Monday, 6 August 2018

Stockholm, Sweden (Götgatan 78)

Today is the day that I scheduled for a Segway tour of Stockholm’s old town (Gamla Stan). My appointment was for 10:00 a.m. and wanted to be out of the flat by 9:00 a.m. to make sure I arrived on time. I managed to leave a little after 9:00 a.m.

Along the way I stopped to buy a bottle of water. Found it great to walk when the temperature was below 70 degrees. When I arrived where the tour was starting, the guide was just getting everyone set up and showing them how to ride a Segway. I asked if I had time to use a restroom and the guide said I should have plenty of time, but their restroom was closed since the building was scheduled to be demolished. He referred me to a nearby hotel.

About 20 minutes later we were underway. We went to a nearby park and did a little more practicing before we rode over to Gamla Stan. In Gamla Stan we rode around a few of the cobble stone streets, but a couple of people on the tour had some problems. The terrain was a bit challenging.

The guide did a much better job than the last two Segway guides (Copenhagen and Gothenburg). He knew more of the city’s history and could give us additional insight about the people who lived there and significant events. Some of city’s history must have rubbed off on me for the past several days because much of what he told us was not new for me.

After the tour I found that there were only a couple of museums that I didn’t see. One was the National Gallery. Something to see the next time I visit Stockholm. I made sure that I tipped the guide before I walked to my next destination.

Before I left the flat I had purchased an online ticket to tour the Royal Palace, which was a short distance away. It was around noon when I arrived and decided to have something to eat before touring the palace. I was in the mood to have a panini and asked for a ham and cheese panini. The person waiting on me said they were out of that one, so I asked for another and they were out of that one too. Then I asked (the list of panini had about 10 variations) which ones they had available and she said there was only one, a chicken and mango panini. (This is where I’m learning how to be patient.) I said that will be fine, I’ll have the chicken and mango.

I sat in the inner courtyard of the palace and enjoyed my lunch. I had moved my table into the shade because it was getting a bit warm in the sun. I took my time eating my delicious panini and then walked over to start my tour of the palace.

My Segway tour guide said I’d be disappointed with the royal jewel collection. He had seen England’s collection while visiting his sister in London and Sweden’s was much less impressive. But I had a ticket to see it so down into the sub-basement of the palace I went. The exhibit was smaller, but there was a number of very old pieces in the collection. Actually, much older than England’s since most of theirs were destroyed by Cromwell after their civil war.

After touring the jewels I went upstairs to look at the state rooms. The palace dates from the early 1700’s and is very large. Probably one of the largest in Europe. Again, the current royal family do not live here, but a number of the past kings and queens did and their apartments were on show. The rooms are used for public events and receptions. The rooms were very well done and not too elaborate (over-the-top) as compared to some of the other palaces I’ve seen in other countries.

After walking around the palace I was done touring for the day. It was getting warm and I was tired of walking around. A nap sounded very tempting. I certainly wasn’t hungry after my lunch.

After my nap, I started to get ready for tomorrow’s flight to Oslo. Eventually I had a bite to eat and enjoyed watching a few more episodes of “The Flash” before going to bed.

Tomorrow I need to be out of the flat by 11:00 a.m. and my flight is scheduled to leave at 4:30 p.m. As a result, no need to rush – I should be able to take my time getting ready to leave Stockholm. Even though I got off to a slow start (due to the heat) visiting Stockholm, I feel that I explored enough a have a good sense of the city. Perhaps I can return when the temperatures are about 20 degrees cooler.

 To see pictures: 

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