Madrid, Spain—Plaza Mayor

Every Plaza Mayor in Spain is wonderful and so is the Plaza Mayor of Madrid. The Plaza Mayor measures 129 m × 94 m (423 ft × 308 ft), was built during Philip III’s reign (1598–1621). According to Wikipedia.

 

 

But before you enter the plaza I suggest you go next-door to the food market, a very pretty building, also filled with energy.

 

 

 

The Spaniards know their ham like the French know their wine.

And the sausages.

 

 

Tapas or other dishes for lunch

I know that not everybody likes fish, but there are a lot of fishermen among  the Spaniards.

 

Tapas and dessert.

And of course the ubiquitous fruit stand.

And the desserts.

 

 

 

There is all you need at the Market in Madrid. And of course drinks.

Casual and relaxed eating.

But we must go into the Plaza Mayor.

The three-story residential buildings have 237 balconies facing the Plaza.

The day we were at the Plaza Mayor there were also soccer fans in blue jerseys!

 

 

 

 

 

Helping tourists who do not know Spanish.

This is what we saw as we left Plaza Mayor. A piece of real life.

It is hard work to be a tourist.  S.

Ferrari

FERRARI AND MARANELLO

Take a young family member, a teenager, to a fancy car factory, and he will like you a lot.  We once took a young member of our family to the Ferrari town of Maranello in the Apennine Mountains in Italy and he was very happy.

The town of Maranello is kind of hidden up in the mountains. But if you are driving you should have no difficulties getting there. We came by train from Venice and had to change trains in Bologna.  From Bologna we took a train up the Po Valley to Modena, another beautiful medieval Italian city. Modena has almost 200 000 inhabitants and it was here that Enzo Ferrari first had his car factory. Tourist literature says that he moved the operations ten miles up into the hills when Modena was bombed during the Second World War.

We took the crowded local bus the ten miles from Modena up into the mountains. It was in the afternoon when people were returning from work.

I like being a “tourist,” although a tourist is cocooned in a bubble around themselves, especially if isolated in a car. Possibly a friend or two share that cocoon.

The only local people the “tourist” meets are the hotel staff, servers in restaurants, taxi drivers and shopkeepers. But one way to get some idea about what local people are like is to travel with local buses and trains because then you get a glimpse of the daily life in the area.

We were let off in Maranello at a regular bus stop and rolled our suitcases toward our hotel for two nights. The bus-driver had pointed us in the right direction.

Our young man had no idea when we started our trip through Italy that he was going to visit the Ferrari-town.  We did not tell him until we were on the second train from Bologna to Modena. He had a hard time believing what we then told him. He was awestruck.

Perhaps the boy was a bit disappointed when he saw the hotel.  He had got used to seeing big Italian fabulous palaces—like the ones along the Grand Canal in Venice—or Roman arches and viaducts.  There is nothing like that in Maranello. Maranello is a practical town with good, and comfortable, buildings that will last a long time, built around 1950 due to necessity. It is built up on the mountain range and therefore has clean air.

Our young man was soon thrilled.

In the lobby of Hotel Domus—a regular, good, hotel—there was the front of a car, a half car as décor, and he sat down by the wheel right away. Then and there started two days of enchantment.

Hotel Domus is located by a pleasant-enough square and it has a restaurant out front under awnings on the sidewalk, a restaurant that transported my mind to the early days of tourism in Europe with so many charming places to have lunch or dinner.

Of course we got our hotel through Booking.com.

Maranello looks like any modern town in Europe with square houses without much decor except that Maranello is dotted with orange.

 

As we expected there were beautiful orange sports cars on the streets, but there were also men in orange overalls on sidewalks, the proud cast-members of the Ferrari production.

We spent a whole day at the Ferrari museum among those extremely beautiful cars.

 

We had a pick-nick with take-out Chinese food from the nearby restaurant in the park across the street. We were excited, getting to sit near men in those orange overalls. In our bubble of excitement we felt we were sitting next to famous people. They have the right to be proud of their work.

Later we had a small meal with “pizza Margarita” in the museum restaurant.

If you take an American teenager to Italy you get to eat a lot of pizza. It is familiar food that makes the youngster “feel at home”. It is also practical, and quick, and good for people in the tourist-rush to see as much as possible.

Yes, it was a museum, so there had to be a gift store and of course there were wonderful things to buy… for instance watches with the iconic horse.

 

The town of Maranello has created a new museum-cum-theater or theater-cum-museum on the square by Hotel Domus. They showed post-modern videos of many beautiful Ferrari sport cars. Well worth a visit.

