...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Yesterday Stockholm, tomorrow Germany

We all got on the bus on a pitch-dark 8AM and watched the sun slowly rising on our two-hour ride to Stockholm yesterday. It has really been long since I went on any class field trip, but funnily it was everything I remembered from before: waking up in the darkness, people missing during the head-count, the sound of lunch boxes and bags of chips being opened 30 minutes into the trip, and one hour later, the sound of people groaning for the toilet. :-)

We arrived there some minutes after 10. After a quick fika at this café that truly had Stockholm prices – I paid 30 kronor for a coffee! – we went directly to the Historical museum and I went directly to their display on the vikings.

The display was amazing! Aside from displaying viking loot and rune stones, it contained many everyday viking artifacts, most of which looked like they could have been made yesterday. The jewelry, buckles and even horse harnesses (of at least those who were rich) were full of fine minute details of faces and animals, and it seemed that even the makers of the viking children's toys had attention to detail. Many of the tools used by their smiths also resemble our modern-day tools today, from pliers down to pincers.

I probably walked around there with my mouth gaping, but one couldn't help but admire how advanced their civilization actually was!

From right to left: Viking rune stones, some with elaborate designs that usually tell of a person's life; a 1943 poster for the Scandinavian SS-group "Wiking"; and a 6th century Buddha figure that was either a present to a Viking chief, or one of their looted objects.

I also visited the museum's other display halls, including the Gold Room which – as the name suggests – contains gold, gold and more gold from different parts of Sweden's history, from varying "ages" and in varying levels of elaborateness. The most elaborate pieces were in the middle of the circular room, and include a golden collar of several layers, whose tiny crevices were decorated with tiny golden birds that could only have been a few millimeters in height. Priceless! Obviously, cameras were not allowed in that room.

We had lunch and toured the old town before finally taking the bus back home at 4PM. We lost two classmates as we were walking (luckily, they found their way to the bus) and Nasser, the only guy in our lunch-group, now understands why the "menfolk" complain about ladies' window-shopping.

Pabla, me, Nasser and Ting on Stockholm's Drottninggatan.
Photo c/o Sandra.


Strangely, four hours of leg-cramp on the bus can give you wanderlust.

We've got one trip ahead of us this year, and that was all I could think about on the way home from Stockholm: we will spend the Christmas week with Liz, Rob and Ian down in Germany. I'm really excited: in fact I've been packing and making to-bring lists since two weeks ago! I look forward to the smell of glüwein and lebkuchen in the German Christmas markets, our trip to a medieval town at the border of Bayern, and finally, to the large Christmas dinner with Rob's parents, a Pole and an Italian who aren't exactly known for their small menus but rather the other way around. Lastly, and probably as important as the Christmas dinner itself, little Ian will also be christened while we are there, and I'm going to be the godmother! Sounds like an activity-filled year-ender for all of us concerned! We'll be back in Norrköping for the new year and hopefully there will be a thick layer of snow by then :-)

Old chimneys turned into advent candles at Värmekyrkan, Norrköping's last-century power plant (I took the photo the other day at 2PM)

I hope you all have an exciting Christmas and a new year to look forward to!


Blogger aka Cheryl said...

merry christmas, joy and marcus! wow, godmother! (wala pa kasi akong inaanak, hehe.) hope you have an excellent time in germany. :D

1:50 PM


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