Tuesday, October 02, 2012

So Long, Blog #1

Yes, after 6 full years of blogging and nearly 600 posts, my blog is full.  There was a little note about the capactiy reaching 99% when I tried to download pictures.  (Sweden must have done me in!)  A new blog - The Lindahl News 2 - has been set up and is up and running.

Find the blog now at www.lindahlnews2.blogspot.com 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

We Are Home from Sweden.

Remember the View-master toy from our youth?  (That is, the youth of my peers, not the youth of today.)  It was a toy for viewing scenes of travel destinations with two parts:  a round disc form with tiny photo windows inserted in the circle and a souped-up binocular device to insert the discs into.  You clicked away to see pictures in almost a 3D view.  I thought that I would make my own version of favorite photos/places to share with you in View-master style 2012, the blog.  Enjoy!




So there you have it.  We had a wonderful trip to Sweden.  Now home, we are happy to be back!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Oh, Pippi, My Pippi

Way back when, I saved my pennies to order Scholastic Books when pennies really did buy books!  Most books were 35 cents.  I had quite a collection of Astrid Lindgren and Beverly Cleary books.  But there was just something very unique about Astrid Lindgren's Pippi with her home Ville Villekula, her friends Tommy and Annika Settergren and her animal best friends Mr. Nilsson (a monkey) and "Little Buddy" her horse.

Pippi Långstrump/Pippi Longstocking was a girl after my own heart.  She lived in a colorful, clever,untidy house where treasures awaited in a chest of drawers as welll as a treasure box full of gold coins serving her monetary purposes.  She was strong and strong-minded and had a way of putting bullies and bad guys in their rightful places.  She was loyal to her friends.  Her spunkiness got her into (and out of) sticky situations.  And somehow she coped with a father out at sea.

Knowing that Astrid Lindgren wrote these books in the county we are visiting, I knew I had to do a bit of research to see if any of our destinations would have a Pippi and Astrid Lindgren connection.  I hit "pay dirt" as one might say in the city of Stockholm!  The Junibacken Children's Museum on Djurgarden Island is a very special place indeed.  A indoor train takes visitors of all ages past scenes from several different Astrid Lindgren books:  Madicken, Karlson-on-the-Roof, Ronja, the Robber's Daughter, Emil i Lonneberg, and the Brothers Lionhart.  Then there is the pint-sized-coolest-ever Ville Villekula.  Which, of course, I made myself right at home inside with all the pint-sized children.

Here's her messy room; here's her Little Buddy giving rest to this little buddy.

This museum in special in other ways, too.  It is devoted to Swedish children's literature with areas
to play in the environments related to books and book characters:  pirate ships, airplanes, winter wonderlands and much, much more.  Authors have their artwork from books on exhibit.  I only wish I could bring Miss E here!  This museum is also home to the largest children's book store in all of Sweden! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!

But, wait!  There's more!  It also is a place for having fika and/or lunch with pancakes, cream
and lingonberries and Swedish meatballs with potatoes.

Such a sweet way to wrap our visit to Junigarden, wouldn't you say?
Pippi most certainly would approve.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Två Svenska Slottar (Two Swedish Castles)

Know me even just a little bit and you know I like to follow the Royals. (Remember April 29, 2011?)
And what dwellings do Royals live in?  Yes...castles!  While here in Sweden, we have visited two castles.

 Slott #1: Örebro Castle
When Elin suggested we meet in Örebro and we could walk to the castle nearby, I was in!

Here are some of the facts I learned about this castle:

1. The oldest part of the castle (the defense tower) was built in the 13th century. Another tower was added in the 14th century.

2. It was really expanded during the reign of the Royal Family Vasa (1523 - 1634).  This was their home in the 14th and 15th centuries.   By the 16th century, most of the castle was completed.

3. Not only has this castle been used as a home for the Royals, but it has also been a prison for inmates, a military compound and a place for the Swedish parliament to gather.  In the summertime, there is an outdoor eating area that is most popular.  Alas, it is now closed for the season.

4. The castle really is on an island on the River Svartan. That means the moat is automatic without a dig-out.

5. For the past 200 years, the county governor(s) have resided in the castle. Nice, huh? "Blajo"
would've liked this place!

