November 6 is celebrated here, in Sweden, with little cakes or pastries (it varies), adorned with the head of Gustav Adolph. The little head is made of chocolate. The cakes or pastries celebrate the day of his death. He was killed on the field during the Battle of Lützen in 1632. And, while poor old Gustav lost big time, Sweden still won. Albeit narrowly.
The idea to celebrate his death became popular in the 19th century. Back then, there were marches and torch lit processions. There’s even a road named after it; Sjättenovembervägen in Älvsjö, Stockholm. Apparently, the king’s funeral procession started there.
I first heard about today being named after King Gus back in 2020 when we first came to Sweden. I was unable to find any of the little cakes or pastries. I was a bit sad, but I survived. This year, however, I had the eager sweet treat hunting skills of Fiona and Lauren at my disposal.
And that’s how my birthday began.
I’m not counting the first few hours during which we ran through all the issues to do with the house. The guy who originally inspected the house last year, just before we bought it, came over and took us through everything. His name was Matthias and he was very thorough.
The other momentous thing to happen today was the final completion of our fibre connection. As Mirinda said, this was an excellent birthday present. Now I just have organise a contract for the actual broadband.
But, let’s skip all of that and get on to the interesting bits of the day.
Following on from the information discovered on Saturday regarding the location of the original Trosa, today we found where it once was. It’s just the other side of the river between the country church and the Trostorp Heritage Centre.
We were looking for a rune stone and, while lost at the top of a rock face, Lauren discovered a plaque which described the location along with a picture of how it may have looked. It’s now mostly agricultural but, way back then, the harbour was here before receding to today’s location.
Oh, and we found the rune stone.
The rune stone search was part of my birthday treat. The other being pizza, beer and ice cream for dinner. But that was much later. Having found the rune stone above, we headed off for Vagnhärad for the next two.
We only found one. And that was in the front garden of a rather ostentatious house with Doric columns and a naked Venus standing in the middle of a fountain, looking decidedly chilly. The owners of the house, clearly annoyed about people trying to look at their heritage, have planted a hedge between the footpath and the stone.
The owners pulled into their drive as we peered over the small hedge. Hopefully, we annoyed them.
There was just time, as the sun was setting, to head over to Västerljung to see the stone in the churchyard. I found this description on a blog:
The stone was previously entombed in the church wall was moved in 1959 to its present location. One of the figures in the carving shows a man sitting on a chair – probably Gunnar in the snake pit, one of the main characters in the Völsungasaga and brother in law to Sigurd Favnesbane. The motive with Gunnar trying to defend himself against snakes by playing a harp was very appreciated at that time in the the viking era.Utrianlax, 2013, https://utrianlax.tumblr.com/post/41967178561/runestone-sö-40-västerljung-kyrka-rune-stone
The light was all but gone so my photo is a bit dark and the actual runes were hard to make out, still, I did get to see it and a stone that tells a story is a pretty good birthday present if you ask me.
Back at the house, we rested up with apéritifs before heading for Ankaret for dinner.
Ankaret was the first place we ate at in Trosa. That was way back on 6 June, 2021 and we sat on the balcony with the girls and probably had pasta. I know I definitely had a Trosa Lager, which I also had today. It’s very nice, the Trosa Lager. And, I’m happy to report, Lauren also had one.
While I had a half pizza half calzone with, primarily, beef, Mirinda and Fi taunted me by having the classic banana curry pizza so loved by Swedes. How well I remember the first time we came across this ‘delicacy’ at Lilla Rött in Trollbäcken. I still shudder when I think of it.
Still, my meal was marvellous, the beer terrifically refreshing and the company, exceptionally loud. The waiter wasn’t bothered by the noise (he said so) though there wasn’t anyone else in the restaurant for most of our meal. And, as the birthday boy, I was given a Swedish flag for the table. I tried to take a photo of it, but this lot got in the shot.
Thank you ladies for a wonderful birthday. It was splendidly memorable.