Saturday, March 17, 2012

One last time..

There is something about old buildings that intrigues me. I never was much for modern architecture. It can be fascinating, posh, cool and quite astonishing, but to me it’s soulless when it's brand new. Perhaps it's because I grew up in Old town, where I learnt to love leaning floors, senselessly high sealings and cobble stones that are nice to look at by a nuisance to walk on? But building don’t have to be from the 15th century to get my attention, it's got a lot to do with the history of the building and the people that have passed through.
As I am a faithful supporter of one of the football teams in Stockholm, AIK, the subject of affection towards historical grounds has been brought to my attention recently. 

They are tearing down our stadium. 

Next year, the ground that is ranked amongst top 10 classical stadiums by FIFA will no longer be. We will all be moved to a modern arena, for sure more comfortable, for sure completely soulless.
Råsunda stadion, finalized in 1937, one of only 2 stadiums in the world that have hosted the final for both the men’s and women’s World Cup. The place where Sweden and Brazil played the final in the World Cup in 1958 (5-2 win for Brazil), where historical games, battles and songs have long echoed. The place that is now being torn down. 
It is a rugged stadium. It built out of, and actually has the character as well, of cement,it's nick named "Mordor" by other teams, our "fortress" by us. The place where I've been supporting my team for almost 20 years. It might be trivial, in an ever changing world, but I for one will not be able to hold back my tears when the tearing begins.
Before all this, there is however a chance for one last time of everything. The chance to vintess it all, one last time. One last time, the season premiere will be held here. We'll meet the players with chants and fireworks. One last time we will host a Derby game against a local rival. One last time we will get to follow our team on sacred ground. And hopefully, one last time, we will bring the gold medals back where they belong.
This will be documented by many, mourned by all. One of my oldest friends, Henrik, will document this through his lens and you can see the amazing pictures here.
Several short movies have also been made, 2 of my favourites are: 
If I were you, I would not miss the last of this for the world. 
Get your tickets here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I'm in love with twitter, hence I need to spread the word.
It's such a fast and effective way of communicating, gets me the latest news way ahead of even web based newspapers plus I get to check in on a lot of my friends.
That is how I stumbled upon the Curators of Sweden, an amazing idea that you can read about here and follow here. Many other countries and cities have now followed suit and I love it. The idea of getting to know a country by following people from different parts of Sweden, with very different backgrounds is amazing. Yes, naturally, it's a kind of commercial and it works, it gets people curious about the country and the fact that we so far have seen everything from the daily life of a female truck driver to a sheep farmer and a librarian really says it all. If you use twitter, don't miss this!

Absoluteapartment obviously has an account as well; however I'm afraid I can't find the time to tweet both professionally and private, (I'm after all still a med student who also run a company..) so the account is just linked to our Google+ and to our Facebook page. In the future I hope to do more, just need to find some more time for this amazing form of microblog.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Highly recommended things to do in Stockholm

What is it that you are just not allowed to miss while you 
are in Stockholm? Well it naturally depends on season and how much time you have but we rate 10 things that you can't miss no matter when you are here or how little time you have:

1.Old town (Gamla stan)
The heart of Stockholm, where it all started and where much of it is kept. You can still walk on the same cobble stones that Axel von Fersen (Marie Antoinette’s lover) was killed upon, see the slop where the big blood bath took place. Eat at one of the many cafés located 16th century basements, admire the royal castle and see the changing of the guards.

Yes, we know you need some time to do really see the archipelago but there are ways to do it fast too if you are in a hurry. It's something amazing about the archipelago in Stockholm a sunny summer day, diving of the cliffs, fishing, sunbathing, sipping wine at one of the small harbors or challenging your friend to mini golf. Most of all, just see the beauty of it and enjoy! For a quick spell we recommend Fjäderholmarna and if you have a full day, don't miss Sandhamn, the real jewel of Stockholm’s archipelago!

3.City hall
This is where the Nobel prize celebrations are held. The Nobel prize was founded by Alfred Nobel, the guy who invented dynamite, and is one of the biggest events in Sweden each year. It's a full on week with ceremonies, speeches and it all ends with a large dinner at city hall! It holds the 3 crowns, the symbol of the Swedish hockey team amongst others and you can climb the tower to get a great view of Stockholm.

4.The ice bar
Ok yes, a lot of people will argue that it's not fair to put this on 4th place in Stockholm but we feel that it really tells a typical story of Sweden and it's a cool place! The entire thing is made out of ice, the bar, the glasses, the tables etc. They lend you a furry coat, gloves and hat so you can go in the summer and still be warm.

5.Boat sightseeing
This makes for a great way to see Stockholm, Venice of northern Europe. A few hours guided tour is an effective way to see many different places in Stockholm and it's a nice ride.

Comes naturally perhaps, but food is important in Swedish culture. We have a couple of places that we love that we will publish as soon as we can, but take time to dine, enjoy the Swedish specialties and it doesn’t have to be expensive! If you are staying in an apartment, try things like cloudberry jam, herring and crisp bread at home, no need to pay extra for that at a fancy restaurant or take the opportunity to eat many of the Swedish specialties at a local Brunch place.