 

I like Google Maps. They are constantly developing information. Today they inform about restaurants (sometimes with ratings) and hotels on their maps of towns and cities. You can click on stores or cafés on Google Maps and get pictures.  On the Google Maps of Maranello click on “Maranello TOUR” and you get great pictures of the race track at Ferrari.

A post-scriptum: I mentioned that we went from train to bus in the medieval town of Modena. That is a place I would like to explore more. Look it up on the Internet. There is one very modern thing about Modena: in 2016 one of their restaurants was voted THE BEST RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD! Osteria Francescana.  Look that up also. The PBS Newshour tells us that a dinner cost 191 dollars and you could have a great dinner there, once.

Have a great day.

S and C

 

Disney World—Celebration

WALT DISNEY WORLD      THE TOWN OF CELEBRATION        FLORIDA

 

For me Disney World in Orlando is an eighth wonder.

Out of the swampland of the Reedy Creek, large as the whole of San Francisco, Walt Disney (1901-1966) and his companies started buying up around 1965 and made plans to carve out what I would call a horizontal sculpture with man-made lakes and canals and proper land.  That is more than 50 years ago.

Walt Disney did not live to see the Magic Kingdom when it opened on October 1st, 1971, and he did not live to see EPCOT which opened on October 1, 1982 which he had also been planning. That is all very sad.

By the way, Disneyland in Anaheim, California, opened in 1955.

What is not well-known is that Walt Disney planned a town in the style of early 20th-century architectural, Celebration, a couple of miles from the Disney All-Stars Movie Resort, just on the other side of Interstate 4, the overly busy I-4. Three lakes are carved out of the swampland, connected by boardwalks through the subtropical forest. The walkway around the first lake is almost one mile, a little more than one kilometer. The first two lakes have one Great Blue Heron each, watching over his—or her— territory. It is of course a delightfully beautiful bird to watch.

 

A view of “downtown” Celebration. The small “downtown” has one road along the quay and one short street with boutiques, and a dozen restaurants— and one Starbucks.  Most of the restaurants have tables on the sidewalk, so people can bring their dogs.

 

If I didn´t live in Orlando I would check into the Bohemian, the hotel in “downtown” Celebration.  One thing I love very much about that hotel is that it has a Gallery in the corridors for paintings, paintings with Florida motives like beautiful trees with Spanish moss that look so romantic. Makes me think of the movies Gone with the Wind, or Fried Green Tomatoes, or Forest Gump. Very Southern States.

 

There are just enough people on the walkway around the lake to nod to, and even stop and talk to for a minute. There are people from all around the world in friendly conversation with people they never met before and probably never will see again outside this friendly moment in Celebration. Celebration is a Monument of Friendliness.

 

A photo of my dog who would like to chase the Big Blue Heron.

This is what my dog, Sen-Li, saw.

 

Very pretty indeed.

 

 

 

Yesterday, Saturday, March 4, 2017, I and my dog started walking around the first lake and I was thinking that I would be disappointed if I did not see the heron.  And there it was, sitting still on the barrier, built to shield the small dam where water runs down to the swampland behind.

Such a nice evening walk.

 

 

This flower that grows in Celebration is called Bird of Paradise and reminds me of the Herons.

 

 

 

 

Seville, Spain

A House for Poets

Who would have thought that a veritable paradise is hidden behind stern walls like these.

We stopped in Seville only because I had seen photos of the interior, which is the loveliest hotel, five minutes’ walk from the Cathedral and La Giralda, the tower.  The old streets are too narrow for a car to drive up, so we had to walk past restaurants and small shops and ask our way there. When we left the receptionist arranged with the taxi-driver to come and help us with the luggage and roll our suitcases to a nearby park where he had parked.

In the evenings, the hotel has arranged for guitarists to come and play in the lovely courtyard. When I grew up in Sweden, there was only one channel on the radio. Luckily, they played a lot of classical music and often music played by the wonderful Spanish guitarist Andre Segovia (1893-1987).  I was transported back to that time in my youth as we sat with a glass of white wine and listened to the young guitarist in the courtyard of this lovely hotel.

Las Vegas and Hoover Dam, United States

I find it odd myself that I love Las Vegas so much. I am a little bit of a gambler, but not much, and I have placed a bet in a casino in Las Vegas. What I love about Las Vegas—the DAYTIME LAS VEGAS mind you—is the feeling of HOPE that pervades that city during daytime, before reality, harsh or sweet and pleasant, sets in.  I am an artist and I cannot help it; feelings are what run my life.

