There is another reason for not living in Gamla stan. The noise. There’s the tourists at night and the trucks in the morning. And thousands and thousands of bottles being collected. Not to forget the street washing trucks. And deliveries. The narrow alleys make them sound even louder. No, I’m never going to live in Gamla stan.
Regardless of the noise, I managed to get an awful lot of sleep, which isn’t really a surprise. I even managed to sleep in till 07:00. Unheard of!
Then this happened: I was sitting on the bed, Radio Stockholm on the Anker, reading about feathers when suddenly the front door opened. I leapt up to find a couple outside with a suitcase and surprised looks on their faces. It seemed they had the code to the door of my apartment. I suggested they had the wrong room. The guy agreed and they left. I immediately wrote to the hosts.
The thing is, I then didn’t feel safe leaving the apartment until I hit on an idea.
There are two doors in the apartment, one to the bathroom, the other to the bedroom and they use the same key. It was easy enough to lock both doors and take the key with me. I like to think I’m quite resourceful.
I heard back from the host who told me that I was the only one with the code and showed me the log which indicated I was the only person to use it. Anyway, once I’d locked both doors, I felt fine to go outside.
I started off with a wander through the streets and up to the Nobel Museum where I headed down towards the royal palace and to an ice cream at Kungsträdgården where, I was lucky enough to watch, a brass band marching down the street. Behind the band was a whole bunch of people dressed in the blue uniform of the palace guards.
A lot of people dashed to the side of the road to watch them march by, the band helping them keep in time. It was an unexpected delight.
As well as wandering, today saw me spend a lot of time taking public transport. I also saw a vintage tram but, sadly, I was on the wrong side of the tram stop to take it.
While I missed that one, I did catch a modern tram down to the Viennese place we used to go to. The same guy was running it. I ordered a räksallad and the usual Rebel, a Czech beer. The salad wasn’t what I’d call the best of its kind but the beer, as usual, was strong and refreshing. Interestingly, they were also serving fiskasoppa. I would have thought it too hot for soup but people were ordering it.
It was while I was sat eating my lunch that I noticed a young girl (about 12) get all scared because a couple of sparrows were threatening her. At least that’s what her reaction sounded like. To be fair, her parents didn’t make a fuss so, eventually, she stopped being so silly. I really wanted to ask what she thought the sparrows were going to do to her.
I then walked back, passing Grona lund, which was alive with shrieks as massive machines threw people hither and thither, for reasons beyond my advanced age. I went all the way down to the waters edge so I could get a ferry.
And, while I was waiting, Clara, the ferry I took quite a few times, docked to take people to Nacka Strand.
I took the ferry to Nybroplan, where I hopped aboard a bus to T-Centralen. From there I took a walk along Drottninggatan, a pedestrianised shopping street next to Åhléns.
It was all very leisurely. I was merely reacquainting myself with the city. I had thought of going to an exhibition but, after a while, I just figured I’d wander around. After all, when I get back from Uppsala, I’ll have time for art.
Of course, by this time, I knew I had to take the Metro because it was the last kind of public transport to use. Though it was only one stop, it was a delight to have gone full circle.
I had a bit of a rest in the apartment before heading out for a few pre-bed drinks. I discovered Neon IPA at a nearby bar. It’s a refreshing little beer but, at 6% you only need a couple. It’s brewed at Nya Carnegiebryggeriet in Stockholm, so very local.
I then took a spin around a few blocks before retiring for a bit of Rita. Then bed. Tomorrow, Tierp.