Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Trip Down Memory Lane

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Earlier this Summer we decided to drive down to the small town of Arboga, about one hour's drive west from Stockholm. For me it meant a slight trip down memory lane since it was in the vicinity of Arboga we had our summer house. For me, as a child, it was sort of festive to get to go to Arboga now and then *oh my has that notion changed...*

Back then we went to Arboga to get building material - and my father always browsing through the ironmongery because one never knew what intriguing new tool had hit the market and demanded to be bought... - shopping and then as an icing on the Arboga-cake the almost obligatory visit to the Åcaféet - The Creek Café.
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A place that was so very lovely situated down by the Arboga creek/river. Sitting outside, or at the glass veranda if it rained, was sort of obligatory - and not just because those where the terrible dark ages pre-smoking bans and there were a lot of nasty huffs and puffs going on indoors at most restaurant and cafés. Which goes to show, no, everything wasn't necessarily better in the good ol' days... - and the same kind of cakes and buns were to be consumed almost every time, and the same kind of soft drink with straws... And of course the sun was always shining.
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Since we sold our summer house years ago we haven't really been back in those parts, just driven past or through. But now it felt right, let's see if everything still is as I/we remember it. The parking lot, the walk to the local Domus-store - neighbours with the Tempo-store where I made, I'm still ashamed to admit, *a bit* of a scene when my mum refused to buy me a pair of hideous looking glassy blue disco pants, when I was obviously too young to see style-sense -
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the bookstore, the lovely art gift shops, the shoe shop, the antique shops, the church where I used to light a candle in rememberance for something, someone I didn't know...
But of course things as well as perspectives change. And this walk down memory lane mostly left me rather wistful. Old buildings torn down, new modern rather awful, vapid ones in their place, a feeling of, if not desperate but still, a sleepy kind of despair. The café completely renovated and without the outdoor area on the riverside, the edible on offer far from what I and my tastebuds fondly remember...
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The only two things who stood tall as usual were the church and outside the church, the statue of Engelbrekt Engelbrektson. Engelbrekt who was a Swedish freedom fighter in the 14th century. And it was with him Sweden began forming into an independent and united nation. It's said that it was in Arboga that the first Swedish Riksdag was held in 1435, under the influence of Engelbrekt.

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Apart from the first Swedish Riksdag, Arboga is most famous for it's brewery. The brewery is no longer existing, but the old Swedish saying about the aftertaste of Arboga beer lives on. Here are some explanations as to what that saying originates from, only in Swedish

Sadly, some years ago, Arboga's rumour as a sleepy smalltown was disaffirmed when one of Sweden's largest narcotic's rings was being unraveled in the seemingly idyll. So in many ways - not only because it's rather ghastly and more than resembles the beast in the Alien-movies - I guess it can be seen as an ambiguous mockery that the new modern symbol for the town is the Happy Arboga Philosopher...

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And the old summer house, did we stop by there? No, we didn't, some memories are just best left untarnished...

3 comments:

heidikins said...

I love your posts like this. They make me check online for the best prices on tickets to Sweden. Sigh.

Wendy said...

It still looks like such a lovely town, though. One of my favourite things about Sweden are the colourful wooden houses. Just thinking about them makes me scowl at the houses on my street!

Pia K said...

Thanks, heidikins:)

And thanks also, wendy:)
It's just this summer I've read and heard comments on how colourful the houses are in Stockholm/Sweden - I've never really thought about that before. So now I see them in a different light.

But I'm so very fond of the Scottish and English stonehouses, perhaps partly because they're so totally quaint and different to what I'm used to here...:)

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