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Stockholm, the ideal Christmas destination

 Q:   Ask a Question about Stockholm, the ideal Christmas destination       
Stockholm, the ideal Christmas destination There are still some places that embrace Christmas not as an opportunity for vast spending, hellish travel and family drama, but as an age-old, almost primitive rite of beating back the darkness of winter. This does not mean that visiting the neighbor's that's blanketed in blinking lights at the end of the cul-de-sac. It means traveling to a city like Stockholm which has real reindeer (more on that later), real-cobblestoned streets, windows lit by real candles, not the kind you plug in, and most important, the kind of food and booze you just wont find in the States.

The Stockholm-bastion of stylish Scandinavian design- is some Christmas theme park either. You can set camp at the sleek, modern Northern Light or in a suite at the cozier boutique Hotel Rival, owned naturally by Benny Ande rsson of ABBA. The Rival sits on the residential island of Sodermalm, which makes it convenient to Street, the most designed-oriented of the local markets that dot the city in the weeks leading up to December 25.

Should the wife drag you to more markets-which sell crafts, candles and steaming cups of glogg (traditional mulled wine)- they can be found in Gamla stan, the old city, Kungsreadgarden-the city's central park and most elaborately in Skansen, on the island of Djurgarden. Skansen is also from where you can get your reindeer fix.

The holyday season in Stockholm gets under way in earnest with the feast of Santa Lucia on December 13. It might seem strange that Protestant Sweden would embrace the bloody story of a Sicilian girl beheaded and martyred in the fourth century. But Swedes do with a passion, and twelve days before Christmas, local girls don red sashes and headdressed of lingonberry twigs and lit candles and lead a parade through the streets of Stockholm, with the biggest public procession ending in Skansen. When you see a luminous Lucia arrive, trailed by white-robed attendants, each holding a candle of her own, perhaps you will understand.

Concerning the traditional dishes of food you can eat in Stockholm, practically every restaurant in the city offers some version of this holyday smorgasbord. A classic julbord contains a heaping feast of both cold and hot foods: salmon, ham, innumerable varieties and preparations of herring, as well as meatballs, sausages and more. You can find excellent versions at the opulent Operakallaren, at the old Opera House, or at the Michelin two-star Edsbacka Krog.

Or you can enjoy a similar spread while sailing through the Stockholm archipelago, which stretches from the city all the way to Finland.

Image Source - thekua.com


Tags: sweden, christmas



Category: Travel  - ( Travel Archive)

Date Added: 17 December '07


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