May 12, 2012

Stockholm in the wrong season?

Not a genius of design but still cute
Sweden presents.

Pippi Langstrumpf is everywhere in Stockholm.

Stockholm when it is gray.

Stockholm when it has more colors.

I had my doubts about going to Stockholm in March also because it is one of the most expensive places in Europe to visit. We ate (and paid) well at Cafe Berns; Prinsen and Riche. Indeed, Stockholm felt like a ball of wealth, a firmly established country with traditions and values. Its cherished egalitarian ethos was also admirable for us and its signs are everywhere . Unlike in many countries, one often sees men carrying (and taking care of) children. Baby strollers have their place in the entrance of buildings. Education seems to be working well since everyone is extremely fluent in English including immigrant taxi drivers from all over the world. On the other hand, there are typical European inconveniences: stores are closed even on Saturdays. And there is no wi-fi unless you go to Sheraton! 

Vasa Museum, Stockholm.

A remake of Swedish life in 19th century at
Skanska Museum, Stockholm.

A milestone from 19th century at
Skanska Museum, Stockholm.

Sweden is famous for IKEA and design shops and it is fun to go in them and look at objects. Other fun to look at places are museums. Vasa with its Viking ship saved from the bottom of the sea; Skanska with the re-make of its 19th century life of Sweden and Fotografska Museum. The latter has a beautiful café on its roof. At the same time, when we were driving from the airport to the city, I felt like I was in the New England region of the U.S. rather than in Sweden. This meant that it was time for a stroll in Östermalm  made famous by the writer Stieg Larsson:-)

My favorite museum in Stockholm: The Fotography.

Asian cuisine in Stockholm: Berns.

What was also interesting is the fact that a huge majority of Turks there are hailing from one region in Central Anatolia while there are also many Kurds and Assyrians from the Southeast. Gamla Stan in the old town was charming but it was not that different from any other old town in Europe. On the other hand, there was a certain grayness and coldness covering the city. In other words, Stockholm did not feel fun even when you went out. When I saw the colored sky during sunset, however, I thought maybe I was there in the wrong season.