Honeybuns and I had a most enjoyable last weekend. The Saturday we spent at the Butterfly House. There weren't very many butterflies about though, maybe even the tropical lepidopterans have decided to hibernate through the winter. The museum restaurant was a delightful surprise, the food was actually quite good and not too expensive, an unusual combination in most museum restaurants.
On Sunday we went to Skansen for the Christmas Market. To our joy we found that Skansen has made an excellent effort this year, the main entrance met us with light cascades down the hillside and a choir singing traditional Christmas songs, i e not the ones you'll hear every day in every supermarket, but old and yet less worn-out ones.
As we wandered around the city quarter and looked into shops and workshops we found that they all used period lighting, in other words it was quite dark in most places. It brought home very strongly what wintertime must have meant just a few generations away, Christmas being when you would celebrate and use the half a dozen of tallow candles made at the autumn slaughter. The high point was when we entered Älvrosgården and listened to three violinists playing folk music in almost complete darkness.
The market itself contained more booths than I remember ever having seen there before, selling waffles, sausages, slippers, knives, fish, and whatever other folkloristic Christmas items, all very pleasant in the winter night (i e early afternoon). When the market closed at around 16:00, we haggled ourselves to a bag of discount saffron buns and then stood by Solliden and looked out over the city, glittering in the darkness. I noted how experiences are intensified by sharing them, not least so when shared with my beloved Honeybuns.
We passed through the Skansen shop for some aurora-flavour glögg (I will let you know what aurora tastes like) and then proceeded to Gröna Lund and watched brave people riding roller-coasters in the chilly air while others skated beneath them. The Christmas market was tiny and not very exciting, so soon we caught the tram and continued to Kungsträdgården, which also had a Christmas market. We bought doughnuts and munched on them as we walked towards the Old Town, to see the Christmas market there. I consider it to have lost much of its charm since they discontinued the paper trumpets for children (on account of the complaining residents), but we still found some more stuff for the Christmas table. I would have sung ”Jul i Gamla Stan”, but I don't know the words and besides I think it's a bit tacky.
Tired and satisfied with our day, we went home and made rice pudding for dinner in order to continue with the Christmas theme.