Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Royal Armour AND Native Americans

We have done a lot of street-wandering while here, which is a fun adventure. You never know what you're going to find, as we discovered when stumbling upon a festival. We were suprised to see that a crowd had gathered around what sounded to be, and then were verified as, Native Americans dressed in traditional costume and singing/dancing (oh, and selling CDs). The crowd really enjoyed them, which we would have done too if they were in the US. Something about them being in Sweden was very confusing, though. Later we ran into another pair, this time wearing much less ceremonial attire (still singing and selling CDs) and looking more like Mexicans with mullets than Native Americans.
The next day we went to the Royal Palace where we saw an impressive collection of royal armour and cloaks, gowns, etc., most of which had been worn while the person was assassinated. We also saw the "changing of the guard," which seems to serve more as a spectacle for tourists than an actual purpose. Apparently Sweden still has a monarchy that, like almost all others these days, serves only a ceremonial purpose. It has rained off and on while we've been here, but no one seems to mind. They're too busy eating candy and cheesecake, which is perhaps what we've fallen in love with most about Swedes. They do know how to enjoy themselves when it comes to food and dessert. Oh, and alcohol of course. We spent last evening at a German/Austrian restaurant (the oldest in Sweden, dating back to 1421), followed by drinks at the Sky Bar at our hotel, where we tried to drum up some American drinking songs to battle the Swedes with no luck. "99 bottles of beer on the wall," or "Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum," anyone?

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