hantsbear: (Default)
Ah!  February, and time once again for the good folk of Sweden to vote for their entry to that aural steeplechase that is the Eurovision Song Contest.  The Swedes take their time over selecting their entry - there are four heats and the winners of each heat go on to a final at the Globen in Stockholm.  Dear Darling Little Sister was trying to get tickets for the Göteborg heat, since my niece is a big fan of Schlager - a particularly Swedish form of pop music.  However, I have asked that a vote be cast in my favor for this guy:-
His name is Kalle Moraeus; one of the three brothers who are members of the folk group Orsa Spelman and, more particularly, who also happen to be members of Benny Anderssons Orkester.  In this video, he sings with the ever divine Helen Sjöholm.  In accordance with Melodifestivalen rules, the song is not yet available, but the heat where his song is due to be voted on is in Sandviken on Saturday, so it should be showing on the SVT Play website.  Lycka till!
hantsbear: (Gamla Stan)
Current edition on CNN sees Bjorn Ulvaeus tell you why I like Stockholm.  Which is very kind of him and I didn't have to pay him a single Krone...

Part One
Part Two
hantsbear: (W-H-O-R-E)
For those who know the film, as I was walking to Södra Station this morning, I noticed a cafe called "Pappa Ray Ray". Maybe I should go in and ask for a "full service"...!!! Ah whoa whoa whoa...!!!

Addendum : And here's the evidence...!!!
Let's go sexin'!
hantsbear: (Fat F*ck Frank)
And so here we are again, staying at the pleasure of Mr. Benny Andersson. Well, I'm not expecting a whiff of the famed musician's Right Guard (but one can hope), but reasonably uneventful so far. Flight over was made bearable by a reasonably intelligent half English-half Swedish child by the name of Cameron, who sat and practiced origami whilst I struggled over the kids crossword in his comic. Yes, I know Russ frequently indulges in The Times cryptic crossword, but this is about my level, okay? Anyway, we had a conversation about vikings and long hair, and I did my best to persuade young Cameron to grow his already reasonably long blond hair out. Good job his mother wasn't listening...!!!
hantsbear: (Benny)
FINNAIR AY 5930

DEPART: LONDON HEATHROW FRI 24MAR06 1415

ARRIVE: STOCKHOLM FRI 24MAR06 1745

2 nights at Hotel Rival, Mariatorget.
(Benny Andersson's hotel)

FINNAIR AY 5929

DEPART: STOCKHOLM SUN 26MAR06 1540

ARRIVE: LONDON HEATHROW SUN 26MAR06 1715
hantsbear: (wot you looking at?)
And so, after a flight home delayed by half an hour thanks to weather problems at Heathrow, I return from my Finnish weekend.  I cannot say that I warmed to the city; I kept comparing it to Stockholm with it's almost Parisien grand boulevards.  Most of Helsinki seems to have been re-built in the last 40-50 years; full of big office blocks.  A few nice old streets, but nothing like the Gamla Stan.  I suppose that's what you get for the number of wars that Finland seems to have gotten itself into over the years.  Took some photos, but took them on the SLR in Black and White, so I'll have to press on and get that developed, I suppose...
hantsbear: (wot you looking at?)

Koalas! )

Bears! )The Other Type of Bear! )Gratuitous Russ Photograph! )

hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
Urf. It's 06:45 at an internet terminal in Arlanda Airport, Stockholm. Do you know where your brain is?
hantsbear: (bjorn)

...is on!  If you don't believe me, look here!  Am dragging [livejournal.com profile] rock_bear along too and hopefully catching up with [livejournal.com profile] swemetalbearcub too...

SCANDINAVIAN SK 526
DEPART: LONDON HEATHROW SAT 13AUG05 1040
ARRIVE: STOCKHOLM ARLANDA SAT 13AUG05 1405

SCANDINAVIAN SK 525
DEPART: STOCKHOLM ARLANDA MON 15AUG05 0750
ARRIVE: LONDON HEATHROW MON 15AUG05 0940

hantsbear: (Cute Little Bloke)

While I rest and get over the 'flu, here are a few random bear pictures from Stockholm... )

hantsbear: (Manchester)

[livejournal.com profile] bear_with_me asked:-

Under what circumstances would you cut your hair short?

Either if I knew I was going to lose it through chemotherapy, or enforced conscription.

And Charlie [livejournal.com profile] songdogmi wanted to know:-

How did you come to be a frequent visitor to Sweden?

