Wednesday, March 28, 2012

EMG in Åre

Åre is Sweden's biggest ski resort.

Nestled in Jämland in the midwest of the country - a 7 hour train ride from Stockholm - Åre is gorgeous, on the edge of a lake creatively called Åresjön (Åre Lake). And last weekend, my team was sent to this beautiful ski village to celebrate reaching our goal last term. 

Despite overcast skies and rainy weather, EMG's International & Norwegian teams made the best of our 4-day trip. Snowmobiling and skiing are indeed possible -and fun! - in the rain. 

Although it was hard not to look forward to the well-earned After Ski at Fjällgården (see below), conveniently located on the slopes. The tricky part was skiing back down the mountain afterward. 


We had some amazing dinners, fun ski runs, wild nights out - wrapped up with a last day at Tott Hotel Spa just up the street from our abode, Åre Bed & Breakfast (sorry to all the guests who were disturbed by our music, although I have to say, going to sleep on a Saturday at 8pm is slightly unrealistic in a hostel).

Tack allihopa for a great weekend in the mountains! It was well worth the extreme exhaustion that greeted me Monday morning ... and Tuesday ... and ...

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stockholm's Best Asian: East

Team dinner @ East!
My meal:
Started with> Thai Beef Sashimi. garlic & chili marinated filet of beef
Followed by> Duck Tamarind. with pineapple, macadamia nuts, & red wine tamarind sauce
And to finish> this delicious fruit salad

a very satisfied me

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Visit to Copenhagen

Last weekend, NS & I took a little trip down south to visit his Mormor and Morfar in Malmö. While we were in the neighborhood, we decided to explore a new city, a new country, in my case: the city of Copenhagen, or Køpenhavn in Danish, just a 30-minute train ride from Malmö. 

along the historical waterfront canal, Nyhavn
People say Copenhagen feels more "continental" than Stockholm, and I can see what they mean. Denmark doesn't have the orderly rules of Sweden, and consequently things are more like, well, the rest of the continent, you could say. The streets are a little dirtier. The styles are a little more diverse - and people don't seem to care as much about what they're wearing. There is an "edgier" feel to the whole city.

There was construction all over Copenhagen as we navigated our way - by the train station, in squares, along pedestrian streets. But the city was still quite beautiful. There's so much color, and not just on the main historical canal, Nyhavn (pictured above). We found pastel-colored houses throughout the city center, of which we walked as much as possible in the 5-hour window of time we had. 

Not sure what this is, but I thought it was beautiful

A Danish friend - thanks TF! - recommended one of the few authentic Danish restaurants in Copenhagen's center, called Toldbod Bodega, pictured below, where we stopped for lunch.  

The restaurant operates under the motto "probably the oldest restaurant in Copenhagen." Reminds me of the motto for Carlsburg, "probably the best beer in the world" - perhaps Danes don't like to jump to conclusions? 

However old it is, Toldbod Bodega did not disappoint. The cozy atmosphere warmed us up, along with the beer (brewed on-site) and snaps. We sat surrounded by elderly groups of Danes who ordered beers along with full bottles of snaps - our tiny shots dwarfed in comparison. I ordered a traditional Danish dish called Shooting Star: fried and poached plaice served with caviar and shrimps. It was delicious!

Our exploration continued through the Kastellet, Copenhagen's fort, to the Little Mermaid statue, which was just that - a small statue of a mermaid surrounded by dozens of tourists trying to get their picture taken with her. I have to admit I was one of them. Notice she actually does have legs which turn into fins at the ends... 

I loved Copenhagen. And 5 hours gave us only a small taste of what this exciting city has to offer... but I hope to visit again sometime soon!

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Just got home from a gorgeous meal at Daphne's thanks to our new Eat Sweden book of buy-one-main-get-the-second-free voucher book (tack E&A!). A bottle of red; a couple tapas - flavorful chorizo and succulent bacon-wrapped dates; parmesangratinerad lobster; minute biff; dessert wine; truffle. It was all divine - I just forgot how fast a lobster tail can disappear. 

Our friendly waitress explained that she usually bartends - perhaps that's why we didn't get bread, hand towels, or after dinner mints as the table next to us got. Regardless, our meal was delicious in the cozy, uniquely ornamented atmosphere of Daphne's. A perfect way to celebrate NS' and my 6 years together.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Swedish Time Capsule

Today in Swedish class, we made our own Swedish time capsules - "tidkista" in Swedish. We were supposed to choose items which represent typical Sweden today. Here were my contributions:

          Song> Robyn's Dancing on My Own, and not just because Nik's cousin is/was her drummer; it's a good song, and I think it represents the importance of personal independence for many Swedes
          Technical appliance> i phone, no question - everyone seems to have one, except me that is
          Smell> maybe because I got a whiff on my way to class, but I'd say the smell of hotdogs; sounds weird, I know, but hotdog stands are everywhere in Stockholm - and tasty too! 
          Article of clothing> Converse sneakers, the brighter the better
          Meal> tacos. yep, Sweden loves tacos; go to the smallest grocery store in the country - I guarantee they've got a whole aisle devoted to tortillas, salsas, guacamole, seasoning - if it goes on a taco, it'll be there

What would you put in a time capsule?