Although, if you are a true Tourist, please do not miss an unforgettable visit to Hoover Dam. Ask the reception at your hotel. They can tell you about charter buses going there. Or you can drive.

I just watch an episode of The Rockford Files and James Garner and a villain ran down all those stairs.  You do not have to walk down to the Colorado River.  There is an elevator.  Do take the boat trip. You will thank me for telling you about it.

https://www.usbr.gov/lc/hooverdam/

S

Books on Spain

 

 

THE FOUR PILLAR-STONES FOR MY TRAVELS

e.g. BOOKS

 

When I get to go to Europe I want to cram in as many new experiences as possible during the weeks—and hours—between arrival and departure. I start planning my trips five, six months ahead. My four major helpers are 1. Booking.com, 2. Google maps (they have links to restaurants and hotels with comments on their charts nowadays), 3. Wikipedia (Yes. I used to contribute some money. I think it is time to do so again), and 4. Amazon.com for books.

Today it is so easy today to construct perfect travel.

Two months of catch/harvest of mainly used books on Amazon.com

I fell in love with Spain in the summer of 2015 and decided to come back for a month in 2016. I never studied Spanish, but that did not matter because I had a great time in Iberia anyway. I hope to return in April of this year, 2017.

First, I got the notion that it would be smart to read novels, set in the cities I was going to visit. I can say that I “cast a net.” I searched Amazon for books about places I would like to know more about. I started ordering novels. I thought this would be the way of understanding the soul of the country. This strategy had some flaws. My weakness is that I read mainly detective stories and the novels I could find were written by English-speaking authors, having spent time in Spain. It would have been fun to read Spanish detective novels in translation.

But I cast my net again and I found wonderful books.

The book that is now the first on my list and that was Michener’s “Iberia”. It is a “MUST” for every passionate—and diligent—tourist who wants to try to understand Spain at least a bit. “Iberia” is also published closest in time to us among the three books I found most helpful, and therefore easy to absorb.

FISHING EXPEDITION I had no idea what to find out about Spain when I started reading Michener´s book, but I learned about Holy Week, Semana Santa, especially in Seville and I have already paid for two nights at a hotel with balcony across the street from the entrance to the Cathedral, so now I have to go there. I have already paid! This year, 2017, the Holy Week starts on Sunday, April 9 and ends on Saturday April 15.

The second book I would recommend is Washington Irving´s “Tales from Alhambra”.  (There is a book by Irving called just “Alhambra,” but that text is included in “Tales from Alhambra”.)

Washington Irving starts by writing: “In the spring of 1829, the author of this work, whom curiosity had brought into Spain, made a rambling expedition from Seville to Granada…”

Wikipedia writes: “Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian, and diplomat of the early 19th century. He is best known for his short stories “Rip Van Winkle” (1819) and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (1820)…”

Would you believe me if I told you that the buildings, the palaces at Alhambra 185 years ago, were empty except for squatters? Among the squatters were colorful gypsies. There was a Governor who kept an eye on the place and who arranged for Irving to get rooms in one palace and Irwing calls that an apartment. Irving made friends with the squatters and got to hear some good stories from them that he shares in his book. What is so important with “Tales from Alhambra” is that it made the collection of palaces famous, and got tourists interested in the Alhambra. Irving was one of the first persons who helped making Spain into a tourist country.

The third book I wish you would read if you are interested in Spain is by H.V. Morton, “A Stranger in Spain.”

The book was published in 1955 after Morton´s extensive travels in Spain the year before.  I was curious about how he would describe the emotional climate of General Franco’s Spain, but he mentioned very little about the contemporary politics of his time. Morton’s book is an extremely pleasant read.  It cheered me up. Morton was a journalist and author. He was present when Tutankhamun´s tomb was opened in 1922.

These are the three books I wish everybody would read.

I will also mention Richard Ford because serious writers mention him with respect. Wikipedia writes about Ford that “he published his delightful Handbook for Travellers in Spain in two volumes in 1845.” I would like to call Richard Ford “Rick Steves of the 1830s.”  Ford´s Handbook is very interesting, especially as Ford was traveling on horseback with only one servant on and off for three years, 1830-1833, through the countryside. He had brought his family to Spain from England because of his wife´s failing health.