It started with a trip in 1994 which I had been promising myself for years (mainly through having an interest at school, and being fond of the group ABBA.)  I went to Stockholm and fell in love with the city, and every time I find something different - this time, the city was blanketed in snow, and the square outside my hotel was covered in a thick layer.

hantsbear: (that's mister cranky koala to you)
...välkomma till [livejournal.com profile] swemetalbearcub ! Image hosted by Photobucket.com
hantsbear: (Benny)

So, here I am in Stockholm again, having spent most of the last 24 hours in the warm company of Patrick, who has a Livejournal, but I can't for the life of me remember what his username is... oh well.  Spent last night in a local bar watching the final of the Melodifestivalen, which is the competition to find the Swedish entry for the Eurovision Song Contest.  To be honest, the winning entry sucked - and not in a good way!  Staying the Hotel Rival, a hotel owned by Benny Andersson, which has, amongst many things, a teddy bear in each room!  And very warm duvets (essential, as it is somewhat snowy out there at the moment.)  The city is gorgeous, under a coat of white snow; parts of the harbour are so frozen, that people are able to walk on the ice from one side to the other.

Today - ritual visit to Skansen, which these days it seems I know better than Patrick for the most part, but it seems that in May, they are to get a couple of Koalas!!!  Now, if that isn't an excuse for another visit, I don't know what is...!!!

hantsbear: (only visiting this planet...)
Will I never learn? More time spent in metal tubes without a parachute next month...!

BMI BD 3844 (SCANDINAVIAN SK 532)
DEPART: LONDON HEATHROW SAT 12MAR05 1350
ARRIVE: STOCKHOLM ARLANDA SAT 12MAR05 1715

BMI BD 3845 (SCANDINAVIAN SK 527)
DEPART: STOCKHOLM ARLANDA MON 14MAR05 1515
ARRIVE: LONDON HEATHROW MON 14MAR05 1655

NORTHWEST AIRLINES NW 43
DEPART: LONDON GATWICK FRI 18MAR05 1205
ARRIVE: ST PAUL INT'L MINNEAPOLIS FRI 18MAR05 1500

NORTHWEST AIRLINES NW 1905
DEPART: ST PAUL INT'L MINNEAPOLIS FRI 18MAR05 1714
ARRIVE: SALT LAKE CITY FRI 18MAR05 1907

NORTHWEST AIRLINES NW 802
DEPART: SALT LAKE CITY SUN 27MAR05 1137
ARRIVE: WAYNE COUNTY DETROIT SUN 27MAR05 1710

NORTHWEST AIRLINES NW 32
DEPART: WAYNE COUNTY DETROIT SUN 27MAR05 2125
ARRIVE: LONDON GATWICK MON 28MAR05 1100
hantsbear: (Bear in a hat)
...the metal detector bleeps, and your arms immediately spring out at 90 degrees from your body.
hantsbear: (bjorn)
...sat in the lounge in my hotel overlooking Västerlånggatan, looking down the old streets and hearing a low undercurrent of voices and music. Yup, life looks pretty good from here. I'd stay if I could...

I'm sure reality is going to rear its ugly head at some point. Oh well...
hantsbear: (Svenskan bjorn)

Yes, I know, this is my third posting today.  Maybe it’s all the hot chocolate I’ve been drinking, or perhaps there’s something in the Vanilla Sauce.  I must confess, I have been overdosing on Vanilla Sauce today. Apple Cake this morning; Raspberry Pie this evening.  With plenty of Vanilla Sauce (and no, it’s not like custard…)

 

Anyway, I’ve just been out wandering around the streets of the Old Town (Gamla Stan).  It starts to get dark here around 3pm.  Not that that’s a problem.  You see, the Old Town is best viewed at night; wandering down medieval alleyways, and constantly finding something new.  I’ve been doing a lot of that today.  I’ll try and take some pictures and post them.  I mean, the place is pretty kewl during the day, with a low rumble of people as they bustle by; a mixture of Swedish and English in the air.  And street markets, and glögg and pepparkakor being sold on every corner.  This morning – a vague whiff of cinnamon in the air.  The sound of church bells.  It’s that kind of place – infectious.  And I love it.

I just wish someone was here to share it with me.

hantsbear: (bjorn)
Björnar, björnar, Svenskan björnar everywhere!!! :-{P}~~~
hantsbear: (bjorn)
So, 18 hours into my Swedish sojourn and what have I learnt...?

Cow and Chicken have been translated into Swedish.
Mid evening Finnish television invariably decends into vast quantities of people waltzing for no good reason. Go figure.
The chocolate cafe on the main square of the Gamla Stan does excellent hot chocolate.

A reasonable start. Now off to shop...
hantsbear: (Svenskan bjorn)

SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES SK 532
DEPART: LONDON HEATHROW FRI 03DEC04 1350
ARRIVE: STOCKHOLM ARLANDA FRI 03DEC04 1715

SCANDINAVIAN AIRLINES SK 527
DEPART: STOCKHOLM ARLANDA MON 06DEC04 1515
ARRIVE: LONDON HEATHROW MON 06DEC04 1655





And so December sees the koala heaving on a jet plane once again to the land of the vikings.  Primary purpose is to do a little "unusual" Christmas shopping; secondary agenda is of course man watching.  There's something about cute blond furry Swedish men, which probably explains my frequent visits to Sweden.  That, and the meatballs...

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