Jun 18, 2004
Hello from Sweden. Jacquie and I landed safely after our 9 hour
flight. The flight was pretty easy but the 8 hour time change is
taking a bit of time to get used to. Lots of reading our books at
3 o´clock in the morning and having naps in the afternoon.
The fact that its light out at 3 am makes it a little easier to
sit up and read.
Stockholm is beautiful. The city sits on the water and includes
several islands. The buildings throughout the old part of the city
are all at least 150 years old with many being much older. All are
ornate with really cool statues, figures and other sculpture. The
city obviously spends lots of money and time keeping the buildings
in great shape and it appears that the top floors are all apartments.
The street level is usually taken up by shops and small restaurants.
We visited the palace yesterday and saw the changing of the guards.
I almost lost Jacquie to a couple of good looking soldiers in their
spanky uniforms. The palace itself is amazing. We of course were
too cheap to pay the cost to take the tour but we did poke around
and saw many of the marble and stone carvings and statues. Not being
a real lover of cities, you can take it from me that this place
is amazing. The main mode of transportation in the city appears
to be the bicycle. Its a bit strange to see people in business suits
(Women in skirts and high heels) riding their bikes and sometimes
talking on their cell phones. THere are bike paths everywhere so
its a pretty safe looking place to ride. As we had been told the
city is filled with fit and good looking people. Our room mate at
the hostel informed us that this is because gas and food is so expensive
so everyone walks or rides their bikes and eat sparingly. Social
life in the evening seems to be getting together in the park to
play a Swedish version of Crocquet/Bocci which involves tossing
a block of wood at stacks of wood placed strategically around a
field. The aim is to knock over the stacks with the tossed block.
Much like many Canadian games, this seemed to involve a certain
amount of drinking. We are off to Umea (pronounced like Ikea only
different) which is half way to the Arctic Circle where we should
be by Monday or so. We are taking the all night train from Stockholm.
So far the Hostels are great but we were surprised that the clientele
is more families and some business people. We seem to be the only
backpackers in the place. For the folks in Calgary, Stockholm has
stolen the whole decorate a cow theme from you. There are decorated
and painted cows all over the city. The only difference is that
these cows have horns. They are cows though, Jacquie checked. We
are getting lots of walking in and so far (day 4) we are really
enjoying our world travel. Hope this finds every one happy and healthy.