Saturday, August 30, 2008

Livin' la Vida Linkoping

I was first introduced to this town through an American's blog, Linkoping Livin'.
It was cold and rainy and a Saturday I think when we took a walk to get out of the house and came upon this gated courtyard spilling with music. It was a small operetta with a mixture of Verdi and Gershwin and more. Apparently the mayor's wife is an opera singer (in the fur coat) and the mayor joined in as well (in the black hat behind her).
The best part is that there was a small orchestra who was first in one room of this building, and then moved from room to room to change the sound and emphasis of action. Interesting concept, especially since it was cold and REALLY rainy.
This is the fella who did something galant to create this settlement of Linkoping. Look at that face! I'd run too.
A really old building.
Directly above these bikes is a speaker system. Every hour, it plays the sound of a Jackdaw bird, dying a terrible death. Yeah, like the soundtrack from The Birds. These birds have made a mess of the town squares, in particular this one and the only thing that seems to keep them at bay if this awful sound. Of course, I was sitting here alone, wondering what the hell??? I didn't see any birds and couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from. When it was explained to me I thought, okay, how bad can these birds be?
The next week, at sunset we were walking towards the square and saw masses of these large, raven like birds it honestly, it WAS scary. We changed our path down a side street to avoid confrontation with the feathered masses of menace.

Here, a mixture of the old, next to the new architecture.
A lovely cafe to enjoy, but oh, the stairs!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Break in Our Programming for a Politcal Message

I am now going to break with tradition and make a political comment.
I've been watching the Democratic Convention for the 3rd night in a row.
I've just seen Obama's acceptance speach and I am in awe.
He's right. It is about us. We need to vote for this guy and put some of our own elbow grease to help create that change.
I originally hoped that we'd see Hillary up there, but my mind is changed.
Obama MUST be our next president.

(We will now resume with our previously scheduled programming and I would ask for no comments if not positive. I'm allowed. It's my blog.)

Can You Tell I'm Not Swedish?

Here are some reasons I am easily identified as a non-Swede:
1. I like to smile and talk to strangers.
2. I don't ride a bike everywhere.
3. Buses like the ones below look like really long insects to me.
4. I am always saying "excuse me" and "thank you" to people in stores and on the street.

5. This sign looks like a call to run, run, as fast as you can!!! instead of the "walk don't run to your nearest exit" sign that I was raised with.
6. That I think this country is full of Presbyterians instead of these little markets that sell candy and bus tickets.
7. Last but not least, I can make a mean meatloaf!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stockholm Syndrome?

(Folks actually live on these boats here, with all the city folk and tourists walking by.)
No, afraid not.
There were no captors and I visited Sweden for 3 weeks on my own accord. I'm afraid Sweden returned the favor with mostly bad weather, but in the midst of many cold and stormy days, there were a couple of sunny ones.
This blogging is starting now that I'm home, although I wanted to do it while I was there. Thing is, I had quite a hard time with the Swedish keyboard. Not the same, always hitting the wrong key and searching for the question mark. And, to top it all off, I feel as if this whole trip could be in the form of novella. But, being a woman of relatively few written words, I'll let the pictures do much of the talking. So, still jet lagged and a bit out of it, here I go:
The main day in Stockholm was raining torrents and we visited the Nordic Museum mostly and walked to the old town area for a glimpse of the boats and had a bite to eat. The pictures above are in the main hall of the museum.
There was a shoe exhibit and these are some needlepoint men's boots that were just amazing.

Then there were trays and trays of archived textiles to view, although difficult to get good pictures of with the glare on the glass...

Classic lace pattern
A lace trim sampler that was just amazing!
A lace baby top.
A knitted bodice with the date of 1840.

The view from inside a very crowded cafe. The restroom was actually back outside in the rain, through a small doorway into a stone cellar. Ughhhhh. Yeah, quaint.

And now you can see that the window of the shop next to the cafe was nearly obscured by the rain splashing on the windows. Still not used to the currency conversion, it was a look and leave quickly kind of shopping experience. And, had I understood the conversion, I still would have left quickly. Yes, the dollar is VERY weak overseas. Later, you'll see my big nordic sweater score was actually in a second hand shop...

And here we have the streets of old town Stockholm, better known as Gamla Stan. Stockholm was, to my surprise, a group a small land masses surrounded by water, connected by bridges.

Next stop Linkoping (lean-show-ping), my home away from home.