Drottingholm, a chinese pavillon for the Queen

In the late afternoon we take the car and we drive to the castle Drottingholm, literally the queen’s palace, but it is currently the official residence of the Swedish royal family and a UNESCO world heritage monument. An army of Greek statues welcomes us as we pass the Royal Theatre and enter into the royal gardens. The gate looks like the one at the Buckingham Palace, but the rest of the royal gardens are very similar to the Versailles Castle. It’s really too bad it’s raining; I still look for sun light between the tree branches. We enter the gardens, heading for the Chinese pavilion. At the time it was constructed the Chinese style was trendy and the pavilion is a gift from the king to his wife, Queen Urlika, for her 33rd birthday. It honestly doesn’t look so Chinese; except for the peaked roof, the rest of the building looks like prefabricated wood. Once the hall was the place for the queen’s leisure where she had tea with her bridesmaids and where plays were put on. Well dear Urlika, you didn’t miss anything, eh?

It was originally built of wood, but because of deterioration it has been rebuilt with brick. Maybe that’s the reason it gives me the impression that is prefabricated; at the time it must have looked more “Chinese”.

In front of the pavilion, there is a nice little square of purple flowers, the favorite color of the queen. Fredrick teases me by calling me Ulrika because he knows that purple is my favorite color too. While we go back to the car, we walk in front of a fake tent called Koppartälten (tent of copper) which is inspired by the Roman camps. That’s where the military guard is posted. Honestly, as they say in Rome, both the Chinese pavilion and the “Roman tent” is a “sight for sore eyes!” These two prefabricated structures clash sharply with the magnificence of the castle, the neoclassical statues, and the baroque garden where the bushes are perfectly square or rectangular. Fredrick tells me that there is an even bigger tent of copper in the actual princess castle which became the museum of the Swedish army.

Back in the car, Fredrick receives a text message from Georgof, the Greek guy we met last night at the club. Georgof is a doctor who lives two hours from Stockholm; he stayed in town for the weekend, so he wants to take the opportunity to come and say hello and see the new apartment. Fredrick invited him for dinner.

Fredrick has prepared a sort of roast beef, but it’s pork, called “Kassler,” with a sauce made with cream, mango milk, tomato pulp, paprika, and peppers. Rice and salad with feta cheese accompanies the pork. It’s a tribute to our Greek friend. Very good! He promised to give me the recipe so I can do it at home, though it  isn’t easy to find mango milk in Italy. Before Georgof leaves, Fredrick asks him if he has plans for next Sunday, because I promised to cook an Italian dinner next Sunday. The menu is still Top Secret!

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