Vasaloppet, a popular cross-country race

Vasaloppet Mora

Vasaloppet is a popular cross-country ski race that is organised in Dalarna (Central Sweden). The event takes place on the first Sunday of March.

Cross-country skiing is a combination of ice skating and skiing. You have long, narrow skis at your feet, you slide your feet forward and make a specific cross-country movement. You can also use sticks to speed up movement by pushing your body forward on arm strength.

From Sälen to Mora

The cross-country skiers of Vasaloppet cover a ninety kilometer route. With a start in Sälen and a finish in Mora, it was the longest of its kind for a long time. It is also the oldest cross-country skiing race (since 1922) and the one with the most participants. It is a gigantic event and everyone can participate. Both top athletes and ordinary citizens can register. Every year there are also famous Swedes who participate, often for a good cause.

Thousands of people participate in the Vasaloppet or come to support the participants. Due to great success, the organizers created different variants. Nowadays you can also run and cycle the distance in a competition at the end of August. In Mora you can also visit the museum about the Vasalopp.

Vasaloppet Mora

About kranskulla and blåbärsoppa

The lady and gentleman who may hand over the crown of victory to the winner are called kranskulla and kransmas. They are real ambassadors for the event.

No less than 50,000 liters of blåbärsoppa (blue currant juice) are served during the Vasaloppet week. The participants get this at the supply stations.

Gustav Vasa

With the Vasaloppet contest they commemorate the flee of the later Swedish king, Gustav Vasa, by the Danish king Christian II and his troops. In the winter of 1520-1521, Gustav Vasa made this same trip on skis, but in the opposite direction.

Stockholm bloodbath

Source Wikipedia

In 1520, the young nobleman Gustav Ericsson Vasa was fleeing from the troops of the Danish king Christian II. Much of the Swedish nobility was in opposition to the king, and had nicknamed him Christian the Tyrant. In a move to silence the opposition, Christian invited the Swedish aristocracy to a reconciliation party in Stockholm, only to have them, including Gustav’s parents, massacred in what came to be known as the Stockholm Bloodbath.

Gustav fled through Dalarna, fearing for his life if he were discovered by the king’s troops. He spoke to the men of Mora at a gathering and tried to convince them to raise a levy and start a rebellion against King Christian. The men refused to join the rebellion, and Gustav started out west, toward Norway to seek refuge.

Lars & Engelbrekt

However, the men in Mora changed their minds after hearing that the Danish rulers had decided to raise taxes, and now they wanted to join the rebellion with Gustav as their leader. They sent out the two best skiers in the county, two brothers from Mora, Lars and Engelbrekt, to search for him and they caught up with him at Sälen.

On June 6, 1523, Gustav Vasa was crowned King of Sweden, after defeating the Danish King Christian and dissolving the Kalmar Union. Since that day, Sweden has been an independent nation.

Although Gustav traveled from Mora to Sälen, the modern race is run in the opposite direction arriving in Mora. Vasaloppet is part of “En Svensk Klassiker”, about which more here.

Are you up for the challenge? You can register via this link.

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18 January 2021

Stockholm’s narrowest alley, Mårten Trotzigs gränd

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Mårten Trotzig gränd Stockholm

When you walk around Gamla Stan, Stockholm’s old town, you often see tourists with a map in their hands looking for the local sights. When they have found the Royal Palace and the great cathedral, Storkyrkan, they flock to Stockholm’s narrowest alley, Mårten Trotzigs gränd.

Mårten Trotzig gränd Stockholm

Mårten Trotzigs gränd

The narrowest alley in the Swedish capital is barely 90 cm wide at its narrowest. So you can easily touch both walls at the same time. Over the years, the alley had different names or nicknames. The current name comes from the German trader Mårten Traubtzich. At the end of the 16th century he bought some houses in this narrow alley and opened a shop there. He became one of the wealthiest residents of Stockholm at the time but was killed in 1617 (not in this alley but on one of his trading journeys).

Mårten Trotzig gränd Stockholm

How to find the narrowest alley in Stockholm?

Walk from Stortorget (the big market) towards Södermalm via Prästgatan. This street is very picturesque with the many colorful houses and cobblestones. Almost at the end of the street you will find the narrowest alley in Stockholm! If you go down the 36 steps and continue through the narrow alley, you will reach the Västerlånggatan. Here you will find a top restaurant with the name Mårten Trotzig.

Mårten Trotzig gränd Stockholm

In the alley you can barely pass with 2 next to each other. Especially when groups are in the alley, it is better to wait. Stockholm’s narrowest alley is literally a hidden spot in the city.

In the neighborhood

  • Sundsberg Konditori
  • Under Kastanjen
  • Chokladkoppen
  • Pubologi
  • Den Gyldene Freden

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Mårten Trotzig gränd Stockholm, het smalste steegje van Stockholm
18 January 2021

Globen in Stockholm

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Globen Stockholm

In the south of Stockholm you will find the largest spherical building in the world. Officially the name is Ericsson Globe but you will usually hear the nickname “Globen”. The sphere is part of a complex with several event halls, a shopping center, a hotel,… It is also one of the places where you can see Stockholm from the air.

Globen en Tele2 Arena vanuit de lucht

National hockey matches are held in Globen. Several teams have already played their home games here. Other indoor sports competitions are also played in Globen. It is also home to concerts of major international artists from The Rolling Stones to Beyoncé. In 2016 the Eurovision Song Contest was held there (and I was there!). Also in 2000, the Eurovision Song Contest took place here.

Eurovisiesongfestival 2016

Fun fact: Globen represents the sun in the solar system that you find, at a scale of 1:20 million in Sweden.

Stockholm Globe City

Building this globe took 2.5 years. When the building opened on February 19, 1989, it was called Stockholm Globe Arena. On February 2, 2009 the name changed to Ericsson Globe.

Tele2 Arena

In addition to Globen, Hovet, Annexet and Tele2 Arena are also part of the complex.

Globen in numbers

  • Height: 85 meters
  • Diameter: 110 meters
  • Volume: 605,000 cubic meters
  • Capacity: 16,000 people for concerts, 13,850 for ice hockey matches
Globen Stockholm

Globen practical information

How do you reach Globen?

Globen is located about 5 km from the center of Stockholm in the Johanneshov district. The easiest way is to take the green metro line to the “Globen” stop. From here you can easily reach the entrance of the event hall.

Address: Globentorget 2, Stockholm

In the neighborhood

  • Quality Hotel Globe
  • Skogskyrkogården

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Globen Stockholm
17 January 2021