Open Curtain Policy

One of the things Sue is finding a little “confronting” about staying in “ordinary homes” in Europe is the “open curtain policy”. By that, I mean, the tendency for people to leave their curtains open at night, so pretty much everything in their houses is visible to you, and vice versa.

I noticed this first a couple of weeks ago staying in Stockholm. As I sat in my lounge-room at night and watched television, I could look across the street and see everyone else was doing pretty much the same.… Read the rest “Open Curtain Policy”

Snö, Snö, Snö

Realising I hadn’t really ventured far from the centre of Stockholm on this trip, I ventured a little further out of the city today, to the Enskededalen district in the south. It was amazing how quickly the snow-free streets of central Stockholm gave way to an area where snow and ice were very much still on the ground, often several feet deep.

I was interested in going back to a place I’d first visited in 2008, called Skogskyrkogården.… Read the rest “Snö, Snö, Snö”

Sunday Promenade

The main central body of water in Stockholm, where the fresh-water and the salt-water meet is called Lake Mälaren. In the summer, it provides a gorgeous environment where people can go for a lunch-time or after-work swim literally metres from their office. For much of the winter it’s frozen over, and it’s not uncommon to see people ski-ing, ice-skating, or walking across the frozen lake from one side of the city to the other. Right now it’s a combination of the two.… Read the rest “Sunday Promenade”

Swedish Beer and Relaxation

I thought I was going to die the morning after the last time I drank starköl (strong beer). I had a fantastic time the night before at the now-closed, but legendary Stockholm disco, Lino. But the morning after I had the worst hang-over I’ve ever had in my life.

At this point, I should tell you Swedish beer comes in three standard strengths: the aforementioned starköl (strong), mellaöl (medium, pretty standard full strength beer in Australia) and lättöl (low alcohol) which is readily sold in supermarkets.… Read the rest “Swedish Beer and Relaxation”