C'mon DayQuill! Work Your Magic!

Trip Start Jul 23, 2007
Trip End Sep 06, 2007

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Flag of Sweden  ,
Sunday, August 5, 2007

     If you were to ask me what I did for most of my trip, I would reply that I spent the greater part of it walking. I love to walk (another self-discovery, I suppose). It is certainly the most rewarding form of exploration. It allows you to see, hear, smell, and feel your surroundings, such as no other mode of transportation can. The first thing I do when I arrive at a new city (after getting lost on my way to my hostel) is to go and explore on foot. Sometimes I spend hours on foot; entire days devoted to learning the crooked turns of the streets and discovering the best shortcuts to the city. I may walk half an hour for internet access, or 40 minutes for an especially good pastry. I welcome the trek. I bask in my own achievement of mastering my map. It is so very satisfying. I recommend it for everyone. Get out there and walk somewhere. Explore. Get completely lost in a big city with street names so complex that you can only remember the first two letters. Enjoy.
     Today I woke up feeling pretty bad. It appears that overnight I had developed some sort of head cold, and was now left to endure the suffering of a sinus headache, complete with the usual stuffy nose. However, I was determined to go shopping today and try my hand with some of the trends that I had been observing in the city, so I took what may have been an unhealthy amount of DayQuill, and headed out.
     Shopping stores in Stockholm don't open until 12pm, oddly enough, so I was forced to pass by them all before deciding to just keep walking down the street to see where it would lead me. I eventually came to an ornate bridge that passed by and through some very fine buildings and came to a halt in front of the Royal Palace. I walked around the area for a bit and decided that I would probably like to take a tour of the place, and since it was not too expensive, I decided to do so.
     It's funny, but everything in the Palace that has a proper name, begins with "The Royal", as if we were to forget for a moment that we were inside the Royal Palace, or as if there were some parts of the Palace that were not Royal at all, but were merely some sort of undesireable thing, and the words "The Royal" were the only way of setting the two apart. Regardless, I first made my way to the Royal Apartments (I wondered if there were some Non-Royal apartments hidden in the Palace). The Apartments consisted of several lavishly decorated rooms of all shapes and sizes where important things like inductions into important things, or other bits of irregular importance took place. Then I toured some of the Royal Guest Bedchambers, which had an odd, stuffy and un-homely feel about them.
     I next ventured to the Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) Museum, which was quite cool, really. You go down under the current Palace to the original medevil foundations of what the castle used to be--which was a brick dungeon with little natural light. It was also kinda creepy, actually.
     After that, I went to the Royal Treasury and marveled at off of the fine and precious stones and metals beofre watching a bit of the Changing of the Guards and setting off.
     The area around the Palace, Old Stockholm, has some of the most beautiful streets in the city. The architecture is so different from anything we have; brilliantly coloured stucce buildings and coblestone streets surround ever view. I stayed there for a while before deciding to give the shopping thin another try.
     Stockholm is not the cheapest place to go shopping, so after buying a sweater that I simply could not resist, I gave it up as a bad job and went back to the hostel to drop off my stuff. Then I decided to try my luck at finding a grocery stre nearby. There was one at the top of a hillthat I found which worked out quite well. That is, until I discovered that it was much harder to understand what anything was than I thought it would be.
     The milk section--the epitome of confusing. There are about 20 different kinds of milk (or what I assumed to be milk anyway). After scannning the section for a full 5 minutes and exhausting all knowledge I have on the subject, I decided to ask a passing man what it all meant. He asked me if I was American, and after I replied with a confused 'yes', he handed me a carton and told me that's what I wanted. He explained why, to an extent, which helped a little, but also left me confused. I left with milk, cereal, butter, and cheese, so that I could make the free pasta that the hostel offered, and some nice cheap cereal in the morning.
     I was reading the HP book (again) in one of the common rooms and joined to people who were having a conversations about HP (which I of course took an interest in). Both of them were exceedingly nice and we got along quite well and so ended up talking for hours about everything from books, to money, to the war, to movies. Then, at 1:30, we decided that it was time for us all to retire for the night.
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