First, I made ´sort of a mistake´ in ordering from Amazon Richard Ford´s “Gatherings from Spain.” It turned out that it was the left-overs from his Handbook.  Apparently, he did not intend to publish it from the beginning. Ford was highly educated and wrote in long sentences with erudite words and that is fine with me except he was so negative about everything in this “left-over-book.”. I made a note “finally something positive!” on page 68.

Ford was older than Dickens, but started writing later. In that way they are contemporary and maybe it was fashionable around the middle of the 1800s to wallow in the misery among the very poor.

FOOD I mention Richard Ford for two reasons: his writing is a valuable document about the standard of living in Spain 180 years ago and the other is that in his book Gatherings from Spain has 25 pages, (pages 125 to 150), on food in Spain at that time, around 1830.  Somebody might be interested as that is the foundation for today´s food in the Spanish-speaking parts of the world. Then there are chapters on wine and also on inns and hostels.  The inns in Ford´s Gatherings from Spain are awful and have nothing in common with the beautiful hotels of today all over Spain. It might be interesting to compare. But it is a great cultural document for those who are historically inclined.

More about FOOD 

The most ingenious FOOD-book is a tiny, little, very small menu dictionary—actually three—

HOW TO READ THE Menu IN FRANCE  ITALY AND SPAIN

by Herb Lester Associates and the copy that I got was printed in 2016. They are so small that they cannot even be called booklets and you can keep it in your coin purse. Lester and Associates saved a lot of trees. Great.

 

Booklet: MADRID RESTAURANT GUIDE 2017  Which restaurant is number one?  El Sur. Google it!

Personally, I think that Rick Steves is our contemporary master of travel. I will bring with me his book for the area I visit, and take it to restaurants he recommends, and put it next to me on the table.

 

FISHING EXPEDITION Among the many books I ordered is the diary BBB or Bulls Before Breakfast, an amusing How-To-Book about running with the bulls in Pamplona in Navarra.  Peter N. Milligan is a lawyer, and he meets with his adopted brother once a year in Pamplona to run with the bulls for a couple of hundred yards every morning during the Fiesta de San Fermin that starts on July 6 at noon every year. Six bulls run about 800 yards through the city from the stables to the bullring.  The two brothers have run well over 50 times as of 2017. It is an informative book and I know today everything there is worthwhile knowing about RUNNING WITH THE BULLS IN PAMPLONA. I am glad I read it. But this FISHING EXPEDITION gave me information about something I always have wanted to do, listen to one of the world-famous Vespers that are open to the public. This one is at the Benedictine Monasterio de San Salvador de Leyre.  It is a bit hard to get to the monastery. It is about an hour bus-ride from Pamplona. Wikipedia tells me that it is the first king of Pamplona, Íñigo Arista, made a donation to the monastery in 842. The Vespers on Sunday evenings are world-renowned. Buses go from Pamplona on Sunday afternoons and back after Vesper.  If you have your own car you may stay at the monastery that is now also a hotel.

If you are a true TOURIST you love FISHING EXPEDITIONS, unexpected adventures.

Among the books about the Camino routes, the Pilgrimage  way across northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela I find this one the best researched one.

There are some series of guide books I find very inspiring.

Footprints

and there is a series with ALL  – A CITY’S – NAME.

People feel creative and they love their city and they want to share. There are many, many, pretty books that people have loved to make. I just got in the mail this glamorous book about  a fabulous port city on the northern coast

About BULLS… everybody knows that Hemingway was passionate about bullfighting and wrote about it. I shall end this post with a photo of my best painting.  On the painting you see Hemingway´s house (to be more precise…. His wife´s house) in Key West in Florida. My painting is super-realistic and measures more than 5 by 7 feet. I worked on it for ten (ten) years. Yes. You can work on an oil painting for every if you just keep it semi-dry. Oils are wonderful.

The Spanish call well-known places “Monuments.”  Hemingway´s House in Key West is a “Monument.”  This is where Hemingway worked on among other novels and short stories his great epos For Whom the Bell Tolls about a man who is assigned to blow up a bridge outside the city of Segovia during the civil war in Spain that started in 1936.

Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1954 for his novel The Old Man and the Sea.

 

Christmas (JUL)

The traditional Christmas dance—usually for a children´s party—around the tree starts with “Nu är det jul igen.”  That is a sing-and-dance-song like many others.  To sing and dance is a tradition that goes far back into the Middle Ages. On Midsummer’s eve some of these songs are sung and danced outside, usually around the Maypole. These are called LÅNGDANSER (long-dances) where people hold hands in a long line or in a ring. Other songs are action dances and portray something that is happening between two people who find out that they love each other for instance, or they might portray a craftsman like a carpenter or a musician, or children will copy the jumps done by frogs.

