I do love a tram

I was a bit concerned with our trip into the city today because of the long Metro portion of the trip. Then I discovered, what I thought was the Metro was, in fact, a tram. Obviously this put me in a much better frame of mind, both for my own selfish love of trams, and the fact that Mirinda prefers being above ground on any journey.

Stockholm tram (Tvärbanan) line 30 goes from Sikla to Solna (and vice versa), through both scenic and not so scenic parts of the city. It is a lovely long journey, running for 18.94 km with 26 stops. Even if you are travelling from Gullmarsplan to Sundbyberg, it’s still a very enjoyable journey.

The reason we were going to Sundbyberg was to visit the Migration Agency to have our photos and fingerprints taken for our residency cards. As I wrote yesterday, it was all a bit rushed and sudden.

Fortunately, Malin was free to take the girls (otherwise they’d have been stuck in the house), which meant they had a couple of lovely walks while we enjoyed the hottest day in Stockholm this year.

The temperature was 23°, the sun was bright and the sky very, very blue. I even wore my French artist’s hat and neither of us put on the fleeces we had tied around our waists. We’ve been acclimatized to the chilly since October so today was a bit of a weather shock to our systems.

Of course, we were early, given the rather long buffer we put in place. The Migration Agency gives you a ten minute window and, if you don’t make it, you lose it. So we thought it wise to not just get there early but also to scope out the office and determine what we were to do.

The office is currently on pandemic rules which means there were crowds of people on the pavement outside and hardly any on the chairs inside. Having seen it, we then headed down to a handy café for a beer and coffee.

Eatery is a number of things. It operates an order and pay system at the door for food whereby you pick your meal then go and collect it at the food counter down the back. Here you can find salads and vegetables and bread to go with it. The food looks like good no fuss fare. And it seems to be quite popular with most of the outside tables taken and quite a steady stream of people inside.

As well as an eatery, you can just have a drink. Which we did. I was going to try one of the tempting cannoli sat in a glass jar on the bar but the barmaid was a bit distracted so I didn’t bother. Probably for the best. Besides, cannoli and IPA doesn’t really work.

Anyway, at the appropriate time, we returned to the Migration Agency and, after a bit of indecision regarding whether we should stay outside or enter, we entered, flashing our appointment details at the security guard who just waved us through.

I missed the touch screen for registering our arrival but, fortunately Mirinda found it. She punched in our code and the big screens placed us at the bottom of a long list. We sat down, prepared for a long wait. We didn’t have a long wait.

Suddenly, our code turned green and climbed the long list, reaching the top very quickly. We headed for the counter and were processed within the ten minutes. We were back outside before we knew it and heading back to the tram stop for the enjoyable trip back to Gullmarsplan.

As we headed back, it, not for the first time, made me wonder why people drive cars when they could enjoy such a wonderful way to be transported around a city. Then I remembered that the people who drive the cars are, basically, responsible for the lack of good public transport infrastructure simply because they choose to drive cars.

It’s sad, because our trip was largely stress free while the cars on the road appeared to be full of stress as they avoided pedestrians, trams, buses and other cars, while negotiating the roads and looking at their phones. Humans can be a bit odd sometimes.

At Gullmarsplan we were gifted with the experience of a young man pushing in to a very long queue for the 807 bus back home. Clearly someone who feels they have some sort of privilege that I was unaware of. He was followed by a little kid who just decided he didn’t want to wait for his elders to take seats first.

We really needed a Viking to haul them both back, dumping them at the end of the queue.

You have to wonder why these people are so ignorant. And maybe that’s why people drive cars everywhere because they can’t abide the rude little bastards that push in and claim the seats rather than stand up for the old, infirm and, frankly, more attractive, like they should.

That aside, the whole day was a joy of efficiency, sun and tram rides.

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