Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sunday in Sigtuna

Sigtuna  |  Sunday in Sigtuna on afeathery*nest  |

Two weekends ago we realized that on the following Sunday, this past one, we two, R's mom, and her partner were all free—something that doesn't happen too often, given that two of our foursome work a shift schedule. Once we realized we had a whole Sunday to spend together, we started plotting a quick afternoon getaway as I was itching to see something outside of Stockholm proper. In 6 months here (6!), I've only left Stockholm twice, both times on day trips to the archipelago (Grinda and Sandhamn).

Sigtuna, the oldest town in Sweden, is 40 minutes by car from here and seemed like a good place to explore—it's actually part of Stockholm County, but nothing like Stockholm City itself. Plus, I liked the town's name. And its mystical branding ("Where Sweden begins"). I also heard it has lots of adorable coffee shops, so off we went. 

Situated on a bend around Lake Mälaren, the little town has narrow streets (porting amusing names like "Big Street") that crawl over themselves from the center down to the waterfront. We parked in front of the common above and headed down the main lane on foot, peeking in windows along the way.

R's mom had planned a Swedish autumnal feast for us back at their home after our day out in Sigtuna, but both R and I were peckish for a midday snack, so when we looked down a side street towards the harbor where a squat, homey little cafè with a name too appealing to ignore appeared, we turned in to its cozy courtyard for our fika.

Sigtuna  |  Sunday in Sigtuna on afeathery*nest  |
Tant Bruns Stugkaffe in Sigtuna  |  Sunday in Sigtuna on afeathery*nest  |
Tant Bruns Stugkaffe in Sigtuna  |  Sunday in Sigtuna on afeathery*nest  |
Tant Bruns Kaffestuga (Lady Brun's coffeehouse) is housed in a building constructed in the 1600's, making it the oldest wooden building in Sigtuna (there are stone ruins from much earlier), and one of the oldest cafës in all of Sweden. With the ladies who worked there in traditional costumes and the extremely low ceilings which caused most everyone inside to hunch over while walking to a table (not me, though), it reminded me of Colonial Williamsburg, near where I grew up in Virginia, (or Skansen).

I couldn't get over the quaintness of the little cottage and loved seeing some of the old-timey kitchen and hearth gadgets, handicrafts, and children's toys dotting the walls, mantles, sills and tabletops. Soon our own wee wooden table was topped with cups of tea, coffee (served in a rustic copper kettle), cappuccinos, small sandwiches, a blueberry pie with vanilla cream, a slice of carrot cake, and a teensy oatmeal-flour kannelbulle for yours truly (while I was so pleased they had non-flour goodies, mine was so small and disappeared so quickly that I had to have another).

After our plates were empty and our stomachs full, we wove our way out on the stuga's well-worn, slanted floorboards to the garden, stood up straight and continued on our meander about town.

Sigtuna  |  Sunday in Sigtuna on afeathery*nest  |
Sigtuna  |  Sunday in Sigtuna on afeathery*nest  |
Sigtuna  |  Sunday in Sigtuna on afeathery*nest  |
Sigtuna  |  Sunday in Sigtuna on afeathery*nest  |
Sigtuna boats  |  Sunday in Sigtuna on afeathery*nest  |

Lots of families were out for walks in the park around the waterfront, so we joined them for a stroll under the fairytale trees and before an unusually large flock of ducks. We pointed out houses we'd like to live in, checked out the boats and took a few family pictures on the wooden walkway.

It was really such a perfect fall day and made all the better because once we were back in the car and heading home to Stockholm, the skies opened up—but we were snug and dry in the car with my mother-in-law's dinner of reindeer and mushroom stew followed by an äppelkaka (apple cake) awaiting us at home.

R & J  |  Sunday in Sigtuna on afeathery*nest  |

*A version of this post appeared on View Stockholm.

One year ago:
The notion of home

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