Tuesday, August 4, 2009


We made it! Two uneventful flights, one from Rochester to Atlanta, and another from Atlanta to Stockholm. Those overnight over-the -pond flights are real killers to one's body systems, but it is now 5:20 PM, local time and we both are getting by on a couple of hours of very restless sleep on the plane.

The skies were clear as we approached the Stockholm airport, which is about 40 k north of the city. Stockholm is comprised of about 14 small islands connected by bridges and ferries. Everywhere you looked, there was water.

We took a bus from the airport to the bus station in the center of the city, got our tourist map and walked the mile or so to our hotel, crossing at least 2 bridges. Our hotel let us check in around 2 PM, and then so as not to fall asleep we went walking in the city. We were both impressed with the old feel of the city, but in a good way, not in a run-down way. There are many narrow brick streets with shops, businesses and restaurants and the sun made for interesting light and shadows. We stopped for a late lunch or early dinner at an Italian place. We are both so tired and were so hungry, we really didn't take the time to search out authentic Swedish food. I'm not sure what that would have been anyway~ Swedish meatballs??? While walking around we noticed that the Swedes must like their ice cream, because ice cream shops were all over. And the Swedes must like their ice cream in freshly made waffle cones because several of the shops had someone hand making waffle cones in the front of the shop using a turntable full of waffle irons! We are going back for ice cream before bed.

After our lunch/supper we walked up and around one of the big, historic cathedrals in town.

We followed that with a tour of the Royal Palace.
One of the docent/guards showed us the rooms that President Obama will stay in when he visits Sweden in 6 months for some big European meeting. The palace was impressive both inside and out. The palace we toured was rebuilt after a fire destroyed most of the original palace from the 1600's. We got to tour the only surviving portion of the 1600's palace and that was an impressive work of brick and stone.

We're back at the hotel, where there is free internet. While I am writing this, Jim is going for a quick run.

The weather here today has been great, mostly sunny and in the high 70's with a slight breeze.

Tomorrow we hope to visit another one of Stockholm's islands, one that is pretty much dedicated to being a park. There is a famous museum there that commemorates the day when large wooden ships sailed these waters. There is a chance that we may be able to rent bicycles while on this island, so we can get some exercise while sightseeing.

Speaking of bicycles~they are everywhere. Every road we have seen so far has a dedicated bike lane and they are as busy as the roads! The Swedes have the right idea about mass transit. For people not riding their bikes, here are buses, trains, and subways to move people. I like this city.

Later tomorrow afternoon we are boarding ferry, that looks more like a cruise ship, bound for Helsinki. This is an overnight ferry, which will arrive in Finland on our anniversary. Jim says he is taking me on a cruise for our anniversary! What a guy!

So that is all I can think about to write right now. My goal is to stay awake long enough to get that ice cream in a waffle cone and then hopefully get a good night's sleep.

Hope all is well.

No comments: