Tack for the memories…

At Arlanda airport, in the lounge, waiting for the flight back to AMS. It was a great weekend and I give Stockholm full points for being a very livable city. I managed to knock out 20K steps on Friday which was pretty good on 4 hours of sleep.

We made Gamla Stan, Old Town, our base. We stayed in a hotel that had to be furnished with some of the most eclectic decorations I have ever seen. In the basement, they had a private sauna built in and the plunge pool was the original well for the surrounding buildings. It dated to the 14th century. It was a little creepy, letting go of the rickety stair into a well and not knowing precisely where the bottom was. I didn’t stay in the well very long, having figured out that it made me feel like I was in danger of being disposed of a bad fairy tale — trap the wicked witch in the well sort of thing.

While we were here, we witnessed the changing of the Royal Guard ceremony, visited the Vasa Museum, took the ferry through the harbor to get to the island where the Vasa (and the ABBA museum) are located, explored the Royal Palace, visted the Tre Konor museum, walked up and down 135 step staircase cut out of the rocks, ate at Herman’s Vegan Buffet high above the harbor, went to Sunday mass at the Stockholm Cathedral, ate dinner at the nicest 7-11 I have ever been in (complete with juicing bar), checked out the crypts at the Riddenholm Church, explored Fotografiska and their amazing Anton Corbijn exhibit and took a bus ride back to the airport with a bus chauffeur who had a thing for the 80’s and sang along with every single song – and we did too.

I also scored a tshirt with four different Saabs on it. It is going into heavy rotation.

I definitely would like to see more of Sweden so we will put it on the list of places to come back to. Perhaps with the dogs and a long leisurely vacation. I realized again this weekend that I am still traveling like an American. We’re going to Prague on the Thanksgiving weekend so I have a few more weeks to practice being a more relaxed traveller.

I had it in my head that Swedes were big blonde sorts like the Dutch. They are not really. The only common Swedish characteristic that I could spot was facial hair. They are very fond of beards, mustaches and things in between. This doesn’t really help identify Swedish women.

Who knows, if the Dutch job search doesn’t pan out, maybe I will have to expand to Sweden? I do think they could use a little help designing their in and out traffic patterns. I would be willing to take this on as a public service project 😉


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