Thursday, August 9, 2012


Djurgården is a part of Stockholm situated on an island. It's well known for all the touristy places, museums and the like. My parents visited us on the way back home after their vacation, and luckily we also had a day off. Sightseeing time! We were going to look at an exhebition at Liljevalchs that I'd heard a lot of good things about. It's all about the art of hand crafting, or "Hemslöjd" as it's called in swedish.
Here's a map of Djurgården.

A fun thing about public transportation in Stockholm is that the bus cards work on ferries too (not only for busses and trains). And since we were going to an island we decided to use the Djurgård ferry. It's a walk-on ferry and it's usually packed with people since it arrives next to the amusement park Gröna Lund. As we drew closer to the harbour we could hear the excited screams from the various rides.

On the ferry, watching Gröna Lund
Liljevalchs was every bit as fun as I hoped, especially the main part of the exhibition: thousands of leafs crafted by people all over Sweden. Any technique you can think of - I saw it. Knitting, crochet, woodworking, paper, metal, cheramics, mixed media... I even saw a leaf featuring bee wax.

All the crafts...
And also: Riki is now famous! There was a public embroidery project as part of the exhibition. A huge tablecloth anyone could help embroider. I just had to put Riki on it, and I'm pretty pleased. I'm not very used to embroidery but I managed a deacent likeness, don't you think?

Riki, meet Riki (yes, I put her name on there too)

Coast to coast

I know Riki isn't used to the ocean, so it's lucky there's a lot of coastline to visit in Sweden. For the first part of our summer vacation we went to the west coast (the only one with real ocean according to my husband). The weather was so-so, but she did see some water that didn't rain down too... She checked out a small light house near the boat club where my parents in law keep their boat. Due to the weather and hubby's tendency for seasickness, we never took the boat out. Riki did get to travel by ferry, however.

We managed to snag a cache while waiting for the ferry, but strangely enough no one but me wanted to stop and get the one on the other side...
There's the ferry! We need to get back to the car again...

Many of the pictures are from a trip to a small coastal village called Fiskebäckskil. We had a delicious meal and watched the plethora of sailboats just outside the restaurant. I usually don't take photos of food, but the dessert was very pretty so I had to ;) On the way back we took the ferry to the bigger village Lysekil and drove home that way.

The sailboats outside.
There are lots of fjords along the coast of Bohuslän. This is the view from a cache we searched for.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Fika! And fika outside nonetheless.
Riki's travels have taken her to the west coast of Sweden. We're currently in Munkedal, far enough from the coast to escape most of the Midsummer madness. My parents in law live here and this is where we will spend the first part of our vacation.

I've told you about fika before... Here comes another very Swedish habit. Eating princess-cake for fika. Any holiday deserves a princesstårta in matching colours. The traditional one is dome shaped, covered in green marzipan and with a pink rose on top.

As you can see they also come in log shape, and in many colours. This was disappointingly enough made with sugarpaste... I'm not crazy about princesstårta, but it's tasty once in a while. One of the bakers at work told me about the cake craze this fall when they were cranking out pumpkin coloured cakes as fast as they could for halloween.

Hopefully we will not get the traditional rainy Midsummer this year, but it looks bleak... We had awesome summer weather today at least, so I'm happy.

Princess-cake behind the danish pastries.
Distracted by yarn... This is going to be a shawl once I wind it all. All 800 meters of it...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mmmmmm... Lavender

I'm not feeling sorry about working the weekend anymore. My days off this week are monday and tuesday plus next weekend, and what a lovely monday it is! In between some much needed cleaning and tidying up I'm relaxing on the balcony. Riki is enjoying the scent of lavender. It refuses to bloom but smells lovely when you touch it.

Lavender. And some pots that might yet sprout something.
Our balcony

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Eurovision Song Contest

I think most people in Sweden care one way or another. I'm old enough to admit I do :) After a lovely birthday party for my two year old niece I decided to stay and watch the show with my family. We're watching and cheering for Loreen in the voting.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The little things

I've had a few bad weeks lately, mainly because of too much stress. Riki have helped me recover by dragging me out for walks and cache hunts. Oh, and she's helped with everyday things... I've had tons of free time since my doctor told me I should stay at home from work, at least for a while, but not very much energy. It's good to have a bored E.Coli at home. I need to do some things and entertain my guest!

Monday is needle day. Ugh... I had good company however.
Monday night fun... Well, at least I had good company. Every other week it's two needles, and the other weeks it's just one.
Aww... Look who helped me! Riki and my wolverine/sharps container. 
I did some fun things earlier on monday too. Riki helped me find a mystery that I had been puzzling over for a while. There are caches that contain clues in the area and when I had finally found the last one (and found a less than helpful clue) I decided to see what I had so far. It's been fun, since I needed to find out trivia about my newhometown, or part of town. I had to guess one of the numbers for the cordinates so I had two possible places to look. After a lot of walking because of muggles and some strength and stubbornness we found it!

Finally! We found a mystery and Riki helped herself to a gold medal. She also signed the logbook of course.

Today I went back to the doctor and he told me to stay home one more week, but that he thought I could go back to work after that. I think so too and it feels good. A friend kept me company today and we decided to go release some books. There's a cafe in a nearby shopping centre that has a bookshelf with free books so we put the books among them. The regular catch rate (ie. the books you ever hear from again) is about 10% and free bookshelves isn't my "luckiest" location, but I'm sure they will be read and enjoyed even if I never hear about it. After lunch and sneaky book release we decided to walk home from cache to cache. The first one was near a playground.

