Two days gone already. And do you know what? I still haven't made it to any of my target pubs.
I was already aware that Akkurat, Stockholm's premier beer boozer, would be shut for the summer. Well, you can add to that Monk's Cafe. At least for this week. They're decorating.
We're staying fairly centrally in town. It can't be more than a ten-minute walk to Centralstation. So yesterday, after a hard day hiking around Skansen (the open-air museum) me and Dolores dumped the kids in the pool and headed off for Monk's Cafe. Over the bridge with the vertiginous views of the railway tracks. Monk's Cafe isn't much past that. But, as you already know, it was closed.
We went in search of somewhere else to have a quiet beer. The only other place in my guide reasonably close by is Belgo Bar. Now that's something I'm not doing. Coming to Sweden and drinking Belgian beer. I can - and do - do that at home. Ten minutes stroll uncovered nothing but cafes. I thought everyone here was a raging alcy. Turns out they're actually coffee addicts. What a disappointment.
We did find a Styembolaget. One of the shiny new ones, with even the spirits enticingly draped across the shelves. It takes some getting used to. Do you know something weird? I sort of miss the Soviet-style queueing ones, where all the dangerous booze was stored well away from the eyes of the putative punters. I got an Arboga Majbock, Jamtlands Pelgrim and a couple of Oppigards beers. The Oppigards Porter wasn't bad. And the Majbock at least had a little poke.
Sweden has changed a lot since my first visits. Beer stronger and 5.6% ABV is now legal. The systembolaget shops have the drinks arranged on shelves and everything is dirt cheap. Sorry, the last one isn't true. Just my wishful thinking.
Yesterday, Dolores and I ended up in the uninspiring sports bar on the corner. Her Falcon Export and my Carnegie Porter only cost 12 euros. What a bargain.
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