Right now I am sitting in cafe by a canal, in Stockholm, having a very late lunch, with very sore feet. I have just walked through the “trendy area”, with all the vintage shops, overwhelming, and so much going on.
Stockholm is very beautiful city, difficult transport system, and the taxis charge whatever they feel like, so beware! Sweden is very expensive and changing from pounds into Swedish Krona, bad enough, I have decided not to translate into Canadian dollars, I would get depressed!
I fly back to the UK tomorrow, it has been a wonderful 10 days here, my hosts Ragnar and Elisabeth, have been perfect hosts, first staying in their new home near Gothenberg, by the sea, then having the honor of visiting Ragnar’s family farm, where they lived as children, it was pristine, such care and attention by all the brothers and sisters! I have known Ragnar for about 6 years, we worked on Spirit of Humanity together, and he and Elisabeth have an amazing love story, which will stay with me. I am now staying in their flat in Stockholm, Ragnar also got the Democratic Republic of Congo to finally issue my VISA, they had my British passport for 6 weeks, so I can travel in September, Ragnar is the former Ambassador for Sweden, he was extremely helpful! The family farm was close to a forest, we had a bonfire, and lunch in the forest with all the family! Also, they arranged many special times to visit friends and children, where I could ask all of my questions about the Social Structure in Sweden. Canadian Bryan Adams had a major exhibit at the Photography Museum, pictures below, I felt very proud and today I visited the Museum of Modern Art, to see an exhibit by famous artist Kusuma, she now lives in New York and I was told she is 87, very dramatic and unusual art.
- The employment rate is very low.
- They are working very hard to try and integrate refugees as fast as they can.
- They are very proud of their History and Culture.
- IKEA and H&M were founded here, H&M in Stockholm, whole city block, with Home Department!
- I think the rest of world has caught up somewhat with social programs, but the Swedes are very creative and always are thinking outside of the box! At museum I saw Future Home exhibit which shows how we will live, much smaller spaces, rooms will have multi use and we will have many fewer rooms.
- Have a Homeless and Gypsy problem, (am told from Romania) begging on streets and underground! (Quite aggressive)
- Design is beautiful everywhere! City is surrounded by water!
So. Again I say my good fortune to have this wonderful experience in Sweden!
Thank you so very much to my friends Ragnar and Elisabeth!!!!