Table of Contents
- 1 Destination: 17-hour layover in Stockholm
- 2 Mode of Transport: köttbullar (Swedish Meatballs)
- 3 Scarves
- 4 Bjorn Born, the International Tennis Star from Sweden
- 5 The Tennis Bug
- 6 FILA Tennis Warm-up suit
- 7 17-hour layover in Stockholm
- 8 Book a hotel inside the airport
- 9 Arlanda Airport
- 10 The Arlanda Express to Gamla Stan (Old Town)
- 11 Swedish Cuisine
Destination: 17-hour layover in Stockholm
Mode of Transport: köttbullar (Swedish Meatballs)
[Tweet “I like to wear scarves. I have hundreds, in all weights, fabrics, lengths and sizes. I wear scarves all year long.”]
I like to wear scarves. I have hundreds, in all weights, fabrics, lengths and sizes. I wear scarves all year long. Let’s just say that it’s gotten to the point that it is my style “M.O.”. People ask me where my scarf is, when I forego the accouterment.
Bjorn Born, the International Tennis Star from Sweden
I feel safe in my scarves, not in a Linus (the Peanuts character) kind of way, but knowing that no matter what I was wearing, I knew I looked a little more proper with it on. I was always enamored by the way some of my cinematic heroes wore them. [Tweet “I feel safe in my scarves, not in a Linus (the Peanuts character) kind of way, but knowing that no matter what I was wearing, I knew I looked a little more proper with it on.”] Think Cary Grant, David Niven, Gene Hackman as Royal Tenenbaum (in the Movie, The Royal Tenenbaums) and of course Peter O’Toole. Who was cooler than O’Toole? Who was cooler than Peter O’Toole in a scarf? Not many… With the exception of possibly, for a period of time, Bjorn Borg, the International Tennis Star from Sweden.
The Tennis Bug
In the late 70’s early 80’s when I was very young, I got the tennis bug. Borg was at the top of his game, and I emulated everything about him. This was a time when some of the top tennis players were looked upon as international playboys. They were akin to rock stars. They partied at Studio 54 before big matches, hung out at the South of France, etc.
FILA Tennis Warm-up suit
But Borg was the coolest of them all. He not only partied, but he actually won. Won a lot and made it look beautiful to watch. He singlehandedly made the FILA tennis warm up suit a fashion staple. As a kid, I never thought of wearing a silk scarf until I saw a picture of Borg sporting one. The photo was of himself with a beautiful girl on his arm as he entered a club in Paris during one of the many French Opens he ended up winning. Next birthday and Christmas; you guessed it, scarf was on my list.
Outside of the great Borg, my knowledge of Sweden was very limited. I knew it was cold and there were reindeer there. Later on, I realized that there was more to them such as design, beautiful women, dark novels.
Food, however, was not on the radar; all I knew of Swedish food were those ubiquitous meatballs and that loganberry stuff that I had at IKEA every once in a while. So Sweden stayed at the bottom of my “to see list”, as I usually use food as a metric to make my choices as to where to travel next.
17-hour layover in Stockholm
On a cold February night last year, Brenda and I began planning our Summer vacation on our living room floor. It was such a cold night that I opted for the light gray cashmere scarf to wear whilst planning. After some deliberation, we decided on Italy. During our flight search, we stumbled upon a flight that had a 17-hour layover in Stockholm.
Book a hotel inside the airport
We booked it immediately and booked a hotel located inside the airport to stay the night. It was to be at the back end of our long vacation, and an opportunity to go to a place that we thought we wouldn’t ordinarily think of going.
When we arrived, we thought the Arlanda Airport to be one of the nicest designed airports in the world (second only to Barajas in Spain). Exiting the plane and entering the terminal, you are surrounded by larger than life photos of Sweden’s eponymous: Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, Max von Sydow to name a few, and of course their sports legend, Bjorn Borg.
The Arlanda Express to Gamla Stan (Old Town)
The Clarion Hotel in what they called their “Sky City” had the best front desk, upgrading my family to the top floor. On that floor was a restaurant curated by the well-known chef, Marcus Samuelsson. I knew at that moment that Sweden and its food scene have arrived. So Brenda, Bailey and I dropped our bags and took what they called the Arlanda Express to the middle of Stockholm and walked over to the old town of Stockholm, called Gamla Stan.
When we got there, we wandered around and took in the beautiful city. But what we were really looking for was a place to eat great Swedish cuisine. In the end, we realized that we did not want to find Swedish cuisine.
We didn’t expect much, but like the city itself; it wowed us. There was a game quality to the meat. All of a sudden the reindeer motifs everywhere made sense.
The gravy and the very buttery mash potatoes with those damn berries also served with pickles were as good as it gets. At that point, we just came from Italy, the land of polpettine (meatballs), but none were as fine as these.
[Tweet “The meal was emblematic of the city and the nation. It was concise and it satisfied. A winning combination. “]
The meal was emblematic of the city and the nation. It was concise and it satisfied. A winning combination. It was a fine meal. A meal I would like to replicate at home. And when I do, I will picture that cool night in Stockholm, enjoying my family, looking over at the Nobel Peace Prize Museum and trying to list winners in my head, and wondering if the scarf I was wearing would have been cool enough for Borg.
Check out these wonderful tips on where Locals eat in Stockholm.
Have you been to Stockholm? What were your impressions? Did you have Swedish Meatballs while you were there? Do you wear scarves? Which ones are your favorites? Let us know in the comments! We’d love to know. Remember, Let’s travel the world, one dish at a time! If you liked this dish, we’d love for you to share it with your friends. Thank you for coming.