We made it to Sweden. Three days in Stockholm were lovely. A boat tour under 15 bridges for 2 hours gave us a better grasp of Stockholm and its main archipelagos. We walked many footsteps during our 3 days as we needed to walk to bridges to cross water rather than just down the corner and across streets. Gamla Stan is the Old Town with its narrow streets, colorful storefronts, pastel siding, window boxes filled with large-faced pansies, and patterned walkways of stones. We toured the Vasa museum, where a ship built in 1628 sank within 1200 m of setting sail. Lacking the necessary ballast and weighing more than typical due to its 500 ornamental carvings, it quickly listed when wind gusts caught it in a vulnerable state with an open port hole. We also took in the National Museum, with its outstanding collection of art, including that of Carl Larsson. We were quite amused by Rembrandt’s, The Conspiracy of the Batavians, since our most recent address for the last 20 years was Batavia, meaning we were Batavians! Sunday evening we were graciously invited to the home of Steve’s 1st cousin, once removed. Kathleen and her husband Victor live in a fantastic older home constructed of granite, heavy wooden planks, grand doorways, and a million-dollar view of Norrmalm and Gamla Stan areas of Stockholm.
Yes, we have enjoyed herring, Swedish meatballs, lingonberry jam, and breakfast Smörsgabords. The coffee is very rich and satisfying. Breads are a big hit at breakfast as is yogurt, museli, boiled ham, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, & cheeses. Our breakfasts are quite filling and help delay our next meal each day. Seems as if we eat a later evening meal too and not so much. In fact we have the tendency to be the last customers in the restaurants each night!
Yesterday we negotiated our way from Stockholm to the Dälarna region of Sweden, about 3 hours northwest of Stockholm. We are staying in Rättvik at the SE end of Lake Siljan. Very tall pines similar to lodgepole pine in our country as well as birch are thick along the roadways. The closer we came to the Lake Siljan region, we began to see low mountain ranges off in the distance. These ranges are similar in size to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the U.S. Last night we quickly made our way out onto a pier in Rättvik to take in the setting sun with its brilliant colors dancing across the water. Ironically, being so far north we actually witnessed a two hour sunset! In fact, we made it back to the hotel with plenty of time to continue watching it plus Steve and I decided to leave for a walk. It was nearly 11 p.m. before we could say the sun was set.
Today we spent 7 hours with cousin Kathleen’s dear friend, Ann Marie, who is from the local area. Ann Marie’s hobby is that of a geneologist. She also has helped Kathleen discover more information about the Anderson family over the years. Steve’s Mother’s maiden name is Anderson. Today Ann Marie took us to several key locations in Mora, where Anderson predecessors once lived. It was quite powerful to walk the ground that great- and great-great grandparents once walked. We even discovered that the Anderson’s are somewhat related by marriage to the great Swedish artist, Anders Zorn. Tomorrow we will return to Mora where we will tour Anders Zorn’s home and museum.
We hope that everyone is doing well back in the states. We will be here until the 18th, when we will make our way to Götenborg about 8 hours south! Göd Jul.
Diane and Steve