Stockholm… The final showdown

I can’t believe I forgot the best quote from my evening with Emanuel! At some point in the conversation, when we were talking about various cities and I had made mention of the fact that Los Angeles wanted your soul and Las Vegas wanted your money, he said San Francisco (where he was from) wanted your heterosexuality. It didn’t take a lot of detective work on my part to very quickly deduce that he was, in fact, gay. Now, this isn’t a big deal, obviously, but it did lead to the wonderful exchange where I told him it was a shame he was gay since he was missing out on the beauty that is Scandinavian women. At which point I was put in my place with a well-timed “Scandinavian men…mmmm hmmmm!”

Anyway, my last day in Stockholm and I was anxious to get to it. The first thing I wanted to do was get to the money museum, since it had been closed the day before. So I walked down the hill towards the town center, past the weird statue of a hand that I didn’t quite understand, and made my way to the palace. Okay, across from the palace. The museum was actually kinda neat, different than the one in Helsinki in that it didn’t have nearly as much text to read and a bit of a different slant, which is one of the reasons I really wanted to see it. The day before, over in the palace, one of the exhibits, right before the portrait hall, was on the various orders and medals the kings all wear. You know, you’ve seen those portraits and the guy in the tux is covered with sashes which have dangly bits all dripping down, right? That’s how you know he’s the king (contrary to what Monty Python

No... I don't know which order this is for either...
No… I don’t know which order this was for either…

may say). So all those metal dangly bits are various orders the king belongs to and there are hundreds of different ones. I think the Swedes really enjoy their orders because it seems like every monarch created one or changed one or made himself the grand high poobah of one. There’s the order of the sword and the order of the lance and the sword of St. Michael the brave and the Order of St. Bailey the Courageous and the Star of St. Riley the Cute (I’m just using these as examples, aside from that first one I’m not sure any of them actually exist). I was fascinated by these and wanted a book explaining what they all were and how you got them and what the signified and all that but the only book they had was in Swedish (inconsiderate much?) and cost like 700 Kroner (like all Swedes are made of money – although if you got one of these Orders of the House of Fultonduenas medals you could probably afford the book to explain why you got it in the first place). They did tell me, however, that the money museum might have a book such as I was looking for since it was run by the department of engraving which makes the medals to begin with. So I’m excited.

First floor was a nice history of money, lots of displays with information I couldn’t read and thousands of neat looking coins. Second floor, though, we got to the medals and sure enough, there were a bunch. I took a picture of one I’m still trying to figure out. They also had the world’s heaviest coin up there. I lifted it. It was indeed heavy… about 20 kilos! And it’s square. I learned

Biggest. Coin. Ever!
Biggest. Coin. Ever!

all about square coins and how they are stamped in all four corners to show the various authorizing agencies and then in the middle to show value.

Afterwards, I expectantly hit the gift shop, looking for my book. No luck. They had the same selection as the palace gift shop so I will never know how I can become a member of the Order of the Underwood. My loss, really.

From there, I only had one more stop on my agenda – The Judiska Museet (Jewish Museum). This is NOT an easy place to find. I wandered around, map in hand for a good twenty minutes before I

Seriously? Would it hurt to add a LITTLE pizzazz?
Seriously? Would it hurt to add a LITTLE pizzazz?

finally noticed the little sandwich board sign propped up against the door point the way inside. This took the idea of a small, Swedish museum to a whole new level. It was three rooms, and one of those was the combination entry hall/cafeteria/introductory movie auditorium/gift shop! Of the othertwo, one was devoted to the permanent collection and one to a rotating exhibit, this time on the student rebellion of 1968 as well as the deportation of Jews from Poland after the war and their acceptance in Stockholm (yes, it seems like all European countries were offering asylum to the Jews

Self portrait with stars
Self portrait with stars

after the war) and other places. The permanent exhibit consisted of a number of Jewish artifacts rescued from bombed out temples and the like. It was actually very interesting, but the thing which fascinated me the most were the two displays featuring the yellow “jood” stars.

Leaving there I stopped for lunch. I ordered what I thought was a shrimp sandwich. I was told to take a seat and it would be brought out. I was thinking that’s strange. This was something I pointed out in the window, shouldn’t be that hard to slap it on a plate. Oh yeah, and they failed to mention it came with tea or coffee until AFTER I’d paid for my Cola Light! Anyway, I’m sitting outside, enjoying the beautiful day, drinking my tea and coke, when the girl brings out a salad fit for a king (or a member of the Royal Order Of The Moveable Type). It was great! And I didn’t realize I’d been craving a salad until I took my first bite and then I just devoured the thing. I wish now I’d taken a picture of it, but my (admittedly weak) description will just have to do.

The Old Town
The Old Town

Heading back to the hostel to pick up my bag, I did one last card attraction, this elevator to a restaurant (it normally cost 40 Kroner). Like I said, it was a beautiful day so the scenery was

Beautiful day in Stockholm
Beautiful day in Stockholm

spectacular! I got my bag and headed for the station. The journey started off just fine, but then, like on the way to Munich, there was a problem with the track so they were going to stop the train, put us on coaches to get us past the problem then back on another train and away we go.


Except there weren’t enough coaches to get everyone to the other station so I ended up waiting (with a pleasant group of fellow travelers) for about an hour for a bus to arrive, then another hour to get to the pick-up station and then we all waited… and waited.

Look at that delay...
Look at that delay…

All told, the train was almost 5 hours late. Instead of getting in just before 23:00 it arrived at 3:30am. Instead of getting met by Sonny at the train station and getting a ride to Malin’s house, I had to take a cab with a guy who told me it was his first day on the job. Yes, I felt like I was on Star Tours!

And when I did get to Malin’s, I woke her up (no keys) and then promptly fell fast asleep. It was good to be back in Malmö.

3 thoughts on “Stockholm… The final showdown

  1. for some reason i find it continuously amusing that you do things like search out jewish museums and immediately follow this up by ordering a shrimp sandwich… am i the only one?

  2. Boy do my girls get up early to send you a comment.
    Mara, I agree with you, just didn’t want to mention it in case his atheism came to the forefront and he decided he’d have enough heritage checking!

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