The Dance of Death and 7 pound beer
Trip Start Mar 10, 2008
13Trip End Mar 17, 2008
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After eating a cheap hotdog (equivalant of £3.50, practically giving it away...) and a coca cola by the watersedge I headed towards the History Museum, stopping at the Tourist centre on the way (it is a massive modern, with books on everything as well as information in dozens of languages, very well organised- they even had the "take a number" queuing system which really sums up the order of their society). I then walked a fair distance to the History Museum and went inside (The "Free entry" proclaimed by my (admittedly outdated slightly) guide turned out to be closer to four pounds (I managed to bluff myself as a student, I am not looking forward to the day that doesn't work anymore).
Went into the viking section of the museum first- I can only describe it as excellent, a lot of detail and interesting little artifacts (although the Swedes went to great pains to insist they didn't exist back then..these were just their forefathers- trying to distance themselves from their bloodthirsty past no doubt- there were also several references to how the Nazis had used viking symbols in their "superrace agenda" which was quite interesting- as were the explanations about the northern peoples (Samis, Lapps and Finns) and there was a lot of stuff about their lifestyles (no doubt an attempt to apologise for the thousand years of shit the Swedes and Norwegians gave them and the Russians still give them)
Afterwards I entered the "transitory" section. which asked questions about family and bonds, and how history affected us, and how our world affected our view of history, how far we;d be willing to go to get what we wanted e.t.c- all very interesting questions, but not really museum material I don't think.
I then entered the primeval section, with arrowheads e.t.c, I don't know why, but Primeval history is something that has never even remotely interested me. Maybe its due to lack of material about that era..I don't really think it matters, its a very good exhibition if you're into that kind of thing- comparing people who lived in different areas e.t.c-but I'm not a fan, and thats about it.
Afterwards I wandered upstairs for the Medieval section of the museum, Swedens golden age (and the age I'm most interested in) was during this era and I was looking forward to learning more about it. I was in for a bit of a disappointment.
The Medieval section consisted entirely of church art/crucifixes and Christian icons, which- while their beauty and awe can't be disputed, weren't exactly what I expected/would have liked
Afterwards I headed down to the Gold room, where Swedens finest treasures are kept and photography is strictly forbidden. Basically, its just a shitload of treasure. Its pretty cool. I then left the museum after placing a rather critical note in the comments box. Take that Sweden.
With my dose of culture and tradition out of the way (not a bad days work for a philistine) I headed up into the newer area of town and entered a pub, promptly ordering a Norlands Guld which was presented to me dyed green due to Saint Patricks day (About which the barmaid seemed exceptionally, some might say excessively, excited). I sipped my pint slowly, and enjoyed watching a Pole in the corner of the bar trying to hit on the exceptionally attractive and blonde barmaid. He failed...terribly, although his method was not unlike that of my mate Pove (for details of mine and his adventures together, check the Poland and Czechia trip section of my "trips with friends" blog)
After I had finished my (this time beerless) meal I headed back towards the hostel, to a little bar I'd seen earlier called "the Monks cafe". I promptly went inside and was treated to the widest selection of beers I've ever seen (I instantly decided that one day I would replace v-bar with an even bigger version). I had a pint of their homebrew first before deciding that in a place with beer from six continents, the only natural thing to do was drink a beer from every one of them. The barman suggested Argentine lager, followed by an Egyptian one that tasted surprisingly like Hoegaarden. I then asked about Japanese beer, and he presented me with one containing green tea extract and claiming to be healthy (which is something I find hard to believe)- it wasn't my favourite beer of all time, but still, it was ok- the "wow, its from Japan" factor probably helped the medicine go down. They didn't have any Aussie beer in, but thats not a major problem since I've had Aussie beer at Walkabout in Stoke-on-trent (its great, they have real Aussies and everything..and Kangaroo burger, and proper Aussie beers, not shitty fosters). Nevertheless I carried on my journey around the world undaunted and had a pint of American real ale from Chicago. It was pretty good, and made up for every pissy Budweiser I have ever been forced to drink at parties hosted by people with no taste (one reason I take my own beer, its not civility, its survival), it also made me want to go to Chicago, a place that has previously never interested me. It was at this point I was joined at the bar by a Swede called Guner who lived above the pub.