Meatballs and Museums
Tonight, you find me in Marten Trotzig’s – a classier joint than Pitcher’s, but bang in the middle of tourist-city. It’s early, so, quiet so far. My mission – to secure some Swedish meatballs (cue Jamie-Lee Curtis). I want to blow all previous IKEA-based meatball experiences out of the water.
First job today was getting to Djurgarden. It’s an island they have populated with museums and attractions. It was an hour’s walk around Gamla Stan and then round into the posh bit and over a bridge.
The ABBA museum is tucked away under a hotel. ABBA fans keener than even me waited for it to open, passing the time with this:
Excellent museum. Better than I expected. Plenty of history, props, scenes, clothes and interactive games. I did the karaoke but couldn’t bring myself to bust many moves in the video-bombing room.
Next museum was called Skansen. It’s like a cross between the Highland Folk Museum and the dull bits of Landmark, with a zoo. It had a very off-season vibe about it. The schoolhouse had a teacher in residence, but no lesson. Here’s a random windmill:
Ah… my meatballs have arrived.
Mmm… amazing. I could go another plateful, I really could. (That would appear gutzy so instead I’ll wire into some refined sugar via a dessert, which is socially acceptable.)
So, I left Skansen, feeling like you really need a sunny summer’s day for that one to be seen at its best.
Off to Stockholm’s number 1 tourist attraction: the Vasa Museum.
In the 17th century, the King wanted a completely brilliant warship to intimidate the Poles. He dreamed up the design – a long, narrow ship, covered in statues implying general fabulousness and invincibility (first war ship with two banks of cannons) – and they built it. It set sail and pretty much immediately sank – blown over by a puff of wind. The ship was too long, too many cannons, not enough ballast. Then in the 1960s they salvaged it and it’s now the main exhibit in the Vasa Museum.
(I remember being shepherded into the “GP room” at primary school to watch live the raising of the Marie Rose. Dull TV if ever I saw it. The Vasa had a similar raising, but the ship is 98% there.)
Three museums down, I figured it was time to head back to Gamla Stan and get shopping for Swedish tat.
Tat secured, I had a rest and latte in a subterranean cafe near the cathedral. Lunch didn’t happen. Getting my money’s worth at the hotel breakfast buffet had paid off.
But now… Apple Strudel. Not all that culturally relevant but hey.