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The Nobel Prize, A Dynamite Idea

SWEDEN | Sunday, 19 August 2012 | Views [1109]

Changing of the Guard, Royal Palace, Stockholm

Changing of the Guard, Royal Palace, Stockholm

One of the benefits of winning a Nobel Prize is a free trip to Stockholm.  Well, maybe not. The recipients visit in the cold and darkness of December, not on a beautiful sunny August day.  At any time of the year Stockholm combines the old world elegance of Vienna with the charm of San Francisco.  And there are nearly as many ways to explore Stockholm as there are islands (14) in the city.  Boat tours and buses, bikes of course, horse carriages, the ubiquitous Segway and even skateboards.  The Old City is a walkers paradise with the Changing of the Guard at the Royal Palace a daily draw.

   Nobel Laureates on Parade

There are many cities with great architecture and cobbled- streets but only Stockholm boasts the Nobel Prize.  On December 10, in the Stockholm Concert Hall Nobel Prizes are awarded in six disciplines: physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics.  For some reason the most prestigious, the Nobel Peace Prize, is awarded in Oslo.  All of the past Nobel Laureates are honored at the Nobelmuseet with photos, biographies, film clips and memorabilia.  A special exhibit shows prize winners with poster-size representations of their discoveries, drawn by themselves with colored markers.  Few visitors can understand the concepts depicted but none could help but appreciate the creativity and sense of humor of these "boring" scientists.  LOL!

  Women just love smart guys!

Just across the water at City Hall you can visit the room in which the awards dinner is held.  It's hard to imaging 1300 people sitting down to dinner in such a confined space, each person alloted only two feet of elbow room.  The meal is prepared by a different Swedish chef each year using only Swedish products.  Planning begins on December 11 for the next year's dinner and it takes nearly three months to clean all the dishes!  Swedish reindeer meatballs, anyone?


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