Call of the North (18): Stockholm

July 28, 21:13

Live transmission from the deck of the ship Marinella: sunset.

Before getting here though, the highlight of the short visit in Stockholm was meeting Stefan. Very pleasant, ideal for battery-charging before the Final Call of the North. I’m sorry that I haven’t spent one more day here.

After a “recovery sleep” till 10am, loading up the previous post on the blog and preparing the luggage, I reached town by noon. Left the luggage at the central railway station – very efficient luggage storing system, like everywhere in these countries – and proceeded in taking the pulse of Gamla Stan, the Old Town (I think Gamla means old).

It’s exactly as I left it this spring, charming, with narrowissime streets,

even more tourist-crowded than last time.

Oh, but before I got to take this pictures, i went through a characteristic frustration. I forgot the SD card in the laptop, and the laptop in the luggage, and the luggage at the station. Would have been no problem had I taken the small camera with me as well, as I do ALWAYS. EXCEPT this time, when I said – nnaah, won’t take it with me, i wont do any minimovies in 2 hours. So… I had to buy a new SD card, and grunting my teeth I said – no more swedish t-shirt for me. I have one from the previous descent anyway. There also was a moment of hesitation – what if i DONT TAKE ANY PICTURES? But then I thought – I’ll get to Gondolen and will want to.

I got to Gondolen,

and wanted to.

Remembered the black roof phenomenon – trapping heat.

Laziness tax is 10 SEK to go up and down, so after doing that i strolled back to the city, endulged in a pizza and a blueberry pie, then went on to the royal palace, empty now,

where this lady was posing for something, making a very serious face.

when passing by our eyes met, and i suddenly grinned at her, she had to laugh, so the very serious photographer had to redo the picture. Content with the outcome of my actions, i moved on cheerfully.

[I’m lazy, don’t feel like getting up to pic the sunset. ok, fine, let’s do it…

This is where I’m writing.

The reflection in the window is the sunset I am seeing if i peek above the laptop screen. Like now.

I didn’t get to take a picture of the ship we are in, as they told me at the ticket office I have 7 minutes to board! So this is an identical one we met.

Stefan was saying that these people make money almost exclusively from booze, since ships are duty-free, local folks travel mostly in order to get cheap booze and have some fun.

I share the cabin with a Finn, Juha (like Juha Kankkunen), and a Russian. Donno the name of the Russian, as when I reached my hand to greet he looked weirdly at me and started mumbling something. Completely smashed.

It’s almost 22:30. We sailed a lot through the islands

till we made it into open sea.

You can already see the Åland islands, the first stop. Good night.

P.S. Lonely Planet about the Stockholm population: “(…) the population is overwhelmingly gorgeous”. And: “Known for its impeccable style and a population as conspicuously beautiful as its surroundings, Stockholm is a thoroughly attractive destination”.

If Lonely Planet says so, so it is.

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