Hej from Stockholm! Today’s extract is from…
Leif G. W. Persson, The Dying Detective (trans. from Swedish by Neil Smith, Black Swan, 2017 , 11-12).
Karlbergsvägen 66 in Stockholm is the location of Günter’s, the best hotdog kiosk in Sweden. It’s surrounded by sturdy stone buildings many storeys high, all constructed at the start of last century. Solid brickwork, carefully laid, brick upon brick, with lime-mortar rendering, bow windows and old-fashioned glass. There are generous lawns in front of the properties and – at this time of year – leafy trees lining the street. When you enter the buildings there is usually red marble in both the lobbies and stairwells, friezes on the ceilings, ornate plasterwork, even dado panelling in places. The skirting boards and doors are made of oak. It is an area that gives a bourgeois, affluent impression.
Günter’s is also located within the old city boundaries of the most beautiful capital in the world. Just a few hundred meters south of Karlberg Palace and Karolinska University Hospital, and close to two of the major roads leading away from the north of the city centre.
The former head of the National Criminal Police, Lars Martin Johansson, really ought to have been at his summerhouse up in Roslagen today, but that morning he had been obliged to come into the city for a meeting with his bank, to conclude a deal about a patch of forest that he and his eldest brother had an interest in. […]
Just a few hundred meters before he would be passing the old tollgate at Roslagstull on his drive north, his hunger got the better of him. There was no way he was going to spend an hour driving when his stomach was already screaming at him. So he took a quick detour to the best hotdog kiosk in Sweden for a well-spiced Yugoslavian bratwurst with salt-pickled Åland gherkins, sauerkraut and Dijon mustard. Or maybe a Zigeuner sausage with its taste of freshly ground pepper, paprika and onion? Or should he stay true to his Norrland roots and partake of a lightly smoked elk sausage with Günter’s homemade mash of salad potatoes?
One of my first destinations in Stockholm was of course Günter’s, the best hotdog kiosk in Sweden. What can I say? The hotdogs are indeed divine (I had a Thüringer with salt-pickled Åland gherkins) and it’s clear from the queues that the place has genuine cult status. Pleasingly, part of the extract above was pinned on the kiosk’s noticeboard: they are rightly very proud of their Persson connection.
We’re both rather in love with Stockholm. The city is filled with architectural beauty and its location on the water is stunning. We’re getting around a lot by ferry.
Then there are the buns…
And last, but by no means least…THE ABBA MUSEUM. A lifetime’s ambition fulfilled!
Really, Mrs. P.? There’s an ABBA museum? I didn’t know that! That’s really interesting! I’m glad you were able to visit it. And that hotdog kiosk looks great. And you’ve reminded me about Persson’s work (must spotlight it at some point…). Glad you’re having a lovely time!
Yes, really! Packed with ABBA fans of a ‘certain age’. Great fun, but we also came away with a new appreciation of their musical talents.
Would love to see you spotlight Persson 🙂
Great crime fiction! Buns! hot dogs! Abba museum! – how come I didn’t know all this? Stockholm is now on my Must Visit List….
Quite right! My first time in Stockholm and now I can’t understand how I didn’t got here sooner. Get yourself over asap! 🙂
Oh, I’m so envious! Glad you are enjoying it so much – yes, the light on the water is wonderful. Must admit that I have not been to the ABBA museum. Maybe next time . . .
Thanks, Christine. We’ve been lucky with the weather, and I’m so glad, as it’s given us the chance to get out on the water and see that iconic skyline.
Fully recommend the ABBA museum to all fans of the group. It’s all very well done and a great laugh too. How they managed to walk in those boots…!
Aah! Stockholm. I’m green with envy. Venice of the north. Gamla Stan, the Abba museum, Drottningholm palace, and a fabulous indoor market whose name escapes me. What a fabulous city. One day perhaps 😡. I love sound of the hot dogs too.
I’ve never really taken to Person’s books, finding them really heavy going. But who knows, I may take a look at The Dying Detective.
Yet again more great photos Mrs P. Hope you’re both thoroughly enjoying yourselves.
Thanks, Kathy, we’re having a great time and yes, it is a fab city. Will see if we can check out that indoor market – thanks for the recommendation!
Persson is not to everyone’s taste, I know, but he’s long been one of my favs. I love his wry humour and would happily read 700 pages of anything he’s written. Have you tried LINDA, AS IN THE LINDA MURDER? That’s a good one to start with.
I’ve also added Stockholm to the must visit list. But think I might have to go to the Abba Museum on my own – doubt it’s to the husband’s taste!
Excellent. I do understand why so many people love Stockholm now. Put aside a morning for the ABBA museum if you’re a die-hard fan. There are other museums nearby that can entertain your husband for the duration!
Long time since I was in Stockholm, went quite a lot in the late 60/70s. Still remember the old town. Don’t know if the clipper in the photo is the one I stayed on the first time, was a ymca! I think it’s a museum now. The first few times went by boat, Svenska Lloyd from Tilbury. Also went one Xmas, real Xmas with snow! About time for a new Perrson book, just about to start the new Le Carre. Enjoy rest of trip.
Thanks, Brian. Pretty much everyone I’ve spoken to about visiting Stockholm seems to have really liked it – lovely to hear your memories too. Enjoy the le Carre!!!
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