Team Barnaby arrived on May 29 to scout out Stockholm and prepare for the Voyagers.
Several of the Toppers at Sea arrived throughout the day. It was a good day to arrive. Clear and warm (enough) for late May in Sweden. Nothing like sun to push one past the jet lag.
The subway and bus system is extensive and efficient. We purchased a 72-hour transportation card that also gains entrance to museums and sites.
First stop Gamla Stan (old town) and the shop-lined medieval streets (think small). An attractive first stop in the area, so a bit “gift shop” heavy, but also a sense of how one interacted within an old city. The primary money exchange shops were closed (bank holiday?), but we exchanged money at a shop to set us on our way. Sweden is reputed to be expensive for meals, but lunch for four ran SEK282 or about $US42. Not large meal, but comparable to lunch in the States.
The Royal Palace is a glimpse of European monarchy transforming to a modern setting and a major tourist stop with buses galore. A most impressive collection of tapestries, which we don’t see up-close too often. The changing of the guard proved quite formal and included three different uniformed sets of guard and a marching band. No shots fired, but lots of photos.
After a jet-lag induced power nap, we headed to the Stockholm City Hall area. Outside the subway station we met the fruit seller hawking bananas, mangoes and other fruits. Strawberries were our weakness and SEK25 ( US$4.50) had us a container of Belgium strawberries. A subway ride and neighborhood walk later, we arrived at Riddarfjardin to eat the strawberries. The high latitude, late sun provided views of kayakers, sailboats, and other private boats tied along Norr Malarstrand. Sodermalm lay south, rising higher than central Stockholm. We scoped out the starting points for river cruises that we plan to try on Saturday. We ended up on Drottinggaten, a long pedestrian street lined with shops and restaurants and a night-life-primed crowd. A vibrant buzz in the urban air.
We returned to Kungsholmen area and a pizza joint (US$10 a pie). They were to close at 9 pm so our 8:40 arrival complicated closing. We opted take out to wrap up the day. The owner seemed grateful.
Close out this abbreviated first day in Stockholm. Tomorrow… Toppers at Sea kicks into gear.
Note… to all my Swedish-speaking friends. The place-names are missing several marks. Sorry.