This past week at work I had to go out and eat at a nearby mall since they had closed the cafeteria for their annual three week summer vacation. On this particular day my co-worker said let’s go try out Voxholm. The town approximately 20 minutes away by car. It’s a cool site since it has a fort that once protected the Stockholm waterways. It’s also a center for the jet set sailing crew, lot’s of outdoor cafe’s and restaurants.
The restaurant served us traditional seafood dishes such as pickled herring with two different sauces, caviar on a hardboiled egg, potatoes and the best part of all eel! Yeah! that’s right! I ate some slimy eel! It’s sort of hard to explain the texture but definitely not like fish, though the taste is definitely fishy.
Almost every day since my stay I’ve eaten something that has Swedish origins. I’d say I’m about 50/50. That means about half the stuff I eat I like, the other half I really didn’t like much. It turns out pouring on the sauce and gravy over you dish is normal. This is exactly opposite as to how I like my meals. Oh well, to learn the culture you need to live it.
Today we played tourist by taking the 24hr “hop on, hop off” boat. This boat takes you around different Stockholm highlight points. The idea is you can hop off any of these places and hop back on within 24 hours. Afterwards we had lunch at Cafe Nova, a nice restaraunt in Old Town. I had a nice ham and cheese sandwich with a slice of rasberry pie. Lorraine had a Chicken Salad with different vegetables mixed in.
Our next stop was the royal museum which used to be the home of the royal family. This was actually cooler than I thought it would be As we walked along some of the areas of the it hit me that every one of the nobel prize winners actually had dinner in the very same room i was standing in. A lot of art dated back into the 1700’s, how cool was that.
After walking all day we headed back to the Sheraton but not before we picked up more waffle cream cheese crackers along with more red bull and water.
Today we went and shopped at place called “off the beaten path”. Lorraine had seen this place advertised on the hotel info channel. We took off this afternoon to the underground subways in search of the path.
The Path had locals selling their arts and crafts along with street vendors selling vintage and new clothing. It was definitely different, not as large as we thought it would be but fun none the less. Part of the fun for me is the actual act of exploring new places, trying to figure out where we are and where we need to go.
Just about an hour before sunset every day we see a parade of hot air balloons pass across our hotel window. They fly right over the main parts of the city. Wherever the winds may blow.
Growing up with the kids one of our favorite family past times is passing gas, yeah… that’s right. The ancient art of controlling a good tune, carrying a note to the end and ending with a “make-you-squint” odor.
Naturally when I passed by this sign it made me stop and laugh, damn near made me homesick. In any case it was enough for me to pull out my camera and take this photograph.
Since I’m being childish and gross… what do you when you go in the bathroom and take a dump? that’s right! you…. P-INFART. Bahahahahahahahahahahaaaa! Get it? Bahahahahaha!!!
It’s the 4th of July!
This was the first time for both Lorraine and I to be abroad during a major holiday. Back in the states, July 4th is a major holiday celebrating independence day. I find it ironic during my last visit to Sweden I was here during their celebration of independence day.
We took off early morning to catch one of those European double decker buses. Lorraine earlier had figured out the schedules and locations so off we went.
This particular bus took us all over the streets of Stockholm. All the major tourist sites as well as side roads lined with shops and cafe’s. Through out the whole tour, I didn’t even see not even one sign that it was 4th of July United States style, then again… why should there be.
This is the nicest facility I’ve been to yet, I’ve been to a lot of sites all over the world. The Sweden plant by far has the most impressive building and location.
I’m not sure how this area is during the Winter but in June and July this place is amazing. I’m standing out front near the parking lot. Almost every viewing angle you see trees or pastures.
Actually this was a trial run that Lorraine and I did the Sunday before I had to show up for work. To get to and from work I leave the Sheraton, head down to the underground subway system (Central Station) head out to Northern part of Stockholm, get off and catch a 35 minute train ride to the town of Taby. Walk approximate 3/4 of a mile along this path I dubbed the “enchanted” forest.
We both explored deep into the enchanted forest when I first had the urge to relieve myself, seeing me coming out of the forest smiling, Lorraine went in for a turn.
I probably would have not gone in if I would have known snakes were about. As we were walking along Lorraine grabs my backpack and steers me toward a huge monstrous serpent. Good thing it crawled into the foliage or it would have been a goner! (alright…the snake was about 9 inches long)
Came home from my first visit to Sweden and now I’m back again. This trip will be for 3 weeks instead of the 10 days I spent here the last time. Lorraine is traveling with me and will be staying the full 3 weeks. She’s going to have her own personal blog up and running soon so I won’t include her travel thoughts here, just mine.
Its early in the morning (close to 3 am) and the sun is already starting to rise. During this time of the year you get close to 20 hours of light.
The photo above was taken from our hotel room (Sheraton Stockholm, Towers) window. We have an awesome view of the river across the way. The street below is lined up with the classic cafe’s and store selling artwork. The window is built so that you can stick your body completely out, no screen or bar protection you find in most hotels.
Lorraine and I had an early morning breakfast at the hotel restaurant, afterwards we headed of for Old Town Stockholm. This was a completely new view for me. I’ve never walked from the downtown to Old Town.
For whatever reason it was scorching hot today! We watched the changing of the guards located in the Royal Palace central courtyard and my bald head was on fire!
Afterwards we walked the alleys, stores & cafes. Had a nice ice cream waffle which is very popular in the area.
We took a long walk checking out the shopping district, this area is where the locals go to buy their clothing, electronics, toys etc. It’s a huge street lined with every kind of shop imaginable. A lot of restaurants lined this street too. We opted for Mongolian BBQ. Great for me since they served Jasmine steamed rice!
After dinner we headed back to the hotel, sort of a chilly night. The outside activity never seems to end. Always something going on outside of the hotel window. People are still walking about the sidewalks, some sitting on the park benches. Wonder what their doing…
Traveling to Sweden and adjusting to the time zone difference is not bad. It’s normally easier getting used to the place your traveling too rather than returning home.
One factor that can screw you up is the amount of light during the night. I took this shot around 10:00 PM. Back home it would already be dark and the street lamps would be on. During the summer time you have so much day light you can actually see across the city. I heard in the winter is totally opposite where you rarely ever see the sun. Now that would be weird, no sunshine for months!
This city is full of history, wherever you look you will find a museum or church. These are not ordinary buildings either they have been around for many, many years. only passed through the royal churches and visited one museum. You would probably have to be here a month just to cover the local offerings. I’m sure there are many others across Sweden.
If you happen to be around a church at 12:00 PM you will be able to hear the bells ringing. It’s especially nice if your within earshot of several churches which is easily done in Old Town. The combination of bells and chimes rings travel throughout the alleys, bouncing and creating echos. Nice.
One of the many things that makes this city unique are the surrounding waterways. Stockholm has it’s islands one way to get to them is by use of bridges. I noticed a lot tours were based on “going under” the bridge. Once again not having a clue I just picked a boat and hopped on. One thing worth mentioning the first boat I picked was a ferry and not a tour boat. It would have taken me to a distant island. I wanted a tour around Stockholm itself so I hopped off the ferry and jumped on another.
The particular boat I picked was a 24 hour ride, meaning I could hop off at any stop and get back on using the same ticket within 24 hours. That’s a really good way of getting around the major areas in Stockholm within one day. If I had known that before hand I would have done that instead of taking a taxi to different areas of town the day before.