A large open air museum that hold a bit of everything from a small cute animal park where you can see wolfs, moose, bears and many other animals but also a place to visit the historic Sweden in miniature. If you happen to be here during one of the larger celebrations such as Lucia, midsummer, new year’s etc, then you can celebrate it traditionally in Skansen.

8.The Vasa museum
The only preserved 17th century ship in the world. Sank on its maiden journey in 1628, was brought back up in 1961. Situated on Djurgården this could easily be combined with Skansen and a mini boat ride from Slussen, makes for a full day.

9.Any sports event
Depending on season this might be Hockey or Football but you should take the opportunity to go see a game live. There are 3 football teams that are big in Stockholm, AIK, Djurgården and Hammarby and you can see the game schedule and by tickets at ticnet.

Sounds stupid, we know, but walk around Djurgården, stop at local cafés and enjoy the peace and quiet. Walk around Old town and soak in the atmosphere. Walk home a late summer night along the waterfronts of Stockholm, enjoy the 24hour daylight and feel the Nordic spirit. Stockholm is not big, you can walk almost everywhere and you should because it's simply the best way to get to know the city.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Brunch your way around Stockholm!

Waking up Sunday morning after a late Saturday out with your friends, or because you just simply had a good nights rest, a brunch is always a great way to end the weekend. It will either bring you back to life with well needed food and drinks or it will be a pampered luxery experience with your loved ones, preferably a combo.. No matter what your reasons are, a brunch is the right way to end the week end!
I and one of my best friends, David, went to med school together for a few semesters before I switched university from Karolinska to Uppsala. We decided to stay in touch by brunching as often as we could and we have tried out a lot of great places in Stockholm. We always talked about rating them, starting up a brunch blog to guide others but we never came that far. Hence, when I now have a travel blog, set up to recommend things to do around the world, I decided that I will share some of the places here with you. The rating is always based on the same criteria, hot food, cold food, desserts, atmosphere and service. I have also added price, and a personal comment.

Total: 21p 
Price: 249Kr, not including drinks/coffee
Comment: Wow! The hot food is great and includes both classic brunch dishes and delicacies like smoked salmon fins and perfectly poached eggs. We were unlucky on the service department the first time, but second time we had great service. During the winter you sit inside, watch the bright white snow outside while feeling the warmth from the open fire. The desserts are the real winners even if the hot selection is really good too but that dark chunky moist chocolate brownie cake is truly to die for!

Total: 20 
Price: 260kr, Standard juice/coffee is included
Comment: Our first brunch was here, hence we loved it! Could have been that we are getting pickier but this one is still one of the best. It's a cross over between hotel breakfast and brunch, giving you a wide assortment of things that make up a great sandwich (Philadelphia -bagel with salmon was my favorite!) together with the essential hot stuff plus a few cute add ons as mini hamburgers. The desert section  was fun, including a Swedish thing called smågodis, essential! The staff was attentive and let us stay way past closing time, without a fuss. Great!

Total: 19
Price: 235kr, not including drinks or coffee
Comment: The fact that we were allowed to stay until they had to set our table for dinner was something that we really cherished. It also says a lot about how much we liked it! Biggest plus goes out to the beef tartar. Absolutely astonishing! The pickled Swedish Chanterelles served to the prosciutto.. Wow! When it comes to hot food there was nothing wrong but just the ordinary bacon and eggs, nothing special. Waffles, pancakes makes for a nice dessert. Coffee is not included but the barista is really good so it's worth the extra!

Service: 4
Total: 18 
Price: 325kr, including regular coffee, juices.
Comment: Cool idea with small tables of tiny portioned brunch dishes (or simply food, not too much brunch over it) with each table representing a different decade. Some decades were however better then others to say the least. A thing that we still talk about was an omelet version on Jansson with lots of finely chopped red onion and crème fraiche, Delicious!! The deserts were served on table spoons, nicely arranged in a mock wall. Hard to explain I know, but imaging the holding ends of large beautiful spoons, filled with lovely bites of desserts, stuck into a mesh system of holes in a white wall. You'll have to see for yourselves. Plus a good excursion on a rainy day to see the great exhibitions at the same time. Expensive for what you get however.

Total: 17 
Price: 275kr, including regular coffee
Comment: Food was overall average, a few twists like Nobis dressing instead of the standard Caesar, an amazing mustard sauce for the cured salmon but apart from that, bland. Very few hot dishes to choose from and the desserts were uneven to say the least. The best ones were the crème brullé and a great chocolate mousse, both served in schnapps glasses so perfect size as well. The chocolate cake and waffles looked god but tasted absolutely nothing. A lovely place, a nice walk out there and back, cozy, but stop for a glass of wine or coffee instead.

Total: 9
Comment: Well.. Eh. No. Food was unispiering and quite bland. The only thing that stuck out was the corn bread that was very tasty. Apart from that, service was nonexistent, the waffle iron had a melted plastic spatula inside it and when I pointed this out, the waitress said "use the other one". Price way too high for what you get. We won't be coming back and no, we won't link to them either, just don't go there.

To be continued!