Love 2010

Yesterday in Stockholm was the beginning of 2 weeks celebratory lead in to the royal wedding. It's dubbed Stockholm the love capital by the organisers which is kind of nice seeing that printed everywhere. It was also Sweden's national day so the flags were flying and a free concert was proferred in front of the royal palace to celebrate it, with various pop acts bouncing around the stage like Katie Melua.

The royals later took the old horse and carriage (as you do) up to Skansen for the traditional celebrations. It was broadcast on tv which answered the question of why there was so many military police around when we left the city to go home. Before we did though we visited the royal palace in Gamla Stan (Old Town) which was open for free for the day. As palaces go, though I've only been in two, this one's great. It was ornate and packed with art and tapestrys as usual but it had a really good vibe- if palaces can have good vibes. It wasn't overwhelming but kind of intimate. I loved the stone floors in the main staircase leading up to the royal dining areas etc. They were well worn, almost soft and warm.

You could write a note to the Princess and Daniel for their wedding day. People were sitting to write full on letters (under palace supervision) which I thought was rather amazing. I thought you'd just sign a book and be done with it. I'd be interested to know whether they read any of them themselves. We also dropped into the late Gothic Storykyrkan church where they're having the wedding service. I suppose I'm a bit sacrilegious but I was most moved by a landscape painting from the 16C of Stockholm. The church didn't have much of a spiritual feeling at all to me. It wasn't just because it was crammed with tourists either, so is Notre Dame in Paris but you really feel Notre Dame as a great spiritual place. But it did have some brilliantly powerful and expressive religious sculpture at the altar. A lot of so called religious art is actually intended to glorify the rich and powerful benefactors of the churches rather than God but these were the real deal.


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