Laid-Back Birthday

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July 15th 2006
Published: July 15th 2006
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We spent a really laid-back day today at the country house of our friends Sverker and Annika. After breakfast we drove into town and did some shopping in the town center. Most of the stores were filled with summertime visitors and most had big sales going on. Annika told us that it was better to go shopping in Nyköping because the stores are less crowded that in Stockholm and the things they sell are just as good. Many of the brands of clothing and shoes are the same as we see in the U.S. In fact many goods had price tags with prices for several countries including (naturally enough) Sweden, EU countries, and the U.S. The central shopping district of the town is closed to vehicle traffic, and many buildings contain multiple stores, like tiny malls. There was even a McDonald's.

We had lunch in a small outdoor cafe near the shopping district. They served sandwiches, salads, and DESSERTS! Sweets seem really important here. We see lots of cakes and pies. Well, to be accurate, first we see them, then we eat them. The food presentation is a big thing--it makes the food look extra attractive when it is served. The thing we don't see is people walking around with snacks and drinks. And, there is very little litter of food containers and aluminum cans.

One thing that I wanted to mention is dairy product which everyone in this family uses for breakfast. They call it "sour milk" and the brand name on the label is "Onaka." Annika says that it is milk with the acidolphus (I'm not sure of the spelling) culture in it. It looks and tastes like very thin yoghurt. It is supposed to help your digestive health. They pour about a half cup in a bowl and then pour a little bran cereal over that with some fruit. The bran flakes and the fruit sweeten things up a little, and it is delicious.

We took a quick look at some castle ruins which are in the center of Nyköping. Each year actors put on an open air play there in the summer. We didn't have time to stay for the play, which reminded us of Shakespeare in the Park at home.

Tomorrow we are taking a ferry to Gotland, an island off the coast. It is a big resort especially for the people of Stockholm, but it also has a large walled city from Medieval times that I am interested in seeing. We will spend the night there, then return to Stockholm on Monday night.

We are taking lots of pictures, but they take a long time to upload onto the computer we are using here, so I guess we will wait to put them on-line for now.


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