Enjoying the sun at the Stockholm Hornstull Marknard

The warnings came from every angle: go out and enjoy the sun while it lasts, when it starts to get dark you will start to get sad. It seemed ominous enough. The Swedes really seem to love the sun, I come from the tropics, I love it when I get out of the sun (especially in the blazing, humid afternoon heat of Singapore).

Living at the extreme top of the Northern Hemisphere, with the frigid cold a feature of the region, people come to love the sun and draw it in for as long as it shines.

I took them at their word, time to enjoy the sun. The question was, where did the locals go?

Internet sleuthing suggested the Hornstull Marknard, especially since it only come out on Sundays. This open air market takes place every Sunday in April to October, from the return of Spring to the cold turn of Autumn, in the western end of Sodermalm.

It’s a popular haunt with locals when its open and if its good enough for them, it sure is good enough for me. I mean, who doesn’t love a good bargain while taking in the amazing view?

Temporary open air stalls set up all along the waterfront, promise to have a selection of interesting items from fashionable second-hand clothes to vintage antiques,

from ecologically farmed products to high quality food-truck grub.

I could see why the sun was treated with great affection. The sun was gentle, its rays fell on your back like the gentle kiss of a lover and not the cruel scorch of a fiend. Even at midday, the bright sun was a welcome friend to the chilly wind.

I could also see why the market was popular. It was not just the variety of products on sale, and the chance of coming across a personal gem. It was the wonderful aroma of food. At one end the fragrance of sweet caramelised onions and savoury chargrilled beef mated as they pass through my nostrils, at another was the smell of the awakening spices from a chicken tikka and somewhere in between the rich, saliva-inducing fragrance of grilled haloumi cheese.

I had to have something… So I did the Singaporean thing…  I joined the longest queue. It worked back home (here and here), I reckon it should work here too. 

I had a burger (why am I not surprised).

A wonderful patty with sweet carmalised onions, tomatoes was topped with the pleasant surprise of fried shallots added to complexity of flavours and textures.

A great burger with a great view, I could get used to this…

Well, if the burger was cheaper (things in Stockholm are generally expensive, the city does appear close to the top of the Big Mac Index 😉 )…

Till then, I’ll settle for the sun without the bun.


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