The last dance is the Karusellen, the carousels. That is an action-song with two rings around the tree. The inner ring hold hands and the kids/people on the outside hold their hands on the shoulders of the inner-ring-people. First part of the song, you stand in place but kick feet forward, but when you come to Ha-ha-ha, you start dancing, faster and faster. You do this song twice.

When the carousel is over you do the FIREWORKS.  You start by stamping feet, faster and faster, and then by adding hand-clapping in the same rhythm, and when it cannot go faster you jump up and scream. That is inexpensive FIREWORKS and can be repeated! And the kids do think it is fun.

Here are the texts and translations of four song-dances, uploaded on Youtube.

Nu är det jul igen

sonja3

Listen to it on Youtube.

Nu är det jul igen och nu är det jul igen
och julen varar väl till påska.

Nu är det jul igen och nu är det jul igen
och julen varar väl till påska.

Now it’s Christmas again and now it is Christmas again and Christmas lasts all the way to Easter.

Det var inte sant och det var inte sant,
för där emellan kommer fasta.

Det var inte sant och det var inte sant,
för där emellan kommer fasta.

That was not true and that was not true, for in between, there is Lent/fasting.

Vi ska ställa till en roliger dans

sonja3

Listen to it on Youtube.

Vi ska ställa till en roliger dans,  (roliger is an old-fashioned form of the word rolig)
och vi ska binda både krona och krans
till dansen.

We are going to make a fun time dancing,

and we will bind a crown and wreath

for the dance.
Vi ska ställa till en roliger dans,
och vi ska binda både krona och krans
till dansen.

Hej hopp – en roliger dans!
Hej hopp – båd’ krona och krans
till dansen.

Hi. Hop. A fun dance.
Hej hopp – en roliger dans!
Hej hopp – båd’ krona och krans
till dansen.

Vacker är du, när du dansar och ler,
och vacker, när du på din käresta ser,
du lilla!

Beautiful you are when you are dancing and smiling,

and beautiful, when you look at your sweetheart,

you little one!
Vacker är du, när du dansar och ler,
och vacker, när du på din käresta ser,
du lilla!
Hej hopp – du dansar och ler!
Hej hopp – på kärestan ser,
du lilla!

Hi. Hop. You dance and you smile.      Hi. Hop. You look at your sweetheart you little one!

Hej hopp – du dansar och ler!
Hej hopp – på kärestan ser,
du lilla!

Vi äro musikanter

sonja3

Listen to it on Youtube.

Vi Äro Musikanter
Vi äro musikanter, allt i från Skaraborg.
Vi äro musikanter, allt i från Skaraborg.

We are musicians, all the way from Skaraborg.  (Skaraborg is a county in the province of Västergötland.)

Vi kan spela fio-lio-lio-lej,
vi kan spela basfiol och flöjt.

We can play fio-lio-lio-lej (a play on fiol/fiddle), we can play the double bass and flute.

Och vi kan dansa bomfaderalla, bomfaderalla, bomfaderalla,
vi kan dansa bomfaderalla bomfaderallan lej.

And we can dance bomfaderalla, bomfaderalla, bomfaderalla, we can dance bomfaderalla bomfaderallan lej.

Vi kan spela fio-lio-lio-lej
vi kan spela basfiol och flöjt.

Och vi kan dansa andra hållet, andra hållet, andra hållet,
och vi kan dansa andra hållet, andra hållet med!

And we can dance in the opposite way—also!

Karusellen

sonja1

Listen to it on Youtube.

Karusellen action-dance, see above how to do it.

Jungfru, jungfru, jungfru, jungfru skär,

Maiden, Maiden, Maiden, Maiden fair
här är karusellen, som ska gå till kvällen.

Here is the carousel that will go well into to the evening.
Tio för de stora och fem för de små.

Ten (öre) for grown-ups and five (öre) for small kids
Skynda på, skynda på, nu ska karusellen gå.

Hurry up, hurry up the carousel is going to go.

För ha, ha, ha, nu går det så bra,
för Andersson och Pettersson och Lundström och ja’.

För ha, ha, ha, nu går det så bra,
för Andersson och Pettersson och Lundström och ja’.

See how well we are doing,  Andersson and  Pettersson and Lundström and me.

