Sweden
Östermalm

Here you’ll find travel reports about Östermalm. Discover travel destinations in Sweden of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

9 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    This morning we met our local guide named Hakkon and he told us to pronounce it like How Come. From him we learned that this is the hottest July and August on record since they started keeping records since 1756. Great. Just Great.

    Gud Morong is good morning but it is shortened to what sounds like Moron. So you can call a person a moron without causing offense.

    Some history and random facts:

    King Gustov Vasa brought Lutheranism to Scandinavia by a vote of parliament in 1523. It was a very calm and boring Protestant Reformation compared to the one in England where people lost their heads and were burned at the stake. Our guide Hakkon said the Protestant Reformation in England was like The Rolling Stones and in Sweden it was like ABBA.

    Sweden is a very secular country. 65% of the population are members of the Church of Sweden but only 2% of those people actually go to Church.

    We walked all over Gamla Stan and it’s immediate surroundings and now I know the proper names of most of the buildings I took pictures of earlier in the week. The official Royal Palace is located here. This is where state and official ceremonies take place.

    70% of Sweden is covered in forest. The most popular souvenir is a carved and painted wooden horse called a Dala Horse. It is a symbol of Sweden. In the olden days, lumberjacks from the Dala region, far from home carved small wooden horses to bring back to their kids. Their wives would paint them before giving them to the children. It became the symbol of Sweden when at a world’s fair in the US in the 1930s people went crazy for them and they sold out within days.

    In the afternoon, we took a ferry to the Vasa Museum. It is an extremely well preserved Swedish war ship from about 1620. It sank 20 minutes into its maiden voyage. King Gustav Adolph wanted to show Sweden’s enemy Poland, it’s naval might. So the Vasa was supposed to be the best built naval ship of its time. It was made out of thousands of oak trees and had two levels of cannons. It was supposed to be the pride of Sweden. There were lions carved all over the ship, as the lion was the symbol of Sweden, Gustav or one of his ancestors was called the Lion of the North.

    Well, as the ship set sail, a wind blew, not a strong one and the ship tilted to one side. It righted itself and then tipped all the way on its other side. Because all the cannon windows were open, the ship filled with water and sank..... 20 minutes into its maiden voyage. Many theories abound as to why, the ballast was made up of big boulders instead of densely packed gravel and these boulders rolled as the ship did to it’s side. It was also thought that the ship was too narrow to carry the weight of two rows of heavy cannons.
    Well, Gustov was waiting in Poland for his mighty ship to arrive and it never came. He was mighty pissed! He looked to blame everyone and wanted heads to roll. It turned out that because he okayed everything during construction the blame lay with him, so it was quickly forgotten. It became a dim memory over time but there were always rumours that the Vasa lay at the bottom of the harbour. In the 1950s, an architect wanted to find it and he did. It lay in the brackish water where the Baltic Sea met Lake Malaren. Because woodworm can’t survive in brackish water, there was very little damage done to the wood. It also was very well preserved under the silt. It was raised in the 1950s, the wood needed to be treated for 20 years before it could be put on display. The conservationists had to replace the water in the wood with some sort of substance. If they had let the water disappear naturally, the wood would disintegrate.

    It was really awesome to see. It’s the best preserved boat of its kind that is mostly fully intact. It was also awesome to be in the museum because to preserve the boat, the museum has to be cool and dark. It was like being in heaven.

    Will add pics in a bit.
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  • Day7

    Culinary Sodermalm

    August 5 in Sweden

    Wow! What an amazing food tour! It was so yummy!
    I had to find my way from Gamla Stan to Sodermalm. It was supposed to be a 30 minute walk and even with the Google Maps App, it took me closer to 40 minutes. How does this happen? How do I always manage to take a wrong turn? I was a geography major lol!!!!!
    Sodermalm was traditionally the working class area of Stockholm and now its full of hipsters! The four hour tour stopped at both hipster and ethnic/ immigrant places. It was all about the food and drink. There was not a lot about the history of the place, but who cares when the food was so outstanding! The tour leader was a very good looking blonde haired, blue eyed Swede named Lou or New or Moo. He repeated his name twice during the introductions and I just didn’t quite catch it.

    He was very fun and very nice. He kept asking me about typical Canadian food and I couldn’t answer him. I said that Canada was so vast that there were regional specialties but nothing typically Canadian. He then asked what my Grandma made, trying to delve deeper and I said pierogies and cabbage rolls! I basically said that Canada was a nation of immigrants and that we eat a wide variety of different cultural dishes.
    The group consisted of 6 Swedes, 2 Americans, a Taiwanese and me! Everyone was so friendly and talkative except for a sullen young Swedish couple.

    We went to a Chinese restaurant called China!
    We had Szechwan beef that we ate in a fluffy bun like a taco, cucumber marinated in chilies and vinegar and a dish described as aubergine with fish essence.... but had no fish in it or essence of fish. Maybe something was lost in the translation. I washed that down with my first ever Chinese beer. Again, something was lost in the translation because I ordered a bottle of beer that turned out to be a liter bottle of beer. I know that Canadians like beer, but that was a bit much. I shared it with the Americans and the lady from Taiwan. It was very yummy though, as was the food. I enjoyed all three dishes.

    We then went to a Greek Restaurant called Kamarina where we had retsina to drink, moussaka with four different dips and a Greek salad. Again, very tasty! The dips or spreads ( we got bread too) were tzaziki, taramarsolata, an eggplant dip and one with chilies. Yum! Yum! Yum!

