Thursday, April 12, 2012

K is for Kungstraedgarden ~ The King's Garden

Theme ~ Swedish Rhapsody
Kungstraedgarden is a park in central Stockholm, a great gathering place in the middle of the city. The park is bordered on one end by Hamgatan and the large department store NK . The outdoor restaurant at that end of the park came to be in 1955, the year Stockholm celebrated its 700th anniversary. In honor of this anniversary, the cafeteria was in those days called Sju Sekel or Seven Centuries.
There's a stage at the other end, the south end, of the park, there are walk ways, food vendors, fountains, and benches everywhere. In the picture below people are gathered to celebrate Swedish Flag Day on the 6th of June.

At the western end, just below Jacob's Church, is a little coffee house that I have come to enjoy on my more recent visits to Stockholm. 
But in the mid-1950s, when I was 16 - 17 years old, the place to be was on the other side of the street at the south end of the park. That's where Tetley's Tea House, an outdoor place that served, yes, Tetley tea, sat under some huge old trees.
And that's where all the fun and action took place in those days. There we would gather, just below Stockholm's wonderful old Opera house, by the statue of Sweden's  warrior King Karl XII, pointing east toward Russia,

with a view of the water and the beautiful ship, the af Chapman, the royal castle, Old Town, and the tall cliffs of the south side of Stockholm in the distance across the waters. 

This is where I got my first taste of the larger world. This is where I for the first time met people from far away places: 

 Pierre from Alger, Pia and Monica from Stockholm, and Daniel from Paris. 

The Royal Opera in Stockholm, where I used to spend a lot of time before I left Sweden. If you have seen the film Children of Paradise, you know about those inexpensive seats high up, where those of us with little money were able to enjoy operas and ballets. Well, that was me and the experiences were unforgettable.
At Tetley's we also met up with ballet dancers from the Opera, artists from all over the world, actors from the Royal Dramatic Theater, and, of course, writers.
The author of this book, was a very interesting man, who most of the year lived in the big forest with his owl. He was a wonderful writer and poet and he had an apartment, shared with the owl, in Old Town Stockholm. He would show up at the tea house, owl on his shoulder, and we would sit and talk. I have this book and several articles from the newspapers back then about him and his books. Of all the people I met, he made the greatest and most unforgettable impression on me.

A big tournament with those balls that I forget the name of took place in Kungstraedgarden when I visited in 2005. It was very intense, to say the least. 
I was only 16 - 17 or so, but I guess I was OK, everyone wanted to talk to me. Intellectuals, I mean, some who yet had to become Sweden's great actors, artists and writers.  Looking back, I have no idea why. I mean, I was so young, and these friendships and talks were strictly that, nothing else. They helped me get in touch with my intellectual side and a little bit with my creative side. I made friends from all over the world and from the artistic and creative community in Stockholm. I know this is where I got the urge to live in different countries and learn more about the world at large.
Samson is home and doing OK. He has the largest cone around his head I have ever seen and keeps running into things. He must keep it on for a minimum of 10 days until they take the sutures from his dew claws removal out. The other surgery, the neutering, seems just fine. 


  1. what an interesting place to meet interesting people. :)

  2. When Kalen had his dew claw surgery I felt it was a major thing and the neutering was really not bothering him at all.

  3. Ahhh, Sampson's recovering nicely. And big applause for him for enduring that cone so well. He's a good guy!

    Love that park, Inger. It's interesting how people who enter and leave our lives make such a lasting impression and influence our lives. Great post!

  4. So glad the conehead--I mean Samson--is doing well!

    You obviously had the ability to draw interesting people to you--& you still have it!!

  5. You describe the King's Garden and atmosphere of the time very well ...

    It was surely very interesting talking to a man with an owl on his shoulder ... amazing!

  6. Stockholm is a lovely city :) Thank you for this nice post Inger. Have a lovely day!


  7. Could it be that you are a Swedish beauty? Lol. That might have had something to do with it. ;)

    And I do hope Samson heals quickly. We decided not to have the kids' dewclaws removed -- I'm kind of glad we made that decision.

  8. Thanks for your comments and I don't think looks had anything to do with these conversations. I will write more about how the looks of Swedish girls drew guys from southern Europe to Stockholm in those days and caused me and others a whole lot of trouble.That will be under the letter X.
    Nan and Nancy: Samson's dew claws HAD to come out. The were growing in a circle, a large, large circle and started to point into his leg. Plus they were covered by his long hair. He is holding up well. Barking again, when not pleased, which I take as a good sign. I'm sorry Kalen had problems, I had no idea that this could be so difficult, I have never had it done on any other dog we have owned.

  9. When my German Short Haired Pointer was a pup, we had the kennel remove her dew's easier at a young age...awesome tales of home, Inger!...:)JP

  10. Samson has a color? Awe- - hope that he is better.
    Thank you for sharing such nice pictures Stockholm.
    I am sure you must have been pretty dashing. Beauty and brains. What else would they want?

  11. I never got any attention because of my looks until I came to America. Seriously, I think people here are too much into looks. Except from the kind you will read about in my X post.
    But thank you anyway, for your kind words about my now quickly fading and wrinkling up looks.

  12. The time will pass quickly and Samson will be better than ever.

    I've been wondering if you make trips back to Sweden to see all these wonderful places again, and then I read you were there in 2005. I'm glad.

  13. What a wonderful place to be a young intellectual. The more you write about Sweden, the more I want to visit. You're a great ambassador.

  14. Oh, I do wish Samson well!

    How I LOVE these photographs. I would SO love to go to Stockholm. I can sense from your post how the place is etched forever in your memory, your having been in your mid-teens, a pivotal time of life.

    And oh my gosh. On my King and I blog post just now you mentioned doing an A to Z using books, and the first book you think of for A is Angle of Repose, the most STUNNING book I have ever read. I read it in 1982 when I first moved from Utah to Virginia after my divorce and it blew me away. I then used it for the subject of my final paper in the bibliography class I had to take for my MFA degree. I have been wanting, lately, to read Angle again. It was SO GOOD!
    Ann Best, Author of In the Mirror & Other Memoirs

  15. what an interesting post - Just visiting from the A to Z challenge

  16. You are indeed a wonderful ambassador for Sweden! I so want to go there you make it so inviting. And my goodness how different it all seems from where you live now!

    Glad to hear Samson is well on the road to recovery...

  17. Kul med Kungsträdgården. Bra att du visar dem där borta hur fin vår huvudstad är.
    Så bra att Samson är bättre. Aldrig roligt när våra vovvar inte är på topp.

  18. Fascinating! How lucky you were to have the opportunity to converse with all those people.


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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