Thursday, 31 July 2014

Stockholm i mitt hjärta

The show 'Allsång på Skansen' (=Sing-along at Skansen) has run since 1935, and been televised since 1979. It's one of the most popular and traditional Swedish summer TV programmes, and is broadcast each Tuesday between 8pm-9pm during the summer season.

The show is supposed to be centered around sing-alongs performed by the audience, together with musical guess, to well-known Swedish summer tunes.
There has been many different hosts throughout the years, and the current host is the first ever woman to host the show, Petra Marklund - better known as the pop artist September.

To me, this TV show is the essence of Swedish summer, I watch ot religiously every week and I have always wanted to experience it on site, live.
Well, so does many others... People actually queue every week from early morning when the park opens, to get the coveted seats, and when we arrived at 5pm (it airs at 8pm), it was already packed in front of and all around the stage.

We quickly decided to actually start at the stage, and actually see the dress rehearsal of the show... At least we could then see something!

Because it's Pride Week in Stockholm this week, we got to see and hear this years Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst:

Sure, not all performers were wearing what they were going to wear in the "real" show, but at least they sounded the same!

It was real fun just to be there, in the middle of it all, to experience the atmosphere and see what's going on behind the scenes of the TV show, outside of the cameras!
Linnea was a bit miffed because she had trouble seeing, but Lucas made sure he did. He really enjoyed it all.

Surprise reunion - 3!

Believe it or not but we have had another totally unplanned but really fun reunion. This time with some Abu Dhabi friends! In the middle of Skansen, outside an ice cream shop, we literally bump into Linnea's little Swedish classmate and her family!

Guess if they were happy to see each other!!


Our main excursion destination yesterday was Skansen, a Swedish institution. I have actually never been myself, and I really wanted to take the kids there to explore.
We chose a Tuesday specifically, because on Tuesdays they air live the Swedish classic TV-show "Allsång på Skansen", which we usually watch every week during the summer, from the comfort of Mormor & Morfars sofa. But obviously I also wanted us to walk around and see everything in the park.

Skansen is the world's first open-air museum, founded in 1891. You can stroll around through five centuries of Swedish history, it's exhibits show furnished houses and farmsteads, cultivated plots and gardens and both domestic and wild animals, such as bears, wolves and lynx.
We saw the sleeping brown bear family:

We also saw lots and lots of very friendly and curious squirrels:

We saw beautiful views up from the heights of Djurgården where Skansen is situated:

We saw moose calves:

There was a playground:

We also saw the famous Seglora Church which is dating from 1730. It was moved here to Skansen on 1916 and os one of Swedens most popular churches for weddings.

And finally - my favourite photo of the day! Can't get anymore Swedish than this! :)

Stockholm explorers

We had a few things on our Stockholm list we needed to tick off. A few visits, and a few purchases. For example, I wanted to get to the Games Workshop while here (there are only two in Sweden!), to check out a proper storage unit for Lucas' Warhammer army. A few of them didn't survive the trip over from Aberdeen in the cardboard box, and are in need of some new glue, so I came around on the case idea. Lucas will have to carry it as hand luggage though.
Here's a photo for you Liam!

I, amongst other things, wanted to get to the Edblad shop, a Swedish jewellery brand I've come to like a lot. I got myself a new bracelet as a souvenir from this visit.

We actually ended up doing a few more shopping stops than we had initially planned, since the sales are on, and everything is so ridiculously cheap at the moment. Oh, I do like the "half price of sale price" racks!
Grown-up shopping meant we had to bribe the younger ones to keep them happy througout the day, luckily McDonalds Sundaes did the trick!

It was beautiful and sunny, the perfect weather to explore more of Stockholm. Last time we were here was with Nathan two years ago, and there is so much more to see and do!


On Monday we took a roadtrip to Stockholm in the camper. Mormor and Morfar offered to drive us up, and we took our time, stopped both for 'fika' and lunch on the way.
On the road we kept busy with iPads and loom bands!

After arriving at my friend Erika's place in Björkhagen in southern Stockholm, she cooked up some pancakes and then we walked through the forrest to Söderbysjön for an evening swim. Well, I didn't swim, the others did... Mostly Lucas, Erika just went under and Linnea was afraid of the fish...
But it sure was beautiful! There is really nothing than can compare with these warm, light Swedish summer evenings..!

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Ronja Rövardotter

A lovely summer tradition for us is to go and see the kids theater in town each year. These young actors always puts on lovely productions.

This year was the fifth time we have been, and the play was based on another story by Astrid Lindgren - Ronja Rövardotter. Even though it was really, really hot, every single seat was taken. I guess we are not the only ones having this as a summer tradition.

Surprise reunion 2

This holiday seems to be the one where I surprisingly get to catch up with old friends, totally unplanned. Today at the wedding I got another surprise when I bumped into an old Lefkas (we both worked there back in 1997? 1998?) friend of mine - Elisa!

The Hellekis estate is open to the public and Elisa, her boyfriend and his parents had come to enjoy the café, and were sitting in the garden eating icecream when we spotted each other. The encounter gets even more odd when I tell you that she lives on the other side of Falköping, about an hour from where we were! So random they'd chosen just this place for their excursion of the day.
Anyhow, it was super nice to see her, and since we were in very good time for the ceremony, we had time to even sit down and have a nice chat.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Love is in the air

The kids and I went to a wedding this afternoon. It was my cousin Johan who got married to his long term girlfriend Beatrice, at Hellekis Säteri - an estate by the Vänern lake, about 30km from Skara.
They had only invited their closest family and best friends, but we went just to take part in the wedding ceremony itself, which was held outside, in the Rose Garden.

As it was a little bit of a last minute thing, we didn't have any wedding outfits packed. I made sure the kids looked clean and nice and I wore the only dress I have with me, spruced it up with some ear bling and pink nails!

The wedding ceremony was short and sweet, with a few well chosen songs and poems. It was really an absolutely stunning setting. The weather of course was perfect, if even a bit too hot maybe, we are still having temperatures in the 30s.

Johan & Bea.

We stayed and mingled for a little bit afterwards, while the bride and groom had their photos taken, and then we bid farewell when it was time for the dinner. It had been a while since I caught up with this part of my family.

It was so lovely to get to be a part of Johan & Beatrice's big day! 
Congratulations and best of luck!

Surprise reunion

Look who we bumped into by the luggage reclaim at Gothenburg airport!

Claudia and Fredrik! Friends from Brunei, who live in Germany now. 
They were up just for the day to go see Fredriks parents in Falkenberg. Lucky our flight was 45 mins delayed, or we would have just missed them!
Really nice to catch up (even though it wasn't long enough by far), it had been a while!

Friday, 25 July 2014

Hot hot

Sweden has welcomed us with amazingly hot weather, two days in a row we've been at the lake to swim. We haven't been alone, it sure is a popular spot!

The kids were in the water quite a bit, even though it was "only" 23 degrees - and even I was in, twice!

We also found a big tree which was fun to climb.

Lucas has finally found another book series that he seems to enjoy. Thanks to cousin Caitlin he was introduced to Percy Jackson, and now he is hooked, already nearly finished with book one!