Saturday, June 14, 2014

A Tribute To The Land Of Pickled Herrings... Sweden! (Part 2)

Hello again! When last we met, I had just left the beautiful town of Motala, Sweden.

I said goodbye to family and new friends and went off to Stockholm! I stayed in the best hostel ever, called City Backpackers. A clean, friendly environment with wonderfully comfortable beds and a very large breakfast, I was set. I dropped my things and hurried to Gamla Stan because, in Sweden, most things seemed to close around 8pm. And seeing as I had come in at 4pm, I had no time to lose.

Of course, because I had had such beautiful weather in Motala, I had to experience crummy weather here. But not to be deterred, I pulled out my handy dandy umbrella and wool scarf and away we went!

First photo in Stockholm

The bridge taking you to Gamla Stan.

Loved this courtyard of the noble's house

Front view of the noble's house

Honestly, this picture right here sums up the best of Stockholm: Colorful houses, interesting rooftops, and buildings close together as only a city can do.

I decided to make my way to the Parliament house and the palace.

As you can see, I was not the only one with an umbrella that day...

The wind hit just right for this shot to work. Made me happy.

Then I got startled out of my wits by a father and son tourist couple, asking where such and such was. I felt bad that they felt bad about surprising me. Ooops.

I do startle easy.

Especially when it's really quiet and I'm on my own and in photo land and then someone comes up next to me, waits, and then whispers if I could help them.

I cannot be the only one who would be startled in that situation, right?

Also, why is it that I am asked where <<na na>> (the French word for blah blah) is and it's my first time ever seeing the city/town/village/country? I don't even have a map in my hands.

It's weird...

Anyway... Stockholm Royal Palace was right behind me, but I couldn't find a way in. So I did what any normal sane person would do...I followed the guards.

With appropriate distance of course.

Especially because I realized after starting to follow their path that they had what looked to be like a wooden chest for money in their hands...

I may have had to check my camera for something at that moment. A few seconds more and then I resumed the climb up the stairs and into the courtyard!

I tried to see it, but alas, the palace closed at 5pm and I was there at 4:45pm. Found out that they weren't open on Mondays either. Made me sad.

But, after walking down a path, I found a nice cafe laden courtyard.

Love the bright colors!

 I turned around and there it was. The most beautiful building I had ever beheld. It houses the greatest thinkers of all time: The Nobel Museum.

Of course I had to go in. And I was lucky because they closed at 6pm, not 5pm. Score!

Such a cool place. 

Each of the scientists and great thinkers who won a prize have a poster that rotates around the entire building on a reconverted dry cleaner's shirt rack (also an invention that won a prize in physics I believe). If you looked up, you saw the likes of Joliot and Joliot-Curie, Marie Curie, Rutherford, Ernst, and Pauling. (I may be slightly biased on the Chemistry side of things I fear).

The goods you win if you perchance get the Nobel Prize.

And the medal in the photo above is also on the floor, 25x bigger.

Throughout you saw this light structure, which was awesome. I have no idea if it had another purpose other than looks, but it was cool.

Another shot of the hanging prize winners.

On the side of the museum is a cafe and they had one up in the air next to a mirror. I had to take a closer look and lo and behold, I recognized that signature.

Whose signature is that?

Cool! So each of these chairs have signatures under them. Makes this shot even cooler. I can just imagine the Nobel winners having coffee on their fika (coffee break).

Also, they sold chocolate Nobel Prize medallions in the gift shop. Come to find out, each person who attends a Nobel Prize ceremony goes home with a Nobel Prize, but only one person goes home with the real deal. 

I love this country!

After that I decided to get some dinner. Of course, the weather had picked up so I opted to sit inside. They even came around with wool blankets you could put on your lap if you got cold.

Inside coffee bar

Each table had a candle. Very Swedish.
But this was my favorite. A cinnamon bun!  I hadn't had one of these in a long while. It was delicious.

I went back to the hostel and the next day I returned in the morning to see if I could pick up a few souvenirs and hopefully get some sunny shots. The souvenir shops opened at 10am, so I probably worked off all the muesli walking around Gamla Stan and the environments waiting for that to happen. My flight back home wasn't until 3pm, but I had to get the bus to the airport at 12.

This time did give me a great chance to see more of the canals and the neat buildings.

I think this is a church

They had these arches leading to Gamla Stan

More of the colored buildings and canal

Shortly after the shops, it was time for me to make my way back to the bus stop and get on my way to the airport. It was there that I finally had Swedish meatballs. (Trust me, I tried to find a place to get them all over Stockholm. They were closed and I got tired.) 

And before anyone gives me any trouble, yes. Meatballs are common. And they are AMAZING. In Sweden, get them. At the airport, I got a plate of meatballs, lingonberry sauce, pickles and mashed potatoes. And odd mix, yes. But very tasty.

A few hours later, I found myself back in France and at the mercy of the RER B. But, luckily for me, my Kiwi friends were able to help me out and drop me off at my home. (L and A, you guys rocked! Thanks!)

All in all, a wonderful trip. 
Goodbye Sweden. Tack så mycket. 

Until next time,

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