So, I’m traveling with my friend in Sweden and it’s has been an education for this no-so-much of a world traveler. I’ve been to Germany, France, and S. Korea thanks to my US Army career soldier son. Now don’t get me wrong, if it’s Caribbean, I’m all over it, but castles and cobblestone never called my name. Till now.
Just like she assured me, almost everyone in Sweden speaks English as well as I do and when they don’t, I resort to hand signals or
thank them politely and move on to the next unsuspecting national. They are just like their reputation that precedes them, very polite and most definitely neutral. Neutral in the colors they wear, neutral with their opinions, and neutral with their judgements. At least so far.
The Swedes drive on the right side of the road just like we Americans do. I like the way they think and it’s a good thing or I’d be taking a train instead of driving a rental car. Stockholm is a mixture of the old and new, the old yellow and orange buildings with beautiful trimming (how’s that for a professional architectural appraisal?) and the newer stark Ikea lines (they did invent it, right?) in the more modern day fashion. I vote for the old. Until I try and squeeze me and my oversized luggage into one of those tiny elevators with the scissor type doors. They’re barely bigger than an oversized coffin and they try to trick you with mirrors all the way around. Good thing I do the hair and makeup before I hit the elevator or I’d scare myself to death.
The Swede’s lives were built around the water, canals, lakes, and the Baltic Sea. The Archipelago Islands stretch from Stockholm into the Baltic Sea and vacation homes dot the shorelines.
We came back from the trip tired and hungry, stopped into a dockside restaurant, and had a meal of halibut fit for a king. Did I say, “king?” You’ll never believe what happened next.
We walked outside to catch a bus only to find that they had all been shut down for the evening as the Royal Family was getting ready to ride by in horse drawn carriages. Yep, that’s right, I got to finally put my Princess Diana wave in action, and so I did and guess what? She waved back! That’s right, turns out we’re tight like that.
Not bad for a couple of rookie travelers that tend to pack too much into a day. We ended our five day stay in Stockholm, rented a car, and headed to Gavle, a town that sits alongside the Baltic Sea. We will see what we can dig up on my friend’s Swedish ancestors while we’re here. Her grandfather was from this town and our first stop will be the Archives in the morning. Maybe it will turn out he was a king. Stay tuned.