Today we took the kids into Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s original town. I really enjoy it over there. It is touristy, to be sure, but I have always found the narrow streets and old buildings of the old city quarters of European cities so appealing. I have a “thing” for really old doors and the hardware of said doors – intricate, imperfect, and unique handles, hinges, knockers hand-wrought hundreds of years ago by people whose stories are long forgotten to adorn the houses of people whose stories are long forgotten. Over the years I have amassed quite a collection of photos of cool doors and door hardware. I just find them so compelling.
Anyway, we walked around a bit and I did try to introduce the kids to the art of appreciating really old doors and door hardware but something else caught their eyes. That would be the royal palace and the photos of the Swedish Royal family which includes REAL LIVE PRINCESSES! As if that wasn’t enough, one of the Princesses, Crown Princess Victoria was just married this past summer so the windows and gift shops were replete with images and postcards of the Princess and Mr. Daniel Westling.
As it was Monday, our intended stop, the Livrustkammaren was closed. We ended up at the nearby Museum of the Economy which you might not expect to have free admission but, despite the potential market ramifications, on Mondays it does. Jie-jie was pretty disappointed to be trading a museum containing the clothes former royalty wore while attending weddings and dying in battle for what you could call a giant coin collection. I, on the other hand, recently missed an event at the elementary school which featured best practices for teaching your kids about money. I figured the Museum of the Economy would be just the thing we needed to cover the topic. We learned about all the things people used to use as currency – tobacco, cocoa, lead, shells, etc, when people started using coins and how monetary systems developed over time. We even got a chance to pick up the world’s largest real coin. Despite all the detailed information about money (e.g. did you know the the U.S. currency division were based upon the Spanish peso but named the dollar after the Bohemian Thaler?). In the end, the kids weren’t satisfied and asked for us to bring them back for a tour of the palace and the Livrustkammaren a different day. I am fine with that. There are still many undiscovered old doors on the narrow lanes of Gamla Stan.