Stockholm Part 1: A Royal Start

Let’s transport ourselves back to Thursday morning. Planning to get up at 10am at the City Backpackers Hostel in Stockholm after a long night of meeting new people and watching the Byron Munich vs. Inter Milan soccer match, my body clock displayed its confusion by getting me up at around 7. My initial plan for the day was to join a few of my fellow Americans at the hostel for a bit of a tour around the city. However, they weren’t planning on departing until 11 and never actually left until a bit after noon. Of course, I didn’t know this so I got up, had a shower, breakfast and did some Internet surfing (on the fast free wi-fi provided at this wonderful hostel) while waiting to see how the day would unfold. The Americans didn’t get up quick enough for me so I decided to head out by myself but just as I was leaving one of the German guys, Johannes, whom I watched the soccer game with the night before said he was planning a touristy trip out as well and asked if I wanted to join. Preferring to go with someone who had a bit of a plan and spoke Swedish, I accepted and off we went.

View from the cliff

Compiled of many different mini islands, Stockholm is a beautiful, fashionable city with a lot going on. We visited the Old City, which has, among other things, the Nobel Museum, Parliament and the Royal Palace. We took a tour of the Nobel Museum and the late baroque styled Royal Palaces’ apartments and treasury. Probably my favorite part was the treasury. It wasn’t excessively large or extravagant, but it had an old dungeon-like feel to it. It was filled with crowns, swords, scepters, orbs, and a few other interesting trinkets. We followed the free tour and the fun fact of the day was that Sweden hasn’t actually had a crowned king for over a hundred years. In fact, if I remember correctly, the only monarch to currently be crowned in Europe is the Queen of England.

From the Old City we decided to wander for a bit. I can’t really tell you where we went because I don’t really know. We had a late lunch, climbed some switchback path up the side of a cliff overlooking the city and then managed not to fall on our butts sliding down a steep road covered in ice. Speaking of which, the whole city seemed to be covered in ice. The weather was in the high twenties most of the time and there was snow everywhere. As we made our way back to the hostel, we stopped at a little outdoor ice rink at one point, examining the work of the Zamboni driver. I informed Johannes of my past dabble in the field and said I wished my Zamboni had been located in such a picturesque location.

Back at the hostel, I thought it would be prudent to take a bit of a nap before continuing the rest of the day. I did, and let’s leave this post saying it was a very good thing I did…

Part two coming soon!

-Phil

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