Stockholm, the most beautiful city

Trip Start Sep 05, 2005
Trip End Mar 23, 2006

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Saturday, November 12, 2005

I actually slept in a little today, which felt fantastic. So I got up and 'rented' a transportation pass for 50 kronor (it costs about that much for a one way in Stockholm and since I didn't know exactly what I'd be doing I thought it'd be a good idea, an it was. So since I only had a day I decided to visit the tourist office and see what type of tours were available at this time of year (not to many), and to see where the Vasa Museet was. Afterwards I had to wait a little bit for the reservation office to open up, so I sat down and had a smoothie and a baguette with Philly cream cheese (awe cream cheese, love it) and a little later this Swedish pastry that's like a cinnabun but with this Boston cream type filling on the inside, very good and the cheapest at 7/11. After making my reservation I headed over to the tour office and was told that I would have to wait about 20 minutes to buy my ticket, so I walked around and took some pictures of the gorgeous day and had some fun taking pictures of the birds and the actual white swans, not to mention I could actually see through the water. Stockholm has to be the cleanest place I've ever been to, which is odd considering it's such a growing cosmopolitan city. But they have so many islands dedicated to wild life and parks, and some areas where they want to ear down the buildings to make it greener (what a concept), that it just has something for everyone and the air maintains it's clarity along with the water. That's another thing I have never seen so many bikes as I did in Scandinavia. The one place you would think they would want some way of transportation to get out of the cold, they instead embrace nature and bike almost everywhere, so there isn't as much traffic as in other cities. I mean there is some traffic, but it's not anywhere near what it is in Paris.
So after a while I got on my bus tour with my little headphones that gave me an English (or Swedish, German, Italian, Japanese....) tour and in between they played three different songs; a Swedish composed song played by an orchestra, and ABBA Dancing Queen and another of their songs (I couldn't help but laugh and dance at the same time). After about two hours of learning about some of the history of Stockholm and learning that the Swedish King isn't really even Swedish, but French, I hopped on the ferry and saw the spot where the Vasa sank and that's when I realized I would need about two years here at least to even make a dent in all the photographic opportunities Stockholm would present to me.
Afterwards I figured out how to get to the Vasa museet by bus and went there for about 40 kronor (student price) Well worth it. I loved the Vasa Museet and I didn't even do everything there was to do, nor take as many pictures as I wanted because my battery pack finally died on me and my other one was back at the hostel, which made me very sad, especially after leaving because it was absolutely gorgeous outside at night (around 4:30 pm). The Vasa is a 17th century ship that sank in 1628 and was never recovered until 1961 because no one knew exactly where it sank (even though there were hundreds of people watching and it was in the waters of Stockholm). However it is the only ship that has been recovered of its time and what a find it was. Because no one had the time to eat anything or even unpack anything, everything was as it was supposed to be for over 300 years. There are also a lot of hands-on features and you can actually see some of the bones found on the ship and the recreation of what the people must have looked like and lived like. A very cool museum and different from most of the ones you'll see in Europe, or anywhere for that matter. I highly recommend it.
Afterwards I went back to the hostel and met two of my roommates, Brendan another cool Aussie and Cadu (short for Carlos Eduardo (spelling?)). Anyway Brendan was going out with some of the other people in the hostel so I decided going out might be fun and a chance to see more of Stockholm and the Swedish, but first I let him try and confirm his flight for the next day on my computer since Internet is free and the hostel's computers were full. So our 15 minutes turned into about an hour and a half of meeting new people and having about 10 different conversations at least three at a time, which can very confusing when a question is asked and you're thinking back to the last conversation you were having with that particular person. Eventually we worked our way back upstairs and left to go out, our group consisted of Robert-California, Cadu- Brazil, Luciana- Brazil, Brendan-Australia, Matt- New Zealand, and Adam- DC. We had an amazing night and I sang some Swedish songs when others were doing karaoke to them (the Swedish are big on singing and karaoke) and then the back room turned into a dancing floor which was a lot of fun and they played such a variety of music you never got bored, and the best part of all Sweden has newly implemented the no public smoking policy, which is marvelous for me. So after a fun and very active night I headed back to the hostel and my bed till I left for KÝbenhavn the next morning.
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