Riki trying her luck as a captain. The theme of the playground was "everyday heroes" like fire fighters, police, sea rescue service etc.
Interesting swing thing... The top part moves so it works almost as a cross between a swing, a seesaw and a merry-go-round.
We actually found all three caches we were looking for, and we got to see a really neat playground and a beautiful park in the process. This next picture is a weird tree from the park.

Three trees in one!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Burgers and barbecue

We really needed to get out of the house yesterday, and we also needed some kind of curtain to give us a bit more shade in the living room and to make it darker in the bedroom. To the hardware store! After deciding on a few different roll down curtains in record time Gustav wanted to take a look at the selection of grills and barbecues. He's plotting an outdoor kitchen on the upstairs balcony... The ones at the hardware store were pretty overpriced so we just looked. Riki found a ridiculously pink one =D

Hubby is dreaming of a barbecue... But perhaps not this one.
After a trip to two different electronic stores that were out of iPads we needed food. I had a plan that involved food, some sightseeing and caching... The Vega grill! We tried their sambal burger, a homemade burger with a bit of spice to it. It was topped with béarnaise sauce and dried onion. Perfectly toasted bun... *droool*

A fun feature was a cabinet with commemorative plates with the names and amount of burgers eaten by the record keepers. I'm far from that gang since I couldn't even finish my one burger.

I've visited the same cache earlier, but I couldn't find it back then. Clever camouflage fooled me last time, but yesterday I spotted part of the mechanism that it hung from so it wasn't hard at all. When I grabbed the cache to log it a woodpecker landed in a tree above. It sat there pecking the whole time, not minding us at all. Log entry with a picture of Riki.
Bad picture of the Vega grill. The first drive in fast food restaurant in Sweden that served hamburgers (or flat meatballs as they were called at first)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Swedish "fika"...

I had the day off today, so after finishing the boring things I had to do (like laundry) we took the bus and train downtown. Hubby was done with work early too so he decided to join us. After meeting up with a friend at the station we went to wakamama for some lunch. Ramen! :) The food was good but the music was too loud for me.
Non-Violence sculpture. (You probably recognise it, there are others like it in many cities)

After being properly fed we went for some shopping and a bit of caching. We visited my favourite teastore on Drottninggatan. The store tiny, but it's crammed full of good tea (much of it ecological), and the lady running it is a real tea enthusiast so there's always a good story about every tea you buy.

Yeah... Hubby got a bit carried away.
Another interesting store in the neighbourhood is Stockholms Aeter & Essencefabrik. They sell spices, eteric oils, flavourings for liqour and all kinds of interesting stuff. Gustav (hubby) got some ingredients for making glögg (mulled wine) according to an old pharmacy recepie.

They've been around since 1889. The signs outside are old fashined and really pretty.
It looks a bit like an old pharmacy inside with all the bottles.
Last but not least... I've come to understand that fika is something very Swedish, so I had to let Riki do it sooner or later. We needed a break after shopping and finding a cache so we went to Vetekatten, a well known café in central Stockholm. We decided to leave a bookcrossing book on the table when we left. 
Releasing a book :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Gamla stan

It was really nice and sunny weather today, but it's still cold outside. Still, it wasn't too windy and it didn't snow so we decided to take a trip to central Stockholm. We had friends visiting and they wanted to try to get some good rice so we decided to combine fun with rice-hunting.
Group of statues near the subway station

We took the bus and then the subway to Gamla stan (old town). There's a great bookstore there filled with all things geek. It's called the Science Fiction bookstore, but they have fantasy, anime, manga, movies, tabletop games, card games... A little bit of everything.

Perfect game for microbes, no?

Yeah, I had to get this book. It was too silly not to buy.

Next we went to Stortorget (The great square). It's not a terribly big square but it's Stockholms oldest. This is where the Stockholm Bloodbath took place. We investigated the large well building. It's no longer working but at one point it must have been a very important feature of this square.

The well on this square used to be the middlepoint used to measure the distance to Stockholm on the roads going to the capital. The well dried up long ago (it was built 1778), but it still stands as a decorative piece on the square. Neat lion heads, huh?


We shouldn't mess with the water supply, but it's fun!
Some buildings at Stortorget

Next stop was the The Royal Palace. We didn't wait around for the changing of the guards, but the building is pretty impressie in itself.

A little kid was very impressed by Riki, I bet he would have wanted to sit there.

An old pharmacy sign in Gamla stan. Most pharmacies in Sweden had names of animals or mythological creatures. This is Korpen (the raven)

The City Hall in the background.
 When we arrived at Riksdagshuset (the parliament house) we were starting to get cold and hungry so we didn't get many fun pictures. (might add those I took later)

After lunch at a somewhat sketchy italian restaurant we started the quest for the perfect rice. I'm not too picky about rice but my friends eat mostly Chinese food and it's a different matter if you want to eat with chopsticks. I think we went to four or five different places before finding rice that was fit for their tastes, and we picked up a lot of bits and bobs on the way.

Riki hiding in one of the many stores we visited.

Our haul. A few different kinds of instant miso and some seaweed snacks for me.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Licorice... And easter-pandemonium...

Easter is a busy time in a large supermarket, and it's no less busy in the pharmacy in it. Riki is with me at work and sometimes it has its advantages to be so close to all the goodies in the store. Look at all the licorice candy piled up right outside the pharmacy. Today was insanely busy, but we will buy some tomorrow after work! :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Welcome to Stockholm, Sweden!

Riki arrived to Stockholm for round 15 of the little visitor swap this monday. There will be a longer post later, but for now I'd just like to show that she's arrived safely. Today she checked out our collection of apothecary bottles. (she say's it's very dusty up there...oops)