    Urban Deli was started by hipsters. It is a deli, a grocery store and a restaurant/bar in one building. We had three samples of foods with very different flavor combinations. The first was olives marinated in mustard sauce wrapped in a type of salami. That was hot! hot! hot! The next was steak tartare and it was out of this world! The last was the “dessert” which was brie cheese with a mango sauce.

    Nytorget 6 was very, very hip. I felt a bit out of place but the staff were very nice and did a great job explaining what we were about to eat. We started off with a locally brewed IPA beer that was very floral in it’s aroma. I didn’t even finish it when they brought us a cocktail called a Swedish Negroni. It was fabulous! I know that it had gin in it. It was bittersweet in taste. Then, our little sampler plate arrived and it was to die for. Steak with truffle aioli, a baked Swedish pancake with lingonberries, and pork belly. Soooooo delicious. Both the beer and the Negroni paired well with the food. Lol.

    Gossip is an Indian restaurant specializing in Bengali Street food. Indian food is not my favourite, but the flavors were very subtle, not too hot, not too spicy. We had Chana Dal with rice with three different sauces. I really liked the plum chutney!

    Finally on to our first dessert stop. Chokladfabriken or Chocolate Factory is the best place in Sweden to get chocolate and according to our guide makes the best chocolate in the world. In fact the chocolate truffle that we sampled won a gold medal internationally for best chocolate. It was a dark chocolate filled with caramel and a little bit of licorice essence topped with sea salt. I really liked it! We also had hot chocolate that I inhaled even though it was so hot out today!

    Our very last stop was StikkiNikki which serves gelato. OMG, I died and went to heaven! We sampled raspberry, blueberry with lavender, mango, dark chocolate,Belgian chocolate and salted caramel. The gentleman who manages the shop was so much fun and made us all laugh. We also got to leave with a not so small cup of our favourite flavor. I got the dark chocolate.

    I said goodbye to my very nice tour mates and waddled on back to my hotel. Needless to say, I didn’t have anything from the free buffet. I did have a gin and tonic from the bar!

    Okay.... my longest posts are about food..... not history..... I was a history major too.....
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  • Day9

    Meeting the Group

    August 7 in Sweden

    I met my tour group today at 4 pm. Everyone seems very nice. All Americans except for me. 26 tour mates. There are supposed to be 28 but a lady got hit by a bicycle and is in the hospital. She and her friend might not be joining the tour. Tourists don’t seem to recognize the bike lanes, and think that they are sidewalks.

    Things I learned at the intro meeting. The very unusual heat wave has lasted since the beginning of May. There is very little need for AC. So, AC is rare, even in people’s homes. Scandinavians put more effort into heating homes during the winter than cooling off their homes during the summer. There are no electric fans left in the stores. It has been that hot.

    Commonalities between the three Scandinavian countries:
    - Sweden, Denmark and Norway all have very long coastlines
    - therefore the sea is very important
    - Vikings are Scandinavian- good at boats and navigation during a certain point in history
    - noticed poorly defended places in the south and raided and pillaged these places
    -society today values equality, social benefits and pay high taxes for these benefits
    - officially Protestant Lutheran, very secular today very few go to church
    - love nature- spiritual connection, hiking is big and and environmental issues are important
    - Monarchs are symbols, no political power
    - Language is similar not the same

    Central Stockholm is made of of 14 islands
    and there are 25000 or 30000 islands in the Swedish Archipelago. Stockholm is situated on the Baltic Sea but part of it is situated on a freshwater lake.

    Common Swedish words ( My phonetic or English spelling)

    Hey hey - hello and goodbye
    Taktak - thanks
    Ushekta - excuse me, I’m sorry
    Please- doesn’t exist
    Davos Salita - it’s nothing ( you are welcome)
    Naughty Naughty - good night ( I love saying this one in a slightly naughty way)

    After our group meeting we had a lesson on how to use the subway and we took it Sodermalm. The main subway terminal is decorated with art and is quite cool.
    We ate at a restaurant that has been in operation since 1908. A real old, working class place and we had a typical working class meal.
    It started out with four types of pickled herring. I ate the two milder ones with very few issues, one was in a sweet sour cream sauce, the other had a mustard sauce. For some reason, it was probably the Elderflower Gin Sour making me brave or foolish, I put the next whole piece in my mouth.Well, that was a mistake, it was the strongest type. It was Momma P strong. I chewed on the sucker for ages and somehow managed to get it down. I then ordered another Elderflower Gin Sour to get the taste out of my mouth! I couldn’t risk trying the very last piece.

    Our main course was Swedish meatballs, with lingonberries, pickles, mashed potato and gravy. So very, very yummy.

    For dessert we had a very rich and so yummy chocolate truffle. Doesn’t sound Swedish but it came with a French King in the early 1800s ( one of Napoleon’s cronies) and the dessert stayed.

    It turns out that the restaurant that we ate in is where a main character in the novel Girl With the Dragon Tattoo goes to every Tuesday. I now have to read that book. It’s the Kvarnen Restaurant. Kvarnen means mill. Hence the neon windmill in one of the pics.

    For a first group dinner, it was nice. The conversation wasn’t too stilted. It’s an interesting group as the youngest person is 14 and I think the oldest is 80.
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  • Day31

    Stockholm

    July 31 in Sweden

    Hier haben wir das Schloss andgeschaut und eine Bootsfahrt zur Museumsinsel gemacht. Dort gab es jede Menge witziger Skulpturen wie auf Bild 5 zu sehen. Unsere Unterkunft war noerdlich beim Flughafen, wo auch mehrere Schilflandschaften zum Voegelschauen waren. Schwimmen im Stockholmer Mischwasser waren wir auch

You might also know this place by the following names:

Östermalm, OEstermalm, Stockholm kerületei, Эстермальм

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