Tall Ships Race, Stockholm
The Tall Ships left Stockholm yesterday and made for the archipelago to start their race today. They are racing to Poland and the weather is perfect, bright and sunny with a fair bit of wind.
The archipelago consists of 24,000 islands out to the east of Stockholm, some inhabited, many not. I believe that Agnetha from Abba owns and lives on one of these islands.
After another difficult day in the office where my colleague asked me to be nicer to her, otherwise she would go home, we all went out to the archipelago for a lovely fish dinner at one of the many boat harbours. All pleasure boats, not a rusty old fishing boat to be seen. Still, the dinner was excelent, prawns in a lovely white sauce on toast, followed by fried herrings and mashed potatoes, washed down with 'strong' beer.
I am very impressed with the food here, all very fresh, lots of salads, very well presented, meat and fish in delicious sauces and altogether not too expensive . Much cheaper than London and Parisand maybe a bit more expensive than Amsterdam, but better value as the quality is much better. Even the beer is not so expensive at 41 kroner (3 pounds/4.50 euro) for a pint of Falcon, although I was told that Falcon is not the strong beer whch they like. It seems that Swedish are as keen to get as much alcohol inside them as possible and are very aware of the alcohol content of anything they drink.
At the end of the relaxed dinner, Arne, my Norwegian colleague, and I were put on an old steamer boat taking us the 30 or so kilometers back to central Stockholm, the sun setting ahead of us and the near full moon rising behind us. Some excellent views of some very big houses in the forests above the shores of the various islands we passed on the way back. Very big houses.
Fred had had a nice relexed day walking around Stockholm in the sunshine during the day and we both agree that we like this place.