So – after breakfast we headed out again. ON the way to the small Christmas markets in the square outside the Nobel Museum (sorry, I don’t know what the square is called – but it’s the photo of me with a red building behind me) we stopped to look for those famouse Swedish sweets called Plopp and Kack. Yes, they really exist! Plopp is a chocolatey-caramelly thingy and Kack is licorice, though they must have changed Kack because we could only find Kick, in the same packaging as Kack used to be. Anyway, onward to the markets! Purchased some air-dried reindeer, and some smoked moose (yes, MOOSE!) which tasted fantastic and is sitting in my fridge all ready for gobbling at Christmas :). Also partook of the local mulled wine, called ‘glogg’, which is very cinamon-ny and nutmeg-gy and much MUCH better than any other mulled wine I’ve tried. And they serve it with a wee gingerbread heart, which is also yummy. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gl%C3%B6gg)
After a cruise around the markets, Victoria, Christine, Sarah and I went into the Nobel Museum whilst Jackie and Ann went shopping. Very interesting place, and they had an exhibition of Winston Churchill’s paintings on. Waited in vain for about 5 mins for the people we knew to swing around in the massive display on the roof listing all the Nobel winners in every category since it started, and then gave up and went to watch a movie on Cold Spring Harbor Labs – that Jim Watson (discover of DNA) now runs and where the boss did his post-grad work under Nobel laureate Eric Kandel. (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2000/kandel-autobio.html)
Stopped in the Museum Shop and bought a chocolate Nobel Prize for boss, along with a magnet with a quote from Ernest Rutherford (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1908/rutherford-bio.html) that said “We’ve run out of money, now we have to think.” :)
Met up with Jackie and Ann and wandered down past the palace to the quayside, where we got on a ferry for Djurgarden, and the Skansen open air museum, which is where the big christmas markets were. The boat took about 10mins, giving us a chance to eat the rolls saved from breakfast, and then we headed up the hill to Skansen (http://www.skansen.se/). Wandered around Skansen for about an hour or so and saw early buildings and lifestyle, heard folk music, before hitting the markets. Bought a hat and some lingonberry jam, Christine found cloudberry jam (also very yummy with a fantastic name) and also tasted something called Meadowsweet, which was a hot drink kind of like mulled white wine, and very nice indeed!
But as soon as the sun went down (about 3:30pm) the temperature dropped incredibly fast – and we were freezing our bits off when we finally decided to head back to town at about 4:15. Got the ferry back and went to NK, a department store. Had a lovely hot chocolate in their basement food hall, and sat for a hour defrosting and resting weary feet before heading to the bus station for the trip to the airport.
At the airport out troubles began. Firstly, we had problems because we’d tried to check in online, but weren’t able to print our boarding passes. The check in desk sent us to the service desk, where we discovered we’d have to pay 180KR each (£13.50) to get our boarding passes printed. The woman was quite rude when were were trying to explain the problem with the computers accepting pop-ups. Then there was no hot food available – the person before us in line got the last order before the kitchen closed. Then we had a lot of trouble getting through security.
Sarah and I were the first pulled over for our jars of jam. Yes, jam is confiscated at the airport security desk. I’m not kidding. They left the cigarette lighters, they left the bottles of glogg-mix – we could spark up a molotov cocktail on the plane if we wanted – but heaven forbid that my lingonberry jam cause a nasty red stain on anyone’s clothing. There was discussion, somewhat heated, and a final refusal to let our harmless jam through the security gates. Apparently it’s a liquid. Go on, you try and get jam to pour.
Jackie also had her bag searched, and the conversation went something like this:-
Security Guard: Do you also have jam? You’re with them, you must have jam.
Jackie: I don’t have any jam, I don’t even like jam!
Security: That’s exactly what you would say if you are harboring jam! I’m going to search your bag too.
Honestly, it was like something out of Monty Python!
And then we walked through into the airside shop and what were they selling?? Yep, cloudberry jam and lingonberry jam. *sigh*
Rushed through to passport control, then onto the plane, we were in the final 10 passengers to board, so had to split up to sit. Long looooong flight back – seemed to take forever, then met at the airport by Christine’s son and Victoria’s partner for delivery home. Gabriel was very glad to see me and the house was very cold.
Here endeth our Stockholm adventure. And I’m still pissed off about the jam.
(But Christine told me yesterday that she thinks IKEA sells it, so it’ll be a trip to IKEA soon!)