One of the differences between Denmark and Sweden is that in Sweden kids have a long summer break — nearly 10 weeks. Our kids quickly grew tired of summer time day care offered from school. Luckily both my wife and I have flexible work from home options and kids are old enough to take care of themselves most of the day — as long as the internet is working. Still, it is best practice to kick your kids out the door once in a while for some authentic encounters with the real world. Here are some highlights for inspiration of what we did so far.
A friend living in Stockholm invited us to stay at his family’s house in the archipelago over a weekend. Speeding into the seemingly endless labyrinth of water ways for two and a half hours, then jumping off at a small pier. Catching frogs, picking berries and swimming in the fresh cool water. A great break from the pulse of the city life.
Pippi at the Circus
Astrid Lindgren’s Pippi is a solid brand in Sweden. Through our connections with Circus Cirkör we got pre-release tickets for a new show, a circus musical over the story of Pippi at the Circus. The musical followed the original story closely which gave it a somewhat uneven dramatic flow: The story begins as a series of sketches where Pippi steals the thunder of the various circus artists by outperforming them in her best anti-authoritarian style. Then in the second part, comedy changes to drama as the story of the circus princess takes center stage. Truly a spectacular show with great and fun performances that ends with a bang. Great to be out in the crowds again after the pandemic.
Sightseeing in Stockholm
A friend from Denmark visited us for a few days which was a great excuse to play some games and to go sightseeing in Stockholm.
The Vasa Museum showcases the wreck of the 1628 war ship Vasa that sank on its virgin journey. The wreck was raised in 1961 and is amazingly well preserved and is a spectacular sight. While you cannot enter the ship, the displays around the ship do a great job of telling the stories of the ship and the people connected to it. Sweden was getting into the 30-year war and needed a navy that could compete with those of its neighbours. Richly decorated with figurines and wood carvings, the ship itself told a story of a noble king fighting a rightful cause. However, due to insufficient ballast for the two cannon decks, it ended up as a very expensive flagpole marking the entry into Stockholm.
My friend and I reflected on the stories we tell about the past and what that says about our culture today.
Placed centrally in Stockholm, the building hosting the Parliament of Sweden was reconstructed in 1979 — 1981 to accommodate a single large assembly, replacing the previous two chambers. I’ve walked past the building many times, this time we took a chance opportunity for a guided tour. Some take aways:
Politicians pass through the Room of the Good Deed and the Room of the Women on their way to and from the assembly. To be inspired by those who came before. Folke Bernadotte, Raul Wallenberg. No one can do everything, everyone can do something.
The 349 members of parlament are seated by region and then by political party membership. Do you represent your region or your political party?
Torekällberget in Södertälje is an open air museum presenting a 1800-view of living in Södertälje, a Swedish city of today 72 000 that grew out of a village that was transformed by rail and steam. It’s a living museum with volunteers and performers dressed out in 19th century outfits take you back to a time without iPads and internet. This time we experienced Mister Turbani and the kids were duly impressed by his performance.