Saturday, June 28, 2008

I'LL TAKE SWEDEN ...!

A funny thing happened yesterday:  I woke up with a start and suddenly realized that I'd never been to Sweden.  Call it a case of Stockholm Syndrome, but I felt strangely compelled to visit a city where the sun rises at 3:00 a.m. and sets at 10:00 p.m.  And so, here I am in Stockholm, a beautiful city dating back to the 13th Century, where the old and the new blend as seamlessly as the Baltic Sea and Lake Malaren.  Stockholm is actually a series of 14 small islands, each with its own personality.  I explored most of them today on foot and by boat and it was exhilarating.  The Swedes love nature and have gone to great lengths over the centuries to keep Stockholm filled with green spaces like the Royal Park of Djurgarden, a former royal hunting preserve, and the Skansen, an "outdoor museum" featuring Swedish architecture through the ages.  The only thing I didn't experience today was the world famous Smorgasbord at the Grand Hotel.  I checked it out briefly -- long enough to see that it was basically a High-End, All-You-Can-Eat Feeding Trough -- and took a pass.  "Will you be joining us?," asked the Maitre 'd.  "I'm afraid not," I replied, "But I must say this is the largest and most impressive Smorgasbord I've ever seen ... everyone seems to be enjoying it immensely."  Frankly, judging from the looks of some of their patrons, I think they should consider moving the whole thing from the "Veranda" to the "Rotunda."  Meanwhile, as for me, I'm staying at the Hotel Rival, a boutique hotel on the Mariatorget owned by Benny Andersson of ABBA fame.  My goal for tomorrow is to get a candid photo of Benny when he least expects it ...! 

7 comments:

garnett109 said...

Enjoy, send pictures of the buxom Blondes!

deshelestraci said...

Sounds like a great day.
Traci

rdautumnsage said...

Sounds like your enjoying your little sojourn to Sweden. (Hugs)Indigo

amy122389 said...

dude....if you decide to go to Switzerland, swing by and pick me up, okay?!

~Amy

susansophia said...

Infart...ooooo...sounds painful!!!  :)~

Thanks for the post on Sweden...didn't know it was a series of islands, or about the sunrise and sunset times...which sound wonderful.  That you walked everywhere is the best!  It's my favorite way of exploring new places.  Thx for the pics.

See you soon...Susan

mereel2005 said...

I love your photos. My husband and I hope to visit Sweden one day.
Laini :)

beckiepainton said...

Thats a rather 'hello sailior' pose on that statue! beckie x