We took the underground into Stockholm today. It was a 10 minute walk through pretty suburban streets to the station, the sad thing we’ve noticed all through Sweden is that although it is very clean, no litter and neat grass, there is graffiti everywhere (in this middle class area it was even on the rocks and trees) it’s not even artistic graffiti it’s just scruffy ‘tagging’.
We bought a pre-payment card at the suggestion of the man in the booth at the station and topped it up to give us enough money for two trips each.
We got onto a train carriage along with two guards. We’d been on the train 10 minutes when we were treated to some entertainment. The train doors were just shutting as a man carrying fishing equipment tried to jump on the train, the doors shut on him and the guards pushed him out then the doors opened again and the guards jumped off the train, grabbed hold of the poor unsuspecting man and frog marched him off. I’m sure that wasn’t quite how he’d expected his day to go, what bad luck to jump on to the carriage which held the guards!
The journey into Stockholm went smoothly until we got to T Centralum. I thought I remembered where the Tourist Information was but couldn’t find the one in the station (it turns out we were in the wrong station, we should have been looking in the bus station!).
We wandered round and round trying to find the place and eventually found another one where we bought Hop On Hop Off bus tickets because we thought it would be a nice lazy way to see the city sights.
Before we left the station I decided to go and have my hair dyed, the hairdresser looked very professional but went off and left me with the junior who took an age to do it, then when I thought she’d finished she put another colour on (our theory is that she was trying to disguise the fact that she’d used the wrong colour). Darren came back three times before I was finally ready but the end result looked great!
I was very keen to go to a Vegan restaurant called Hermans which makes a superb hot and cold buffet and scrumptious cakes.
I’d been there last year with my friend Debbie, we had discovered it on the second to last day we were in Stockholm but we enjoyed the food there so much that we went back twice.
Once again I thought I knew where it was but my memory seems to have been a little hazy. We came to a junction, one road went straight ahead and the other went up the hill, unfortunately I chose to go up the hill. Wrong! It was definitely a case of ‘Oh, ye’ll take the high road and I’ll take the low road and I’ll get to Herman’s afore ye!’
We had a nice tour of the little streets, in the baking hot sun, until I recognised the road that we wanted……. on the other side of the road…….. unfortunately it was down a lot of steps across the road and up a corresponding amount of steps on the other side.
The doorway to Herman’s is at street level but then you have to go down a load of steps to basement level, all that climbing must have burned off some calories in lieu of our meal.
Luckily Herman’s wasn’t too busy when we arrived and we spent a very nice hour eating and making plans for the next day, one of which was to come back for lunch tomorrow, and we had a gorgeous pudding.
We had decided to catch the Hop On, Hop Off bus after lunch and do the city tour then do the same on the boat. There was a bus stop near to Herman’s and we set off with high hopes of finding it.
We assume that due to the roadworks that were going on in the area the stop had been moved because we never did find it. We finally gave up and walked to the docks where the next stop was supposed to be.
We stood at that bus stop for ages, we were beginning to wonder whether the buses actually existed, three Scandinavia Red Bus Tours appeared while we were there which was strange because they weren’t advertised at all at the Tourist Information office.
After a very long wait our bus eventually arrived. Trust us to buy tickets for a ‘duff’ bus.
We sat upstairs three rows from the front until the people in front of us got off and a HUGE man sat in front of me (he was not only extremely tall but also very round) and I couldn’t see anything in front of us so we moved to the other side of the bus along with the people who’d been sitting at the front of the bus. They’d been sharing the earphones because one of the sockets didn’t work and we had the same problem in our new seat but it was very romantic sharing earphones.
We enjoyed the tour of the city, it gave our feet a rest and showed us places we probably wouldn’t have seen.
We had planned our trip so that we could get off at the stop for the boat tour and we heard the people in front of us ask the driver where they needed to get off so Darren asked them whether we could follow them.
We had a nice chat with the lady, they had both sounded American but the lady was actually Swedish but lived in California and was over visiting friends and family. We carried on chatting as we walked to the boat, she was very excited to hear that we were going to be travelling for such a long time.
We took the boat tour, it was lovely seeing Stockholm from the water, we discovered that someone had painted a crane to look like a giraffe what a brilliant idea.
As we started to near our stop the steward starting collecting all the seat cushions up, we’d been wondering why the boat was virtually empty, apparently it was the last trip of the day. We cut that a bit fine.
We caught the underground back to the campsite, a friendly guard came up to us in the station when we were bumbling around by the ticket machine looking gormless (an expression that features a lot on our faces at the moment) and gave us a lot of help and information on how the tickets work, he also helped us top up our ticket for the next day.
Once we got back to the area we were staying in we found a different route back to the campsite which took us through a little park, along by the lake and past the marina.
On the whole it was a very pretty walk, the only downside was the ‘tagging’ on every possible surface.