Taking Stock(holm) of Sweden

The last leg of our whirlwind tour of Scandinavia brought us to Stockholm. With roughly 10 million people, Sweden has about twice the population of either Norway or Denmark. It’s about the same population as Portugal, even though Portugal is quite a bit smaller in terms of land mass. Sweden is roughly twice the physical size of Great Britain, or just slightly larger than the state of California. Sweden is the fifth largest country in Europe, but has one of the lowest population densities. More than half of Sweden is covered by forest. The rest must be covered in Swedes I suppose.

These are our first views of Sweden from the air. In April, Stockholm averages 10.5 celsius (51°) for the high and 2.7 celsius (37°) for the low, so while it’s not unusual to see snow there, even the coldest months (January and February) have an average high just above freezing, so it’s not like you’re experiencing the same weather as the North Pole, which is just north of Krakow I think. Because, y’know, they’re Polish. I hate that I had to add that.

Once again we are warmly greeted by a Scandinavian city with a nice welcome sign. We weren’t sure what to make of Stockholm having nitless possibilities, however. Does that mean they have rampant head lice and being nitless is just a possibility? Whatever is going on, I think it has to do with all the hats. And I can’t even begin to understand “mitless connectivity.” I think it means they don’t need mitts indoors when they’re working on their computers? I guess when you have a cold country you promote what you can.

It’s obvious from just this picture that Swedish hat hair makes for a beautiful home for nits and the subsequent lice. If I were a nit, I’d happily spend the rest of my days just lounging around in that mop. I guess I am a nitwit sometimes sure, but never just a nit.

We put on our big boy and girl panties and used public transportation to get into Stockholm. Then we Google Mapped our walk to the hotel address. We were more than a little shocked to see the state of the hotel. No wonder they advertised great views!

Just kiddin’. That was right next door to our hotel though. They were actively tearing it down as we walked by; we kept a lookout in case a big chunk of concrete came raining down on our heads. The above is the view from our hotel room. We never did see the Northern Lights on this trip, but this deep red sky was pretty impressive in its own right. Sailors were delighted that evening!

Here we are ready to explore the city. That hat is from Christiania, the commune in Copenhagen, Denmark. The three dots represent the three “i’s” in Christiania. Combine that with our four-eyed faces, there are eleven eyes in this picture!

One of the things we like to do in some cities is start our visit with a ride on the Hop On Hop Off bus, or its equivalent. That way we get to see the whole city in one shot, and we can pick out the things we want to come back and see later, or of course just hop off right then and there (I don’t think you have to hop, at least, we’ve never been yelled at for being hopless).

In the case of Stockholm, because it consists of about 30,000 (!) islands and has 57 bridges and 96 beaches, I guess the fact that they have a Hop On Hop Off boat should be no big surprise. What we were surprised about is that the boat tour is only about an hour long, and pretty much everywhere it went (one big circle) it wouldn’t have been all that far for us to walk, so it wasn’t as necessary as we thought. Still, it allowed us to take all those pictures of Stockholm from the water.

As with many European cities, bikes are a big thing here. That is, until there is a massive pileup and all the riders scatter to the wind, as obviously happened in this place. I didn’t see any blood, though, so I think most of them made it out alive.

Who knew that bridges wore nylons?

Eh? What’s that? Oh. I guess they’re pylons not nylons. Nevermind. However, at the minimum, I’m willing to bet this is the first time you’ve ever seen pylons under a Swedish bridge, am I right? Don’t tell me BaldSasquatch.com doesn’t improve your life!

Anyway, I just thought it looked kinda cool, so there you have it.

I hid from Carolyn during our walk next to the Nordstrom River, which must be famous for its nice shopping. Eh? What’s that? It’s not Nordstroms? It’s Norrström? Oh. Well, anyway, Norrström is one of the shortest rivers in Europe, and one of the very few whose name rhymes with a department store while at the same time having an “ö” in its name, even if we have no idea what the dots do. We’re all about exclusivity here at BaldSasquatch.

Time for a snack break! Actually, this is a picture of one of our normal meals-on-the-road. Certainly we go to restaurants, but the truth is, much of the reason we were able to retire early is that we save our pennies by not eating out a lot. And that carries through to our travels. Obviously food is an important component of getting to know any culture, and we eat our share, but we don’t make it the focal point of our visit. Note that we do have some Swedish sweets there in the mix. The Swedes seem to be cuckoo for licorice. The way they offer it is very, very yummy.

In addition, one can learn a lot by going to foreign grocery stores. For some reason I enjoy visiting grocery stores almost everywhere we go. And that’s where you can find some interesting and different foodstuffs. In this case, I saw a display of these toothpaste-looking tubes but with pictures of meat on them. I figured it was possibly very meaty toothpaste, or meat glue, or just something really disgusting. So I bought one. It was actually pretty good, you just squeeze out all that protein goodness on a cracker or a shoe and you’re ready to roll! Besides, who can resist a name like SkinkOst? I just hope it really wasn’t meat glue.

The name of this statue is A Man Adjusting His Glasses While Holding a Newspaper and There’s Nothing Else To It So Take Your Need For Artistic Symbolism Elsewhere You Capitalist Pig! At least I think that’s what the plaque said.


This alley shocked me because there’s not nearly enough room to walk side-by-side with my honeybun while holding hands. So what good is it? They ought to just fill it up with SkinkOst, which I’m sure will harden to a bricklike state, and be done with this skinny-alleyed nonsense.

We’ll close this portion of our Stockholm Syndrome- er, tour, with an assortment of Doors of the Day. For those of you who haven’t followed this blog closely for seven years (I mean, who hasn’t?), Carolyn loves doors. So during our first visit to Europe, I finished every day’s blog post with a Door of the Day photo. Now I just take pictures of them when I hear her squealing in delight, and post them randomly. Anyway, there were quite a few in Stockholm, so I put them all together in one gallery, other than the above shot of one with big knockers.

And we’ll finish with this last one below, which was funny because it locked out all the has-beens. We figured we qualified, but still, we couldn’t find the key. Maybe we’re not has-beens after all!

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