Stockholm, Sweden

Trip Start Jan 27, 2005
Trip End Jan 30, 2005

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Thursday, January 27, 2005

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the capital cities of the Scandinavian/Baltic triangle. Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, with 2 of my buddies from my Europe trip last year, Shell & Jodes and also 2 of their housemates, Vicki & Kate. It was bloody freezing and think it's the coldest I've ever been, but an amazing trip nevertheless!!

We went with a guy called "Tim the Tourman" who is an Aussie who has set up a tour company for budget travellers. He made the trip loads of fun and there was a really cool group of people. 2 Canadians, 1 Kiwi, 1 Portuguese and 26 Aussies. Can't get away from us Aussies!

"Haydoor" Sweden! We arrived to -6 degrees and heavy snow! It was beautiful! After arriving in Stockholm, we headed to the Nordic Sea Hotel for a drink at an "Icebar" where all of the interior fittings, including the glasses, are made of pure, clear ice from the Torne River in northern Sweden. They gave us special jackets, fitted with gloves and hoods and you go in for half hour slots. Not sure what the temp inside was but pretty cold. The drink I had was pretty ordinary, I don't know what it was cause the menu was all in Swedish, but it's the novelty of drinking out of a cup made from ice. Not sure what the whole point of an icebar is seeing as you can only stay in for short periods of time, but its pretty cool to look at and there were a few ice sculptures around.

After that we checked into our hostel, which was an actual ship converted into a hostel. In case you didn't know, Stockholm is made up of several islands linked with bridges and the hostel/boat was banked on one of the islands just opposite the city. Waking up and looking out a port hole at the frozen over water was awesome.

Next morning up bright and early for out city tour of Stockholm. We took a look around the Gamla Stan (Old Town) before watching the Changing of the Guard at the Royal Palace. Very strange procedure, with lots of small side step shuffling and odd neck twitching movements. They looked ridiculous. We couldn't help but laugh at them. How disrespectful! Oops.

Then off to the harbour to board the Viking Line cruise ship for our evening sailing to Helsinki!
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