Stockholm, Loud and Proud, Sweden: 2008

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5 days in Stockolm and we have got to know the city in our own way, but also don’t feel any great attachment to it. The locals seem very nice and can speak fluent English but no-one seems to want to have a conversation or get friendly.

We have slowed down a little here, mainly due to John getting sick with a head cold and throat It is not the place to get sick in the summer, the doctors are away, like many of the town.We  discovered this, after visiting 2 hospitals,; not sure what would happen if you were in an emergency, very different from our efficient Bangkok hospital experience .


Staying at the trendy Rival Hotel, owned by Benny Andersson  from  Abba, we are in tight quarters compared to the space of Bangkok, but it has great atmosphere and Abba cds provided in the room, what more can you want!! It is an easy stroll into the old town and harbour , so the position is great and their breakfasts are wonderful.


We have wandered around the Old Town at night and in the daytime  and in the rain, it had very different qualities in the quietness of a Tuesday night to the bustling tourist crowds on a Friday to the rainy slippery, flooding pathways of Saturday, but each had its atmosphere and photo opportunities.


The water plays a large part to Stockholm, and we discovered a lovely walk along the canals to the harbour and also a boat trip around the harbour treated us to the sights from the water. Another walk, amongst the Summer Garden Houses was fantastic, there are over 100 of them, at about 100sq m plots full of flowers  and herbs and veges and quaint little miniature houses where the locals set up their outdoor furniture to enjoy the sun and tend to their gardens, John was dying to get his hands dirty and do some gardening.


The only part of the holiday that we left to book whilst travelling fell flat on us, the train we were to catch to Oslo, was booked out, so after booking an overnight train trip, we have decided to fly instead, 1 hour flight arriving 10.30 am to compared to 6 hours train arriving 4.30am, we decided a sleep in a comfy bed was much better than on a train and also we would miss out on the views we were hoping to see by train as it was at night.


We were treated on out last day to the Europride 08 parade, an annual gay, loud and proud day. Our Mardi Gras is supreme to this, but all participants were having a great fun time in the rain and parading through the streets. We didn’t have a prime viewing position as we didn’t want to wait for 4 hours , but we caught up with the parade and got into the spirit with the rest of Stockholm.


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