Tuesday, September 19, 2017

if it's Tuesday, this must be Stockholm

I had a brief moment of weariness, rolling my suitcase down the ramp from the ferry to the metro station, in search of a working ATM and a wifi connection that would tell me the exchange rate.
Goodbye, euro zone, hello, krone!

Cobblestones are hard on wheels, and on your feet.

Fortunately, I was quickly distracted. Stockholm is a knockout.

In every direction, another exquisite building or archway or bridge.

My hotel is across the street from the Nobel Museum and around the corner from the Royal Palace. Location, location, location.

My room's adorable too.
 On every corner, there are bakeries with hearty bread and tempting pastries.

And glass (aka glacé = ice cream!) This morning it was warm enough to consider a cone. By afternoon, a chill swept through Gamla Stan.

Fall has arrived. All the people I meet, when they hear I'm from California, apologize about the weather. But today was clear and good for walking, after yesterday's downpour in Riga. After the terrible storm on the ferry, where I fled from the sauna in the front of the boat as 3 meter waves crashed into us.
Are the Swedes the happiest people so far? Stockholm is by far the biggest city I've been in, with a population of nearly 1 million. Stockholm has an undeniable energy and vibrancy. 

The architecture on a grand scale says "we were a wealthy kingdom, and now we're a prosperous democracy." In that regard, it reminds me of Vienna. As with all the stops on this happiness tour, I wish I had more time here. But I'll make the most of it tomorrow.