Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Eurotrip 2012 - Day 12 (6/26) - Stockholm

The breakfast buffet at the hotel was pretty varied and bountiful. In addition to some bacon, a couple of meatballs, and a small salami and cheese sandwich, I finally tried some yogurt with corn flakes (and some fruit) like I have seen people eating from time to time - I liked it. After eating, I left by 10. It was sprinkling a bit outside, and the rain was off and on through the afternoon.

I took the metro (a.k.a. T-Bana, I think for something like Tunnelbana, or Tunnel Road) to Gamla Stan (Old Town - apparently the name of both the metro stop and the island) and then walked to the Royal Palace. I bought a full ticket, then hit the Royal Apartments as my first of the 4 stops. Unfortunately, pictures were not allowed inside the palace.  I waited around for the English guided tour of the Royal Apartments at 11, and that lasted about 45 minutes. After walking through the apartments for a few more minutes on my own, I headed outside to catch the parade of the guards at 12:15 (which wasn't dampened by a brief sprinkle of rain). The band was still playing when I left at 12:30 to quickly walk through the nearby Storkyrkran (also known sometimes as the Stockholm Cathedral), which was a bit more impressive than I expected. I then hustled over to the Treasury (the second museum on my palace ticket) to join the 1:00 guided tour. I did not make it through the full 45 minutes (there aren't enough crown jewels for that, in my opinion) and left to check out the remaining 2 palace museums on my own. Gustav III's Museum of Antiquities had a bunch of Roman statues, so I enjoyed that more than expected. The True Kronor Museum showed the history of the castle that stood (then burned) before the palace, and I thought it was OK. I walked around the palace grounds for a little while then headed to the Nobel Museum.

The Nobel Museum is pretty small (they are going to build a bigger one to be opened in 2018) - if I had not joined the guided tour at 3 it would not have been worth it. The museum is on a square with some restaurants, so I went to one of them for a late lunch after I was done. I overlooked the rainbow flag in front of it until a guy who had been staring me down struck up a conversation with me and pointed it out. Despite being a little flustered, I needed somewhere to sit (the outdoor area was pretty full) so I joined him (Patrick) and ordered a broccoli and blue cheese pie (which wasn't that great). While I was eating the rain picked up pretty hard, but luckily it subsided before I was done.

Afterward I said goodbye to Patrick and walked over to Fjallgatan to take some pictures of the nice view. I then picked up an ice cream cone and walked to the Folkungagatan metro station. I initially planned on going to SkyView at the Ericsson Globe, but changed my mind after reasoning that I shouldn't pay money for a view that was probably less interesting (since it was farther from the city center) than the one that I had just seen for free. So instead I headed to Skansen, which is billed as the oldest and largest outdoor museum. They informed me that all the cultural buildings had closed at 5 (it was after 7), but I could still walk around and see the animals (and there would be a concert at 8). I still bought the ticket, and immediately headed for the Scandinavian animals. I didn't get to see all the animals I wanted to (some were in hiding), but I was reasonably satisfied (as much as could be expected for me in a place like that, at least) by the time I left. At the exit I was sick of walking so I bought a ticket for the tram, without realizing that I could have used my metro pass. I took the tram to Central Station (actually T-Centralen) then took the metro back to the hotel.

Observation of the day: According to one of the museum guides, this June in Stockholm had been the coldest and wettest in something like 100 years.

Bonus observation: Sunrise in Stockholm on this day was officially at 3:34 AM and sunset was at 10:09 PM, yielding 18 hours and 35 minutes of daylight.

4 comments:

  1. You know what I hate? When people use the word "totes", as in I totes thought of something to ask you today, but I forgot what it was. Anyways, I totally thought of something to ask you today, but I forgot what it was. Oh yeah, has your American credit card been working in many self service kiosk? I'm particularly interested in train station/ticket kiosk.

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    1. Funny you ask that, because I already wrote up an observation for today along those lines. But anyway... I only tried at one train ticket kiosk (the Arlanda Express, which requires a PIN) and the card did not work.

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  2. Do you know if your card is a "chip and pin" card? The chip part is important apparently.

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    1. My card does not have a chip. I was jealous of everyone else since theirs did.

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