From Denmark I headed up to the Norwegian capital to visit one of my friends from high school, who is now an engineer there. I went to Hafjell in Norway for the first time for my birthday in 2007 and absolutely loved it, so was keen to check out the capital. Norway is a country I would like to live in for a while at some point – if I can afford it!
One of the few things my friend who lived there hadn’t yet done was visit the new opera house. It was very stylish – but on the top, in the middle of summer, roasting hot, with so much white and metal and glare! There are lots of ‘watch your step’ signs because the surfaces and angles are a bit treacherous (kind of like the Australian parliament but with cement instead of grass).
After the conference I crossed the bridge from Sweden to Denmark, leaving Malmö for Copenhagen. Copenhagen is a pretty iconic city, between The Little Mermaid and the royal family. Given that Princess Mary is Australia’s own, I was chuffed to get a glimpse of her in a purple coat at some military celebration, pictured. We asked a Danish guy standing near us what was going on, but I forget what he said. I googled to try and figure out what celebration it was, in August ’08, to no avail. If anyone can enlighten me, it would be much appreciated!
Most of the conference was at the university in Malmö, a town most notable for the oddly shaped tower, pictured (with a colleague who I managed to persuade to jump for the photo, despite strong reluctance).
Malmö is certainly no Stockholm, and is in the process of redevelopment. But it has a beautiful old town centre that is pretty happening of a midsummer evening, as well as the aforementioned twisted tower, portside.
Filed under: travel
Here we all are outside the museum (courtesy of the event organisers).
Filed under: travel
Another thing I would highly recommend in Stockholm is the Nobel Museum.
But I know I’m heavily biased, working in science communication. Also, I was there through work, and part of my awesome memory of there involves meeting two inspiring Nobel laureates (notably Peter Agre, who had the guts to go on The Colbert Report).
Unfortunately Nobel laureates don’t spend all the time admiring their own profiles in the museum, so there’s no guarantee you’ll have the same experience.
But I’m pretty sure that – as long as you have some vague interest in discoveries that have changed our lives – you would find visiting the Nobel Museum worthwhile.
Okay I am at risk of falling so far behind in this record of my travels that although I have a lot of work I’m supposed to be doing right now I’m going to take 5 minutes out to write a new entry. Unfortunately (for the purposes of this record) my travel in June/July was mostly work-focused, and given I try to keep work out of this blog I have to figure out what I can say about Stockholm that would be relevant to someone who was just visiting there.
Stockholm is a typical Scandinavian city. Beautiful. Clean. Efficient. Almost disturbingly so. Brutally expensive. But lots of fun.
We went into an adorable chocolate shop – a chain in fact – the name of which I don’t remember unfortunately. But the girl behind the counter was brilliantly friendly, going so far as to recommend a place we should go for dinner and calling to make the booking for us. The place she booked us in was called Grill, which in Australia would sound a bit feral to be honest, so we weren’t expecting much. Though the fact we couldn’t get a booking until 9:15pm should have suggested otherwise.
We rocked up for a pre-dinner cocktail and were blown away by the interior design. Stuff everywhere – prams and great white sharks dangled from the ceiling, candles and furry wallpaper mingled perilously. The ambience was awesome. The prices were astronomical… one cocktail was more than a whole dinner in Australia.
But the thrill of going to a funky bar in central Stockholm was worth it.