Day 1: Sightseeing in Stockholm

Today's Stats na, 25 sunny
Today's Route: Stockholm
Favorite Sign: Bishops Finger
Favorite Food: shrimp sandwich


Costs are per person in local currency, 1USD=7.317SEK=0.793EUR.
Hotel Infohostel booking fee25sk
Vete Katenshrimp sandwich, latte, cookie100sk
Roberts Coffee1hr internet19sk
Some BarBishops Finger beer52sk
Slussen Elevatorride up10sk
Same BarCaffreys, veggie burger150sk
Red Boatroom wo bath or bfst275

I slept better in the airline seat of the Viken ship than I thought I would. The ride was smooth and it was dark and quiet enough that I actually slept till about eight, which is much later than usual. Luckily, Swedish time is an hour behind, so it was only 7am when I ventured out into the Seaside Cafe. We had already enterred the mess of islands that makes up greater Stockholm, so there was plenty to see on the last couple hours of our ride.

I never knew that Stockholm was built on islands like this. I was quite impressed that this large cruise ship could navigate through all the islands to get us into port. Some of the passes were so narrow it seemed like the shore was only meters away on either side of the boat and we were staring into the living rooms of the little red houses that lined the way. The boat landed just short of the old town and we went down to collect our bikes.

There was no passport control here, so we were on our way and made it to the train station in no time. Two Russian guys followed us in because they were a bit concerned about how to get around without a map. But the Swedes had posted plenty of signs to point the way for us. We chained the bikes at the station and went in to inquire about a room.

We also realized we had no Swedish crowns and we didn't know what they were worth. The girl at the info center charged us six dollars to arrange accomodations, but she got us into the best hostel in town after a bit of negotiation. She also told us about a map shop across the street where we found a detailed map and the Lonely Planet book. We ran into the Russian guys there again and traded ideas about routes.

For lunch, we picked a place that is popular with Swedish grannys according to the book. That description was spot on and the shrimp sandwiches we had their turned out to be the staple for the next few days. We also walked down the main shopping street to a popular cafe where we could use the internet for a bit. I read some more about the teaching assistant position that I will have at UCDavis in the fall. I also checked into some train and bus info.

We checked into the Red Boat, which has got to be one of the funnest ideas I have seen in awhile. I have stayed into private homes, old barns, and homeless shelters, but putting a hostel on a boat just minutes away from the old town of Stockholm is a great idea. We had showers there and unpacked a bit before heading out to explore the town.

We had kinda forgotten about the fact that all the tourists sights close by five or six, so we were not able to get into the palace. We had a nice hot chocolate on the way and explored a few back alleys though. We also happened to be walking in front of the palace right at the time of the changing of the guard. I have never seen one of these ceremonies, but I must admit that I think the only thing sillier than guards standing in front of a palace, is forcing the guards to dance around and shout things at each other twice a day. I really think the king should just get some security cameras and an alarm system like everyone else. Still, it was cute to watch, I guess.


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