Well, it was an interesting day here. I had a good night’s sleep here at the Columbus Hotel, and then started walking to the old city (Gamla stan). This is the original village of Stockholm, and it’s very crowded. The streets are sometimes as narrow as 10 ft. across, and there are many times six story buildings on each side. I need to go through there a bit more to check out a bit more.
The one thing I found out (that was incorrect in the Lonely Planet Sweden guide) is that most of the museums in Stockholm are closed on Mondays. I went to four museums today, but only got into one. I did get to see the changing of the guards at the Kungliga Slott (Royal Palace), and that was quite impressive. I expected it to be about 10 minutes, but I left after 35 minutes, and there was a great military marching band that did a lot of good music and interesting choreography. The whole spectacle was cool.
I went over and met my friend Lena Hesselvik, and we had lunch at this nice restaurant across the water from Gamla stan. I’ve been eating mostly at cleap places, but this was nice, and I volunteered to treat her, as she and Fred put me up for 3 days, so I figured this was the least I could do. The food was great, but it really shows how much more expensive it is here that in the states. I paid SEK390 (~USD55) for two entrees and two soft drinks. I think at a nice place in the US, that would be more like USD35. Oh, well, I don’t do that much here, but I don’t do it much in America either, so vacations are for splurging.
I did get to the Vasa Museum, which as extremely good. The Vasa was a large military ship built in 1628, and because of design problems, it sank 30 minutes into it maiden voyage, and in the 1960’s they managed to salvage it and bring it up with most of the artifacts, so it gives a great view into what life was like in the early 1600’s. They did a great job at representing all the different parts of life from sailing, heroic imagery, ship building, forensics, city life, etc. If you come to Stockholm, I heartily recommend it.
About to go to bed tonight and wake up and do more museums, and hopefully be able to buy all the books, CD’s and other things that I want to get, but haven’t wanted to carry around with me. It will be my last full day in Sweden, and then I’m off to Iceland for some fun with the incredibly talented Margret Eir.