Annual Valdemarsvik Autumn Market
Wednesday the 26th was the annual Valdemarsvik autumn market. It is a very big deal here. The downtown and harbor area was jammed with vendors, residents, and visitors. Perhaps this is the formal declaration that the season has come to an end.
The downtown street was closed. And yes, that is singular. It is Storgatan and it is the street where we live. Any pics looking down on the street are from our apartment. The slide show covers the set up that began the evening before, all the way to tear down the following evening. Marie even went across the street to chat with a Vietnamese family cooking their dinner in the midst of packing up.
If the visitors to the market could not walk, they were wheeled in – the babies, the elderly, and yes, the dachshunds. Marie and I have been told folks look forward to this event all
season. Parking around the harbor and shops were also occupied by vendors selling their wares. And the people packing our streets were not protesting anything. (Not that protesting is a bad thing — just not happening here.) Actual parking extended at least a kilometer outside the city center on several arteries leading into downtown.
This is the event to stock up on thick wool socks, insulated pants, and thick flannel shirts. And there were all manner of furry boots as house shoes. There were dresses, hats, pants, shirts, lots of handbags, baskets, and more.
And there is the food side of the event – the stuff to eat on the spot and the stuff upon which to stock up. Apparently the bread vendor is highly regarded. I saw one gentleman carry two large bags of bread. He must have an adequate freezer. There was the energetically loud vendor of sausage, a vendor of wonderful cheeses – more than one. There was a chocolate covered cone shaped pastry that must be the Swedish equivalent of Krispy Kreme because there were boxes all over the place.
My favorite food vendor was the person who decided to sell honey and automobile wax side by side. And Marie found the “mother load”. Himalayan wool! And could Sören Paulsson talk. Find him on the web at www.himalayan.wool.se. If you want to stay warm, this is the stuff.
And then there was the Swedish candy. I spent the first half of the day in school a half an hour away, then had an early afternoon meeting with the employment counselors. Walking from the bus terminal to our apartment I passed stand after stand of four foot long ropes of sweet and tart candy plus huge tubs of chocolates. I expected to find Marie in a corner of our apartment in a sugar coma. She is not a big dessert fan, but get her started on Swedish candy… Well, enough said. But she had not caved, in spite of spending the morning going through the market with her mother and then her father. By the end of the day I bought a small bag of her favorite candy and some still exists 24 hours later.
As I said, during the tear down, Marie was interested in the vendor across the street from our building, who started cooking. She put street clothes back on and went to speak with them, and snap a few pics. They had fired up a rice cooker and a hot plate. They were from Vietnam and spend the tourist season travelling to festivals throughout Sweden. They graciously invited Marie for dinner, but it was a touch warmer (but not much) inside our apartment. And while the weather was great during the day, it sadly started to rain on the vendors as they packed up.