Sankta Lucia

Sankta Lucia, December 13

linnea

We chose dark pictures in our video as a foil against the light of the Lucia, the candles, the white-clad girl, and her white-clad maidens, and also the boys—in white—with their cone hats, decorated with stars.

Lucia was a Catholic saint, and there are a couple of different stories about who she was, but in each one she represents the light. Imagine how it feels to spend several dark months in the northern parts of our planet where sun hardly rises above the horizon.  Then comes the light with this girl and her procession of young girls and boys. It lifts our souls.  Today, Lucia either comes in a procession with a lot of music or in the homes where she will serve parents specific foods as an early breakfast in bed. December 13 is a big day in Sweden and there is a lot to say about these festivities.

You can listen to Sankta Lucia on Youtube.

The text for the song:

Natten går tunga fjät runt gård och stuva.
Kring jord som sol förgät, skuggorna ruva.
Då i vårt mörka hus, stiger med tända ljus
Sankta Lucia, Sankta LuciaThe night walks with heavy footsteps around the farm and the house.                                                      Around the earth that the sun forgot, the shadows are brooding. Then in our dark house,                          with candlelight comes Santa Lucia.

Natten var stor och stum, nu hör det svingar
i alla tysta rum, sus som av vingar.
:: Se på vår tröskel står, vitklädd med ljus i hår
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia ::The night was big and quiet, now listen: in all the quiet rooms there is rustling like of wings.       See on our threshold stands, dressed in white with candles in hair Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia.Mörkret skall flykta snart, ur jordens dalar
så hon ett underbart ord till oss talar.
:: Dagen skall åter ny stiga ur rosig sky.
Sankta Lucia, Sankta Lucia ::The darkness shall soon fly away, out of the Earth’s valleys                                                        so she says in wonderful words to us.                                                                                       The day will again be new and rise with a rosy sky.                                                                        Santa Lucia, Santa Lucia
Staffansvisan or “Staffan var en stalledräng”

jul

This song is at least 500 years old.

Staffan, or Saint Stephen, is today part of the Lucia processions on December 13.  Lucia, or Sankta Lucia, is very important to the Swedes. Remember that the Swedes have been a highly religious people.

The text for the song  “Staffansvisan”:

Verse #1 Solo usually: Staffan var en stalledräng.//  Staffan was a groom.

Everybody: Vi tackom nu så gärna//We all thank him so happily

Solo: Han vattna’sina fålar fem.   He watered his five horses

Everybody: Allt för den ljusa stjärna.  Ingen dager synes än,
Stjärnorna på himmelen  de blänka.

All for the bright star. No dawn can be seen yet. The stars in the sky twinkle.

 Verse #2   Två de voro vita,  Two of the horses were white,

Vi tackom nu så gärna//We all thank him so happily

De var de andra lika. They looked exactly alike

Allt för den ljusa stjärna.   Ingen dager synes än,  Stjärnorna på himmelen  de blänka.  All for the bright star. No dawn can be seen yet. The stars in the sky twinkle.

Verse #3  Två de voro röda, Two of the horses were red,  Vi tackom nu så gärna//We all thank him so happily
De tjänte väl sin föda. They earned well enough their keep

Allt för den ljusa stjärna.   Ingen dager synes än,  Stjärnorna på himmelen  de blänka.  All for the bright star. No dawn can be seen yet. The stars in the sky twinkle.

Verse #4  Nu är fröjd i varje hus   Now there is cheer in every house. Vi tackom nu så gärna//We all thank him so happily

Julegran och juleljus  Christmas lights and Christmas trees
Allt för den ljusa stjärna.  Ingen dager synes än,  Stjärnorna på himmelen  de blänka.  All for the bright star. No dawn can be seen yet. The stars in the sky twinkle.

 

You can listen to Staffansvisan on Youtube.

Stockholm, Sweden

Can Sweden be exotic? Yes. If you want to do something extraordinary, walk on a guided tour on the rooftops of Stockholm. See https://www.takvandring.com/en/home.

You might also try to be allowed to walk up into the bell tower of the Cathedral in the Old City. The people in the office might send somebody with you though. If you go, be sure not to stand under the big bells as they chime the full hour or half hour.

City Hall also has a great tower to climb to see the city from above. And it has an elevator hallway and ramps the remaining six floors to the top!

Another good place to see Stockholm from is Kaknästornet, the big TV-tower. It has elevators and a restaurant on top.

You will see Stockholm from above from the height above the cruise ship terminals. The name of the street with small ancient houses you will love is Fjällgatan.

Pleasant travels,    S