28 February 2010


The week before last Lisbeth's job took her to Greenland. They had some long working days while there, but fortunately there was also time for enjoying and exploring the Greenlandic landscape, as well as the arctic lifestyle and traditions.

The first stop of the trip was in Sisimiut - a picturesque cluster of colourful wooden houses at Ulkebugten (Bullhead Bay) north of the Arctic circle. There had only fallen a very small amount of snow this winter, so in fact Tue could play in significantly larger volumes of snow back home in Stockholm!

24 February 2010

More royal establisments

More examples to illustrate that it is easier to sell the product if the store can somehow associate themselves with the good name of the king..

The last one might be a bit outside of the category - but since they are found in Sweden we'll include them anyway.

22 February 2010

This is likely a record for us...

This morning one could see the following on our balcony:

21 February 2010


The continuing winter weather with varying temperatures gives rise to a number of curious forms of ice around town.

20 February 2010

Life signs in the snow

By now Stockholm has been covered in snow for 2 months - and nothing really seems to indicate that the winter will be over any time soon: all day today the thermometer has been showing -14 C (7 F) and the snow is drifting around us in what I believe is technically known as a "moderate breeze" (26 km/h = 16 mph) from the north-east causing it to feel more like -24 C (-11 F)..

But fortunately - on days with nicer weather - we can see some signs of life in all the snow.

17 February 2010


A semla is the Swedish version of the Shrovetide bun, but the season has become rather extensive: ever since New Year one has not been able to pass by a bakery or a convenience store without being faced with adds for semlor (as they are called in plural). In fact the usual mania for kanelbullar (cinnamon buns) has receded a bit to let the semlor rule.

A semla consists of a sweet, cardamom spiced bun with a bit of marzipan in the middle - cut open and re-assembled with a generous amount of whipped cream. Honestly, we are the biggest semla fans imaginable, so we might have to produce some of our own variety. Apart from that we are looking forward to finding out just how long the semla season will last.

07 February 2010

London BABY

Before we can say farewell to the (travel) year 2009 we need one final chapter. We did go to Jutland to celebrate Christmas, and since that meant we were already half-ways towards London what could be more obvious than to go all the way and celebrate New Year with Rune and Nadja there?!

It Tues first time in the city, and even though London true to tradition bid us welcome with lots of rain he might be up for more visits in the future. We went shopping, we ate vegetarian by Radha Krishna, we saw the statue of Lord Nelson and the Tower of London, we rode a double-decker bus, we drank British ales in a pub, we visited Borough Market, we admired the food department in Harrod's, and we generally just enjoyed being in the UK.

On our last day there, we got to see the better side of London weather - the museum of natural history was very picturesque on such a day:

And since it was the New Year we were there to celebrate, Tue had to have his hair done up for the event!

05 February 2010

BT7: Correios 2

Not surprisingly, the Brazilian mail service has the same name as the Portuguese one - but their mailboxes look quite different.

We did not see many private mailboxes in São Paulo - not of the free-standing variety at least. Most places we saw mailboxes built into the houses. But of course, we are talking about a city where lots of people surround their homes with tall walls topped with barbed wire.

03 February 2010

BT6: Cataratas do Iguaçu

When it was time for us to pick the main destination for spare time in Brazil, the decision was easy: both of us really wanted to go to the big waterfalls - Iguaçu Falls - located on the border between Brazil and Argentina.

The distances in Brazil are quite big, so we flew from São Paulo (and back again). But we did set aside a good amount of time for exploring the waterfalls from both sides of the river. The Brazilian side allows for a panoramic view over most of the falls (as in the picture above), but it is also possible get up close using the installed walkways - that's a rather wet experience!

In Argentina there is the option of looking along and down the falls - one of the main attractions is walking to the top of the largest single waterfall, Devil's Throat, and looking down into it. Again, a rather wet experience when the wind suddenly changes direction. Apart from that it is hard to describe the sheer force and the deafening roar of the falls. These factors don't really come across so well in pictures. You have to go yourselves to get the full experience!

The day we visited the Argentinian part the sun was burning from a cloudless sky, so we had the bonus of seeing lots of rainbows in the mist from the waterfalls.

01 February 2010

BT5: Feliz Natal

It was just around the transition from November to December that we were in Brazil - so of course they were busy decorating the city for the approaching holiday season. Interestingly, in Brazil they associate Christmas with the same symbols as we do in our own, more northern, region: snow, rotund Santa Clauses in heavy, red coats, decorated Christmas trees, and polar bears (?!). Snow undoubtedly seems exotic and alluring in these latitudes - in a country where snow and frost is hardly ever seen (except in the mountains in the southernmost states). But when sweating profusely in the early subtropical summer a couple of wads of cotton in the hedge just don't appear very convincing.

On Avenida Paulista it seemed a bit like the large banks were trying to outdo each other with opulent Christmas decorations. It is possible that more came up after we left the area, but otherwise our first prize goes to the establishment pictured below. In broad daylight it merely appeared a bit overloaded with Christmas decorations, but starting in late November and every evening between 6 and 10 pm for the rest of the year they put on their Christmas show with talking mechanical puppet dogs, a dancing and Christmas-medley-singing choir, and snow machines every twenty minutes.

Did we mention the Christmas trees? A metropolis the size of São Paulo unsurprisingly requires a large and impressive Christmas tree - never mind if it is actually a single large real tree.

But it was certainly big: looking closely one can just make out the man standing near the top - just by the ladder leading up to the large Christmas star.