Well I’m in Stockholm now, and after a hectic morning trying to find a place to stay I got settled into a hostel about 15 minutes away from the old town, Gamla Stan, by foot. The hostel is clean, but it’s terribly quiet and you’re not allowed to drink inside, which takes away from the social atmosphere of hostels that I enjoy. Still, it’s clean, there’s a kitchen, and they have free coffee.
Anyways, after I got settled in I wandered around the old town. The architecture is so nice! I seriously think that just about every single building in the old town is impressive. I spent a few hours admiring the buildings and went into one free museum that ended up being a museum about currency. They had currency from all throughout history and from all over the world, including a $100US that was printed in Fishkill! After the museum I wandered around the Royal courtyards, but they weren’t that impressive. The guards all had giant machine guns with bayonets though, that was a sight. After that I wandered around the more modern city center, which was just a lot of shopping and a lot of people. OH, yeah. Everywhere is so crowded. I mean, I expect there to be a lot of people in capital cities during peak tourism season, but there were so many it was tough to move at points. That wasn’t very enjoyable. Also, Stockholm is all about 7-Eleven. 7-Eleven in Stockholm is like Starbucks in NYC. Okay, maybe not that bad, but I was surprised to see one, let alone a billion.
After wandering around for a few hours I came back to the hostel and took care of some stuff online (woo, free wifi!), then I got to talking with this Candian girl, Mira, and we ended up going to a bar with a German girl named Julia. That was in what Lonely Planet calls the “alternative culture” part of town. It wasn’t very alternative…American Apparel, H&M, and other big name shops were all over the place. The bar was decent though, but we left pretty early. There were so many cops out – 3 vans just outside the one bar. There are also tons throughout the city. It doesn’t make any sense. I know cops are “supposed to make us safe,” but seeing a high police presence just makes me more anxious and nervous (though, I’ve never been big on The Man).
Today I got up and wandered around again. I saw some of the places I didn’t see yesterday, and went into a free museum on Theatre and Dance. I tried to find a statue of a boy staring at the moon because Caroline told me to look for it, but then it started to downpour and I gave up. I grabbed some lunch, then walked to the Kulturhuset (Culture House), and checked out some of the things they had there. There are a couple of galleries, some models of the city, a medieval museum, and plenty of other stuff. After wandering around for a few more hours and being fed up with the weather I came back to the hostel. I don’t know what my plans are for this evening, but I may just take it easy.
At any rate, I’m off to Amsterdam tomorrow afternoon. Updates from there!
Also! Be prepared for a special photo update coming shortly!