6. Students from the Karolina Skolan use some of the rooms as classrooms presently.  Take that, Hogwarts!

Now that we are in Uppsala, we are within walking distance of the second castle.  It is difficult to photograph in its entirety.

Slott #2: Uppsala Castle

King Gustav Vasa, in 1549, ordered the construction of this castle to commence.  Future Kings Erik XIV, John III and Charles IX all expanded and remodeled during their reigns. 

This was the castle from which the abdication of Queen Kristina was announced in 1654.

In 1702 a fire destroyed most of the castle and for many, many years it was left in ruins.  Eventually, it was repaired and remodeled once again.

Dag Hammarskjold lived in this castle as a boy when his father was the governor of Uppsala County.

And now it is the home of the Uppsala Art Museum  (Uppsala Konstmuseum) which we toured and visited!  The special exhibit of ceramics by Taisto Kaasinen and artists from the Upsala-Ekebyfactory was most inspiring.

Once again, the Swedish sense of design comes through.  As do their Royals and Castles!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Guest Blogger about His Boyhood In Sweden

Here I am in front of my old apartment building on Dragerbrunsgatan (number 53). We lived here for around 6 months in 1963. The school I went to as a 9 year old has since burned down, so we couldn't visit.

Around the corner from the entrance is the same bakery we used in 1963 to buy treats. One of my favorite temptations was this little elliptical shaped almond cake with frosting. Deb and I bought one and shared it while walking toward the Storatorget.

Here is the name of the street. You can see the address range posted on the corner at the intersection.

Our units were the ones to the right that were slightly off-white in color. They seemed in pretty good shape for being over 50 years old.

Here is a view of the courtyard behind the apartments. Notice the balconies to the left. I think we were on the second floor, but our unit is off the picture to the left. The entry to the courtyard is locked, so we were taking these pictures through the fence. We used to play here (Paul, Kris and Wes) and do I think my Dad tried to scare us by pretending to be a drunk man out there (or maybe it really was a drunk man!). We also used our old cereal boxes and slid down the stairs. The bicycle ramps make that possible (see picture below).

Now on to the walking outside mall. This ornate building was at the center of the "Centrum" open market area. Next to it was Ahlens. This store had all sorts of things from clothes to pots and pans. Perhaps like a Carson's Department store. At Christmas time we went and looked at the toys. I especially wanted a small toy steam engine. I did get this, but I don't remember the details (was it a gift? Did I contribute from my allowance?). I just remember wanting it so bad and then finally getting to run it and make the attachments work.

Finally, there is a picture of the grass area outside the castle. We used to ski and sled here in the winter. Unfortunately, this is the scene of a terrible accident. My brother and I were coming down the hills on this cool sled that had a steering wheel. We were going fine until we came to the walking path that had not retained its snow. The sled hit the gravel and slowed down very fast. I fell off, but poor brother Paul ended up with his face under the runners and in the gravel. The blood rushed quickly and I ran with him to our apartment just four or so blocks away. His face has since recovered, but I know my parents refused to let him look in the mirror for at least a couple of weeks. He was all swollen and disfigured. We also have a movie of us skiing here. A bit of editing allows Kris to recover from a fall and Paul provides some humor as he attempts to get up with one ski over another.

My newest memories are forming even now as I was able to meet the head advancement officer for Uppsala University and get a cool tour of the campus, which dates back to 1477. I guess almost 50 years is not that long of a time period, considering!

Friday, September 21, 2012

There's Pizza in Sweden!

Seeing as Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza (Lou Malnatti's, Giordano's, Gino's East, Pizzeria Uno, etc.), we knew we would have to have it here in Sweden at some point in time.  Because we have been in this country previously, we knew not to search for deep dish.  But we did know where to find the best thin crust pizza of all:  at The Evergreen in Jönköping!  Why is this the best place?  Because our kids took us there and introduced us to #39:  The Tre Kronor special!

What's in the Tre Kronor? Kebab meat, onions, fresh tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, french fries and a topping of kebab sauce!  It sounds like of strange, doesn't it?  But the french fries on top with kebab sauce over the fries makes for a most pleasing pizza combination.

 Splitting one pizza in two halves was the right amount. Can you tell we have enjoyed our meal?

And can you tell the restaurant guy was happy we were happy with his pizza?  Two thumbs up!

                                          Ja!  Ja!  Ja!