Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Day in Stockholm

When I arrived in Stockholm three nights ago, I was so exhausted from traveling nonstop for two and a half weeks, the plane rides, and the bus-to-train-to-train rides to get to my hostel on the beautiful island of LĂ„ngholmen, that I mostly went straight to bed. And I stayed there for half of the next day. So I didn't venture out into the city much until yesterday, when some interesting stuff happened:

It took about an hour to walk to Gamla Stan, the old part of the city, which dates to at least the mid-13th century. I bought a sandwich and lemon flavored Italian soda, and was looking for a nice place to sit and people-watch while eating when...

12:15- Ran into the royal palace's Changing of the Guards Ceremony. This involves a military parade, with a 30 minute marching concert from a visiting military band, and lots of barking of orders and snappy turns an such. It was doubly funny to me because I did the same thing while on my way to the train station in London, roughly two weeks ago, when my mom and I accidentally ran into the Changing of the Guards at St. James' Park.

12:57- Shortly after the ceremony ended, I witnessed an American family, with 2 older-teenage daughters, arguing and being angry with each other. It sounded like they were arguing over whether to go through the museum to the gift shop or just move on to a different building in the old royal palace. This was especially sad, and interesting, because this is the first time I have seen any family arguing with each other yet on this trip. Way to represent, America.

1:00- There is something very ironic about a family with small kids getting their photo taken in front of a cannon...

4:28- Browsed a display of 100 amazing photos of European wildlife connected with an initiative to re-wild Europe. Cool!! (Like reintroducing wild horses, red deer, and primitive cows.) 

5:00- Visited the Vasa Museum, whose centerpiece is the Vasa, the massive ship that sank in Stockholm shortly into its maiden voyage in 1628. It was tediously raised from 1957-1961, 333 years later, and is an amazing example from the height of decorative shipbuilding in Europe.

7:00- While walking back through Gamla Stan, I heard the sound of a band playing coming from a street over. I was about to keep going, but turned to go listen instead once I recognized the song as the Indiana Jones theme. They played that and one more song before packing up. It was the same visiting military band from the changing of the guards this morning. They were wonderful.

7:55- Found myself subconsciously humming "I wish I was in Dixie" while walking back to my hostel on LĂ„ngholmen.

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