Pub night at källaren & källaren

Mariannes birthday is coming up, and instead of having a party at home we decided to go out to Östgötakällaren, one of our favorite bars in Stockholm.

Joining us were Carina, Fredde, Pirate-Johan and Caisa-Stina. Around ten o’ clock we decided to move on and ended up at Söderkällaren where we were joined by Simon & Erika.

Good times!

My Serotonin Tattoo

I got another tattoo yesterday by Nille at Salvation Tattoo, a serotonin molecule.

Serotonin is both a classical neurotransmitter and a signaling molecule. To simplify things, it is a brain chemical that also can be found throughout the body (primarily in the digestive system). Its functions are among other things to help control happiness, sleep, aggression, impulsiveness, appetite, sexual lust, body temperature and metabolism. Due to a condition of mine, I have lower serotonin levels than most people. To fix that, I decided to add some of my own. 😉

I have stylized the molecule by replacing the letters HO, HN and NH2 with rings. Aside from that, I have thickened the lines and changed the angles on the inner parts slightly. If this should be entirely correct, I should replace the corners with rings as well, as they in this case represent carbon. But I chose style over substance, everything is still explainable and it looks much better this way. Big thanks to Micke Lind for the input on the molecule design!

Tattooing the elbow is probably the most painful ink I’ve done so far. The hearts on my inner upper arms did hurt a lot (and longer), but there were more twitching involved when doing the elbow.

Barcelona – Day IV

Yesterday we went to Mercat Del Encants, a huge marketplace with many hundred (maybe thousand) of stands where absolutely everything was sold. From young men selling brand new furniture to old ladies selling used adult magazines. Lots and lots of plain junk, and often the seller had just poured everything out on the ground. It was very crowded and stressed, and we didn’t really find anything of interest.

After a few hours we took the metro and decided to jump of at Arc de Triomf, built for the 1888 world fair. Therewe first encountered musicians that we at a distance thought were protesters for something (lots of banging drums and whistles), but when coming closer we realized they were kids from a local school or something.

On the other side of the arc there was another marketplace. The contrast to Mercat Del Encants was however huge. Here everything was extremely calm, not at all crowded and the loudspeakers played  soothing music. The market seemed to focus more on handcrafted items and there were also plenty of food (like an entire sausage stand) to be seen. We stopped for a while and had delicious falafel pita while sitting in the grass. About halfway through, the marketplace changed direction and started to focus on animal rights, new age, help organizations and such.

After stopping by for  a while at our apartment, we did some more alley-walking in old town. Since it was Saturday, a lot more street performers was there, taking advantage of the extra crowd of people coming in over the weekend. We also crashed another wedding, saw some ancient roman pillars, had some food and later some dessert and did some final shopping.

Today we are going home, and I better finish packing now. We will wait in Frankfurt for about 3½ hours. Good thing I have plenty of movies on my Eee. 🙂

Barcelona – Day III

Today we started the day by visiting the 60 meter high obelisk/statue of Christopher Columbus. We paid the 2.50 € fee and took the elevator up to the top, where we got a good view of the heart of Barcelona, the old town. After that, I tamed a giant metallic lion and rode it. 😉

The rest of the day we spent  alley-walking in the old town (where we live). We walked for hours and still didn’t covered half of it. Some fun shopping and surprisingly good and cheap meals were also included in the day. When the cold hit and we were both tired and with aching legs, we retired to the apartment for some relaxing.

When getting hungry again we went out for dinner and found an Italian restaurant where you could get a three-course dinner for 6.95 €. The female bouncer was very nice but the male waiter was very unengaged and almost rude. Dessert consisted of an apple.

On the way back  we bought some snacks, and now we are going to watch a movie. 🙂

Barcelona – Day II

Buildings, buildings, buildings

Today we went sightseeing in Barcelona. First stop was the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, an enormous church that has been in construction since 1882 and is expected to last until at least 2026. We never went inside due to the extreme long line youn had to wait in. After that we walked around, ate bad expensive paella and watched buldings for a few hours or so. Getting close to our apartment, we jumped on an overpriced sightseeing bus and took a tour around parts of Barcelona. After almost two hours we were back were we started and decided to walk some  ofe the back streets and alleys near our apartment in old town. We started to get hungry again and had some good and fairly cheap local pan pizza.

By this time we were getting cold (it had rained twice earlier that in the day) so we went back to the hotel for a while to relax and warm up.

After some time we went back out again in a new direction. Walked for a few hours, found a giant cat, had a drink and bought some snacks on the way back. Now we are going to watch a movie: Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man. 😉