For the love of a good read

You like books? I like you already! Reading is one of my passions. I have been an avid reader for as long as I remember. Books take me away on a journey through time & distance, into unknown situations, exploring possibilities, identifying with characters… Over the years I have realized I like fiction better than all other forms of literature. Although I can speak at least 3 languages fluently, unfortunately, I can comprehend reading only 2, and enjoy mostly reading books in just the 1 – English. But the world of English fiction itself is so vast and varied that it’s almost overwhelming! Also, work & keeping house & lalala doesn’t make it easy to catch up on the book lying on the bedside table. Enter: Goodreads to the rescue! For the past four years I have been taking up the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Beginning of every year this lets you set a goal on the number of books you’d like to read in the next 12 months. For me it’s a personal goal, like a new year’s resolution & one that I actually want to achieve. You could of course, also share your challenge with friends & check up on them from time to time. Take a look at their stats, you’ll see that the challenge has caught on quite a bit.

So there’s still some of December left & I have happily lapped up my goal of 15 books this year. I know some people can make it to much more & I seriously envy them, but at the same time I feel great with my progress. And who knows, with the holiday season coming up, I might just squeeze in another beloved book till the year is up! Here’s what I have been up to this year. Do you find any of your favorites in there?

 

Kladdkaka for the perfect Fika

Kladdkaka, a simple yet deliciously gooey chocolate cake is one of the most popular desserts in Sweden. I’d say it is one of the more obvious choices for a fika, the traditional Swedish coffee break. According to an article published earlier this year, Sweden is the third biggest coffee consumer in the world. A fika is thus, quite a part of everyday life here. However, since people these days are more conscious of their sugar consumption, desserts are sort of reserved for the more relaxed Friday fikas. Last week I felt quite adventurous in the kitchen and baked my first kladdkaka. I followed this straightforward recipe, serving it up with some berries and ice-cream. And at the cost of appearing smug, let me just say it turned out quite yum ;)

Hypnotize

If I made you walk through an endless tunnel that looked like this, would you be hypnotized enough to tell me all your secrets? Think about it.

On a less sinister, and informative note, this picture if from Tunnelgatan  or Tunnel Street, a street literally in the form of a tunnel in the heart of Stockholm’s Norrmalm district. It was named after the Brunkeberg tunnel, a 231 metre long pedestrian passage way. It was opened in 1886 and inaugurated by King Oscar II. It even has a separate lane for cyclists! Dear Sweden, you never cease to surprise me.

Skansen: a living museum

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Skansen is Sweden’s oldest open air museum right in the heart of Stockholm. It stands on the island of Djurgården and showcases life in Stockholm over the years. It is a kind of ‘living’ museum as in, there are people dressed up in the rural attire depicting the life of a different era in Sweden viz. between the 16th & 20th centuries. These guides tell you stories of Swedish tradition and lifestyle which is extremely informative and educational, not just for kids, but adults as well. Skansen also houses a zoo, an aquarium, a glass-works factory, a tannery, several workshops and farmsteads.

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These pictures are from the time-honored Christmas Market at Skansen. However it remains open all year through hosting most of the traditional festivals of Sweden like Midsommer, Valborg, Lucia and Christmas. It is very much recommended for visitors to Stockholm, especially if you have young children.

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Angular, to a T

The Scandic Victoria Tower is a skyscraper hotel in the Kista district of Stockholm, Sweden resembles the letter ‘T’. Skyscrapers being so rare in Stockholm, it is visible from quite a distance from the approaching highways & the mosaic glass facade makes it a gorgeous sight, both in the day and at night. At a height of 117m, this hotel is the tallest building in Stockholm, as well as the tallest hotel in Scandinavia. It is named for Crown Princess Victoria, the heir apparent to the Swedish throne.

Check out what other bloggers are responding to ‘Angular‘, this week’s prompt for the Photo Challenge at the Daily Post. Take a look at my previous contributions & leave me a nice message, I’d love to know what you think!