So with the start of the week, begins a new start of my journey, basically, I’m finally going to be heading out of Stockholm later today. Stockholm is a great city, but I’ve been here one day longer than I expected that I’d be here, and now I’m moving on. I leave for Lund at four today and arrive in Berlin at 6 tomorrow morning. I was even able to book a room, so everything seems to be working out… I doubt that I’ll be writing anything else to the blog until at least tomorrow, which probably isn’t too bad of a thing since I haven’t really written about anything special yet. which probably isn’t too bad of a thing since I haven’t really written about anything special yet.
Sun 25/07/10 09:06
So today I took off to explore about 7 or 8 this morning. It was cold and rainy, more like misty than rain, but it was wet. I usually don’t like the cold, but I can say that I really enjoyed the lack of tourists on the streets. Actually it’s Sunday, so there is a good chance that there wouldn’t have been many people on the streets regardless of the weather. I don’t know how far I actually walked but it has to be somewhere in the area of twelve miles, long enough that I’m sore right now.
I took a lot of photos, and to be honest I thought that I’d have a bunch to show, but when I got back to the hostel and actually looked at all of them, there really wasn’t that many good ones.
I went on a boat tour around Stockholm and some of the photos from the water are from that.
So it’s my third day here and to be honest, I’m ready to leave. I think I’ve seen all the touristy things that I can see, it’s rainy and cold, and I’m itching to move on. I haven’t made up my mind about Stockholm just yet, but I’m thinking that this will probably be my last time here. There’s something nice about it, but there really isn’t anything special about it. I’ve been all over the tourist part of the city and everything I’ve seen here, I’ve seen in other cities, and in some of the other cities they just do it a little bit better. If it’s architecture, St. Petersburg has got it hands down, and for livability, Helsinki, Paris, or anyone of a number of other cities beat Stockholm.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not dissin’ on Stockholm, the people are nice, and there is lots to see, but I think that this city is more for living than for visiting. Having said all that I am ready to leave, but have one more night and then I have to try to find someplace to go to.
Today I’m really at a loss of things to do, the weather is cold and rainy (like I mentioned) and I’ve seen much of the city, as I’ve also mentioned, so what to do? What to do?
Sat 24/07/10 09:38
Today I started by going to the bus station to try to get a ride out of Stockholm. Unfortunately my expectations that there would be dozens of choices to exit Stockholm for Berlin either by bus or by train was quickly squashed. I guess it’s not as big destination as I thought I even went to a travel agency that was supposed to be the exclusive ticket provider for the main bus company in Europe, and they were closed. I ended up extending my stay in Stockholm for at least a day or until I can find a bus somewhere in the direction of Germany.
After all the bus stuff was finished, I started to go exploring more of Stockholm. I began on the street that I mentioned in an earlier post. The street makes for a good starting point because it starts where my hostel is located and ends at the parliament building about 2 or three miles away. From the parliament building I kind of just wandered around, mostly following the groups of people. My first stop was to watch the changing of the guard. It’s always an interesting thing to see. The Swedes do a whole parade complete with a marching band as they make their way into the courtyard where the actual ceremony takes place. Unfortunately there were so many people that I wasn’t able to see most of the ceremony. It was kind of funny too, because at one point I was at the front of most of the people, and as the time got closer, I was somehow slowly pushed back. Seems to happen way too often to me.
From there I headed across a canal and into another touristy area. It was very similar to the other street, but not as many people. I stopped to take a break in this one center area, and in marches about 30 guys with flags. I didn’t know what they were doing but it was definitely some sort of protest. They lined up on both sides of the center and just stood there. Eventually the police showed up but no riot happened, at least while I was there.
It was starting to rain by the time I realized that there wasn’t going to be any excitement between the police and the protestors, so I decided to start making my way back to the hostel. I stopped at several places to take some pictures, but to be honest there really isn’t a lot to photograph. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of really beautiful buildings, but in most of the situations, they are hard to get a good photo of.
So where do I begin? It’s been a few days since I’ve had a chance to write anything. The first problem was that the internet was down at the hostel in Helsinki, and then I was on the ferry without Internet, and finally once I got to Stockholm I was just too burned out to write. So now with a few hours of sleep under my belt, and internet at my access, I have the urge to write.
I spent most of Thursday just wandering the streets of Helsinki waiting for the chance to board the ferry to Stockholm. Helsinki isn’t very big and most of the touristy things are located in the same part of the town, and since I’d spent the last two days seeing them, the third day was a little bit of a lost day. I don’t know if that’s the right thing to say, because I enjoyed myself, it was just that I didn’t see anything new, in fact I just went back to some of the places that I went earlier. Had coffee at the café overlooking the harbor, explored the church on the rock (see pics from my first post from Helsinki), and went to the Esplanade and ended in a park reading my book.
Now it doesn’t happen very often anymore that I get so excited that I can’t stop smiling, but when I boarded the ship for the trip to Stockholm I was all grins. There was something about it, maybe since it’s the first time as an adult that I’ve been on a ship that big, I don’t know, but just like a kid I explored it, from top to bottom, and for bow to stern. So cool.
The ticket that I bought was a plain ticket with no cabin or bed, so I was on my own on finding a place to sleep. No problems though I’m pretty flexible when it comes to sleeping arrangements. I had planned on sleeping on the top deck under the stars, but at about 9pm the captain kicked us off. To be honest is was pretty cold and very windy, I doubt that I would have enjoyed myself if I had been able to stick to my plan. It did though kind of make it hard for me to find a place to “set up camp” because most of the rest of the ship was full. So I hung out on a bench for about 4 hours until most of the people were gone and then decided to walk around a little bit. I don’t know why but it seems as if I almost forgot about the rest of the ship, the bars, casinos, and stores. It wasn’t long before I was being warmed up with a pint and a shot.
I woke up at six in the morning on a bench with my backpack as a pillow. I slept fairly well considering that people kept standing over me looking out the window. There is something kind of unnerving about waking up with people milling around you. I had been hanging out with an Aussie that was about four benches over and he was going through the same thing. When I think about it, the people that were looking out the windows were probably just as annoyed with me as I was with them.
We got into Stockholm around 930 and I was at the hostel by about 11. The hostel wasn’t ready for me to check in so I took off down the street. The street that the hostel is on is pretty cool. They’ve closed it off to vehicles and only allow pedestrians. The street goes for about 3 miles and makes for a fun walk, though it does become a little bit crowded.