Was...

From the (watch your head) canals of Goteborg to the (not quite as cold as I thought it would be) Arctic Circle, our time in Sweden was a highlight of our trip. As with most of our stops, we learned some things about the local culture and even ourselves.

1) Don't Panic Shop

The words "Arctic Circle" invoke a certain frigidity that I felt my wardrobe would not be able to handle. In Stockholm I debated emergency purchases of long underwear, a sweater, gloves, and even socks that would go past my ankles. I did all this with full knowledge that each item would be almost immediately handed over to Lulea charity since the rest of the trip would be somewhat further south. Thankfully I decided to resist that urge and go with what I had. And as it turned out all I needed was shorts, a t-shirt, and of course cool sunglasses

2) Eat Local

While not as out there as guinea pig, we had the chance to sample some local dishes. Swedish meatballs, caviar, and Swedish Pult (potato dumplings) were all on the menu. I even had the opportunity to sample reindeer, which was quite delicious. Hopefully this doesn't get held against me next Christmas

3) Try to Stick to Your Philosophy

Throughout this trip I have been trying to stick to a philosophy of "just say yes" when I have a unique travel opportunity. Sadly this trip I lost sight of that mantra for a moment, and deprived myself (and probably my companions) of pigging out on the most gargantuan Toblerone bar I have ever seen.

It was so big we could have used it for weight training for Chloe

While we may have missed out there, we did embrace the Eurovision 2012 song contest. For those who don't know (like me a few days ago), this is a contest where 42 European countries vie to see who has the best song. We watched with Helena, who gave us the background on what we were seeing, and cheered on the Swedish singer to a euphoric victory !

4) Remember that Things Won't Always Work As They Should

In Goteborg I was responsible for making Canadian pancakes for my daughter's birthday breakfast. After working for a couple of hours I proudly unveiled the stack of pancakes and we all dug in. Pretty quickly it became apparent that I had made a fundamental error......what I thought was the household sugar container unfortunately was the container for salt. Yuk. Thankfully Mats quickly sprung to action and rescued the breakfast with a variety of items he liberated from his kitchen

Mats turning away in disgust
Chloe just saying "NO"
Thankfully in Lulea I had a chance to redeem my reputation (at least with Helena - I think Mats still has his doubts)

5) Planning is a Good Thing

On our canal tour of Goteborg we came across a house with a street address of 17 1/2. This is because apparently there was a planing disconnect between the people building the houses and the people issuing the numbers. So at crunch time there were two houses left that needed numbers but only one number available.

At the famous (and well recommended) Vasa museum in Stockholm we saw the salvaged swedish ship that sank shortly after being launched. Some sort of ballast problem apparently.

We also came across this majestic vessel that was built in the local shipyard. Unfortunately there was a local bridge also being built around the same time. The bridge finished first, and was lower than the boat, which meant the boat never saw the sea.

6) Follow Instructions

The guide wasn't kidding when he said duck
7) Art comes in Many Forms (even in a vodka museum)

Yes - I did take my child to a art exhibit based on a vodka brand.

7) Stretching Before Exercise is a Good Thing

8) And Most Important....Remember to Relax and Enjoy the Moment

Mats and Ebba showing us how its done at their wedding

1 comment:

  1. It all sounds so wonderful! Now you are going to want to go to the circle in Canada and bring just a bathing suit. By the way, that wasn't the first time you saw a half house! You might remember riding out your first (and hopefully only) hurricane at 11 1/2 Tilley!