What is a Scandinavian Style Breakfast?



On the morning of 29th June, I woke up shortly after seven. My wife and daughter, Julia, were still in deep sleep. I always go jogging in the morning regardless of where I am. There was no exception to my early morning exercise on this day, so I started running in the city of Stockholm. The temperature outside was about ten degrees. As I wore my windbreaker, I did not feel cold but my bare hands were getting colder and colder while I was running.


I like to jog in foreign places because I can observe my surroundings much more carefully than when I take a bus or car and I can always find some interesting things that may be overlooked through the window of vehicles.


At first, I ran north and around the garden of the Royal Library, then I turned west and entered the island of Kungsholmen. On the way, I passed by a government-run liquors shop (Systemboraget), a cinema where Kurt Wallanderfs latest film was being shown and the police headquarters where Martin Beck supposedly worked. I tried to remember the exact location of them.


After running for about fifty minutes, I came back to the hotel to find both ladies still sleeping, I took shower, changed and went out again but with my camera this time. I felt hungry. However, as the dinning room was occupied by noisy Spanish tourist groups, I decided to have breakfast later, together with my wife and daughter after coming back from a walk.


I walked to the police headquarters at Kungsholmen where I had passed by an hour ago. Martin Beck supposedly worked in this building after his promotion to the commissar of the criminal investigation department. Although the building is described as inhuman and overpowered in the novel, I found that it was nothing but a normal public office building. I took some photos of the police building.


On the way to the hotel, I popped into the central station to take some photos. This station also appears in the Martin Beck series quite frequently. I remembered an episode in the series; one girl takes naked photos of herself using a self service passport photo machine and tries to sell them to Martin Beck. I found a passport photo machine but it could not have been the same machine as the episode was written more than forty years ago.


It was half past nine when I went back to our room for the second time. As the breakfast was served only until ten, I woke my wife and daughter up and we went down into the dinning room. My wife and daughter told me that they had gone out to a canal to see an evening glow at midnight. Julia said that the dark pink and orange coloured clouds were very beautiful.


On the coupon of the hotel, a eScandinavian style breakfastf was mentioned.

eI wonder what the Scandinavian style breakfast is.f@said Julia at the entrance of the dinning room. As I had been in Sweden before, I prophesized some tubes of cod egg paste and some pickled herring in a jar.

eCod eggs and sour fish for breakfast, it sounds disgusting!f was Juliafs reaction.


The breakfast was very nice; besides of tubes of cod egg, we also had hams, cheeses, bacon, eggs, sausages, salad, etc. We could eat as much grapefruit and water melon as we liked. However, I could not find any pickled herrings. How mysterious! Anyway, the three of us picked various different foods from the buffet onto our plates and really enjoyed our breakfast.


My wife, who had already visited the buffet several times, came back to the table with pickled herring on her plate. I asked her where she had found it and she said, in an earthen pot. I said to Julia,

eAs you can see now, there is no Scandinavian style breakfast without pickled herrings.f