Saturday, June 07, 2014

03 Walking Stockholm

Today we investigate the events of Sunday June 1st on our mini break to Stockholm.   Yesterday we ran the Stockholm Marathon,  today we can start our sightseeing.

Early to Rise!

Marcus and Agata have by now famous phrase:

We are not just here for the pleasure

By this we mean that on our holidays we might like a lie in, but really there are places to explore and things to see and do.  No time for lying around in bed!

So amazingly we got up at 08.30 and after a very quick breakfast were out by 09.30

We are sure this excellent apartment that we are renting helped our timing greatly. Everything we needed for a quick breakfast was readily to hand, unlike in a hotel when you trot down to breakfast, then back up to your room, before exiting etc.

Post Marathon Check

As you all know a Marathon is a mere forty-something kilometres.   And Marcus and Agata believe we should all be at a fitness level to do one of those without much thinking. Unfortunately Marcus's recent accident and our combined ankle/Achilles injuries made us just pause for thought

How stiff are we? - Yes quite stiff, at least on the the top of the thighs for Marcus.
Are we going to run today?  - Not a chance!
Any severe injuries? - No, no and no

Free Tour Stockholm

Since we are low on energy we thought we would take advantage of the Free Tour Stockholm.  As the name suggests it is a short guided tour which is free to us the clients.  At tour end, donations to the tour guide are encouraged.

Morning City Tour

 Nobel lecture and information

 PUB department store

Stockholm syndrome bank

 A city full of trams

But also alas, advertising, advertising

Even on the Hotel Bicycles

This fantastic park will be the location of a music festival with food, starting next week :-(

Changing of the Guard

At noon or 13:00 on a Sunday there is an elaborate Changing of the Guard ceremony.  It takes about one hour and since we had never seen it before  (in Sweden) we watched it for an hour.

Guards 1

The cobbled courtyard is cleared,  the existing guards are replaced by new ones,  in between men and women guards come in on horses, playing music.    This must be pretty difficult!

Guards 2

Lunch on the Streets

We initially stopped off for a coffee but we needed more. So we popped into a Supermarket for some healthy bites to eat and sat in one of the main shopping streets watching people pass by.   Our planned and sublime inactivity was contrasted by others frantically shopping,  tourists bustling up and down, and beggars asking for money.

In Sweden there are now many beggars especially in tourist areas.   Our tour guide indicated that many of them are Roma people originally from Romania, who now as full EC citizens have free right of passage into Sweden.

Old Town Tour

In the late afternoon we joined another /Free Stockholm Tour/, this time of the Old Town:

 Parliament building

Some nice quiet streets

 Tourist street in the old town

 Is this Agata's restaurant?

 Entrance to the Old Town

 Sweden's smallest sculpture

Our guide Ira

 St George and the Dragon

 Cannon protecting a Rune stone

Stockholm's thinnest street

Still Young at Heart
We commented that although today we had been chaperoned by two different /Free tour Stockhom/ guides we had not reached the state of the couple to Agata's left.  We saw groups of older American tourists wandering around with number stickers on their chests.  (Click to enlarge photo).  We hope that in our sunset years Agata's astonishing holiday planning powers will not be diminished and we not need to be sent out in little groups with numbers and subsequent /roll calls/ of all present and correct.  We will see!

Dinner at home
Dinner at home tonight we thought.  Our apartment is so fantastic we wanted to stay in a little more and enjoy its cosy and homely nature.

Walking Statistics Today

Free Tour Stockholm