bikes on boats
Scandinavian bikes appear in all kinds of places.
there are not many more therapeutic exercises than a long train ride through new territory. the gentle rocking, new sights streaming past in an adrenaline frenzy - while there you are, taking it all in.
the train ride from Copenhagen to Stockholm is about 5.5 hours, so i didn't pull into the station until late afternoon. the hostel i was staying at used to be a 747 (well, still is...but is missing engines and seats, has beds and rooms, and generally i slept a bit more comfortably than my last plane ride).
Sunday I spent the whole day devouring Stockholm. south of the train station, Gamla Stan is the old city, and reminded me in some ways of Edinburgh with its narrow alleyways and blind twists and turns. there are all kinds of pubs, as well as enough tacky tourist draws for the lot of 'em. who knew the Swiss were so proud of their chocolates? (and no, that is not some misguided euphemism!)
Stockholm is actually spread out over 7 or 8 different islands. i loved this quote in my Rough Guide from Ingmar Bergman: "It is not a city at all! It is ridiculous to think
sunken Swedish boat which was resurrected and put on display.
of itself as a city. It is simply a rather large village, set in the middle of some forest and some lakes. You wonder what it thinks it is doing there, looking so important."
on Djurgarden, the Vasa museum is definitely worth a go, it is a ship that sailed out of Stockholm in 1628 and promptly sank due to shoddy design. archaeologists have reconstructed the ship and put it on display indoors.
then i walked around Skeppsholmen and Kastellholmen, which includes a really awesome church...that was locked. grrrr. it is designed off the Pantheon, and houses all manner of Greek and Roman statuary. The Museum of Modern Art was open, though, and the finds there were far more interesting, esp. the photography.
south of Gamla Stan is Sodermalm, which was very intriguing since it presents itself clearly as a place where people actually live. it had a different charm from the old city, a little younger, definitely a place i'd actually want to hang out if i lived in Stockholm. lots of vintage stores too...did i mention Stockholm's prices? yeah.
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