Saturday, August 4, 2012

Stockholm in a day

Free City Tour

We had decided after our talks with Gitte to spend 5 nights in a little town high up in Norway and as a consequence had to cut back our visit to Stockholm in Sweden to 2 nights (1 day). So this meant packing in a lot of stuff in a short amount of time, so what did we do? we found two walking tours. The picture is of our city tour group, I am not in it because I offered to take the picture so our guide could be in it (mu haha (evil laugh)).

Nobel Prizes awarded here
The first walking tour was of the new town where we were taken around to the major stops of historical or contemporary significance, such as the spot (commemorated by plaque) where Prime Minister Olof Palme was assassinated in 1986. One of my favourites was the Stockholm Concert Hall, the place where the majority of the Nobel Prizes are awarded. Alfred Nobel was the inventor of dynamite (very rich) and apparently became concerned (after reading an obituary of himself when wrongly thought killed) at how he would be portrayed when he did die. So he instigated a set of awards including the Peace Prize. The walking tour people are really good at setting the mood and telling a yarn (their tips depend on it).

How many good luck
charms do I have to rub
to win lotto?

Also fascinating was the story of the origins of the Stockholm Syndrome. In 1973 a bank robbery went wrong and a hostage crisis ensued that lasted several days, during which the police made some really stupid decisions (like letting the bank robber's friend out of jail and into the bank). Afterwards most of the hostages sided with the robbers, saying they were more afraid of the police. An urban legend says that one of the bank robbers married one of the hostages (might be true).

The dragon is Denmark
they have a love/hate

The new section was full of such old buildings that I was really looking forward to old town. The buildings and atmosphere of old town were like a step back to the 1500's with cobblestone streets and included Stockholm Palace. We also took a river cruise which skirted around the amazing royal park. Stockholm is very green in more ways than one and it is surrounded by many beautiful and large park areas. Stockholm in one day came across as very peaceful, atmospheric and historical. It was a pleasure to meet you.

Elizabeth was getting tired of my Grizzly Adams look but we did not want to spring for a hairdresser. So me after Elizabeth with her first haircutting attempt and beard trimming all with a little pair of nail scissors.

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