Where Gumbo Was #30
I've been accused of planning my travels based on mystery novels, and I admit it's partly true. We went to Venice in part because of Donna Leon's Guido Brunetti; to Ystad, Sweden to see the scenes of Henning Mankell's Wallander series, and to Iceland to feel the atmosphere of a half-dozen Icelandic novelists. So, it should be no surprise that in Stockholm we ended up here: facing the home of Lisbeth Salander.
In Steig Larsson's Millenium Trilogy, at the end of the first novel—the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo—Salander, the troubled but brilliant heroine and hacker manages to steal a fortune from the accounts of a corrupt billionaire. Now rich, she buys a spectacular apartment with a magnificent view—in a building carefully modeled on this one at the east end of the Sodermalm neighborhood, with views of the water and Gamla Stan, the oldest part of Stockholm.
We thought of knocking on the door—but being realistic enough to distinguish fictional characters from reality, we settled for posing at her door, and then walking back down the street to the 7-11 on the corner, where she and other characters seem to buy most of their meals...
At the other end of Sodermalm, we visited Lundagatan, the street described in the books as the one where she grew up with her brutalized mother and her brutal but only occasionally present father. The street doesn't look as poor as it is described, though. It is here that she attempts to torch her father in The Girl Who Played with Fire.
Salander is not the only Sodermalm resident in the trilogy. Inspector Bublanski, who plays a role in all three of the books, lives there, and in one scene is interrupted while praying in this small synagogue on a side street.
The other major protagonist of the series, the journalist Mikael Blomkvist, lives at 1 Bellmansgatan, on the top floor—and here it is. Because this part of Sodermalm is on a steep hill, Bellmansgatan has upper and lower portions, and a bridge links the upper part to the building whose main entrance is on the lower part. The third picture resembles a view he might have had from the building.
These guys? They're just down the block from Blomkvist, and might almost be a rebuke to many of the characters of the books: they represent "think no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil."
For an interactive map with more information and pictures, click HERE
There's also a walking tour run by the Stockholm City Museum; it starts at 1 Bellmansgatan and takes about 2 hours. DETAILS