Great food and stern guards in Stockholm

(written by Dave)

Before I go too far, I should note that yesterday’s post went out without review by the senior editor.  Nancy was too tired and went to bed while I wrote the post.  I thought about waking her but then reconsidered.  This morning, after the three Peterson girls had ample time to tease me over my poor spelling, Nancy corrected all of the mistakes that they found.  Good fun at my expense is the theme when you travel with three girls.  But then again, I give them all a hard time throughout the day and as they say, if you want to dish it out, you have to be able to take it.

We had a lazy morning then walked over to the Nobel Museum – which it turned out had free admission later from 5PM to 8PM.  We voted and decided to wait for the free period.  We headed for the second destination, Ostermalms Saluhall – a famous food market.  We didn’t make it very far, only about 2 minutes around the corner to the Royal Palace where the changing of the guard was just about to start.  We stopped and kind of lucked out as they moved a people-blocking rope right to where we were standing.  We had a great view for the whole show.

The best part was actually watching the working guards trying to keep the tourists in the ever-moving roped off locations.  The guards seem to be universally surly.  They don’t engage people until someone breaks the invisible “no-go” barrier, then they speak in very loud stern tones.  Mostly they speak English but as we’ve discovered, not everyone speaks English.  Some tourists don’t stop right away, making the guards even more unhappy.  I understand the whole control voice police theory thing but someone in the management of these guards needs to take a customer service training class.  While the ceremony was fun, guards that smile and are polite would make a big difference.

Entertained, we headed for the market.  It would normally take 20 minutes to walk there.  It took us more than 1.5 hours.  I picked the route and somehow managed to find a route that had a number of those stylish Swedish designer shops – bad planning on my part.  I figure it is 30 minutes minimum if the girls make it across the threshold of one of these shops.  We hit no less than three of them.  I had plenty of time to people watch, plenty of time, actually way too much time.  But you get the idea…

When we eventually found the market, we were not disappointed.  Quite hungry, but not disappointed.  Nancy had the Swedish meatball plate and I had the herring plate.  Both came with mashed potatoes and lingonberry sauce.  Wow, spectacular – best restaurant meal we’ve had in Sweden.  Kathie and Gretchen had open-faced shrimp sandwiches – they have become connoisseurs and noted these as particularly tasty.  Everything written about the market was true.  We had some great food and yet only scratched the surface on what was on offer.  Extra food photos included today, it was too good not to share.

We left the market, found another shop – oh happy me.  I found a church to visit and still finished before the girls did.  Eventually we made our way home for a rest before it was time for the Nobel Museum.  We thoroughly enjoyed the museum.  They had a bigger display on some of the physics winners.  None of us have a chance of understanding what any of them accomplished but the display focused more on humanizing the winners.  The museum is presenting a group of amazing people who’ve done equally amazing things but on balance everything presented in a way that was easy to consume.

Tomorrow we leave Stockholm, heading for Kristinehamn.  We are now starting the part of the trip where we spend some time in the Peterson family homeland.  Peterson, Anderson and Larson – all names in the family tree – are equally ubiquitous.  I’ll be resisting the temptation to ask every person if they know a Peterson, Anderson or Larson.  The girls will be trying to stay far enough away from me so as not to be embarrassed, while not so far as to get lost (I’m the map person for our travelling band).  We have rented a car for the next few days so will be finding our way through the fields and farms of Central Sweden.

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3 thoughts on “Great food and stern guards in Stockholm

  1. Maybe those guards should just head butt the tourists with those pointy things on their helmets.

    So, are the Petersons buying anything or just looking? What do these shops offer that are so fascinating? I never thought of Nancy as a shopper. It must be the bad influence of her siblings. Or do I have it all wrong about Nancy?

    • Mostly shopping, not much buying. The three of them really enjoy each other’s company and discovering things. The shops are a lot the same to me but they are all very different than those in America or Australia – mostly they contain Swedish products that are not exported much. To discover them together is fun for the girls. Watching them “play” is fun for me as well, to a point 🙂


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