31 July 2009

Bezoek in Rotterdam

Despite not having had our summer vacation yet, we've been doing quite a bit of travelling lately. Two weeks ago, after a short stop in Copenhagen to enjoy a wonderful Laurie Anderson / Lou Reed concert in Denmark Radio's new marvellous concert hall, we flew onwards to Holland and started the weekend by exploring Rotterdam.

It was the first time Lisbeth was back since she studied one term there, and the first time Tue was there at all. Disregarding menacing clouds, Lisbeth 'dragged' Tue through her old 'hood':

.. and into the more central parts of town:

Unfortunately it poured down all of Saturday morning so we didn't make out into Rotterdam this day; on the other hand we had plenty of time for savouring the breakfast buffet at our great hotel and taking in the impressive view from the 15th floor. But since also Tue liked all that he saw, we'll probably have to come back some day...

30 July 2009

Mine mail

As some of our readers may have noticed there has in certain circles been a debate as to whether or not the US is turning in to Sweden. As we have previously observed there are curious similarities between the two countries regarding the mail boxes. On our recent trip to Värmland we found another example - on the dirt roads in the old mining country we found clusters of painted mail boxes, reminding us of Big Sur.

26 July 2009

Water in Värmland

A couple of fellow Danes in exile, Mette and Casper in Malmö, invited us to visit them in Värmland in the old manor house they rented for two weeks in July. We originally reserved a small car with Hertz, but they didn't have any small cars left when we came to pick it up, so we ended up with a ride more fitting for the manor style: a Volvo V50.

When we arrived at the Himmelvid manor, Mette, Casper, and the four little ones had already spent a whole week there in near-non-stop rain - and thus were happy the house was big. We went for a walk in the rain, but stayed mostly indoors Saturday. During the Sunday we did manage to get a bit of sunshine before we had to head back towards Stockholm.

It was nice to get out there and see some of the Swedish landscape - forests and lakes (although the view was strongly dominated by the former when driving on major roads). Much to Lisbeth's disappointment we didn't see any elks during this weekend, merely signs warning that elks might be crossing the roads...

14 July 2009

Not Ads!

This mailbox is adorned with a slightly angular, but easily recognised, version of the the logo of the Swedish postal service - a logo which reminds us that the company known today simply as Posten AB[1] back in the day (that is 1636) started out as a royal agency (Kungliga Postverket).

Apart from that we like the terse message on the flap "Not Ads!"

[1] AB = Aktiebolaget, the Swedish equivalent of Inc.

12 July 2009

Flash backs

Although we have moved quite a bit north there are a number of things here in Solna which are not all that different from phenomena close to our previous homes. One of the first warm evenings we had this view from our kitchen window:

... and that does remind us of Swiss hot air balloons.
Not long after that Lisbeth met this little fellow:

... and he is quite similar to his American cousin.

One of the local lakes has this fountain:

We believe this must be by Genevian inspiration.

And although there are not quite as many rabbits here as there are ground squirrels in Goleta, we do see them almost every day. Also, we nearly ran one down - just like we had to keep an eye out for potential road crossers on the bike paths around UCSB.

10 July 2009

Island Mail

If you didn't know any better, you'd almost think Vaxholm was in the US - her, in the inner Stockholmian archipelago, we found this mailbox which couldn't help but make us think of a couple of Hawaiian mailboxes..

07 July 2009

Wet in Vaxholm

When niece Sofia and her parents stopped in Stockholm on their way to Vimmerby and Pippiland we went to Vaxholm - just to get out on the water. The weather was ok most of the day, but heavy clouds passed overhead from time to other. The first set of dark clouds gave surprisingly little rain, but the second time we were quite happy to have found a covered porch to stand on.