So I was in Stockholm over the weekend, mainly for a job interview, which I've talked about in friends locked posts. But apart from the interview, I had a bit of time for wandering around on Saturday morning.
I didn't manage to take the advice you guys gave me in comments, because I didn't have enough internet access to follow up suggestions and work out where all the recommended sites were.
Instead I walked across from the city centre, where I was staying, to the old part of town. Stockholm is indeed very pretty, especially with bright sunlight on snow. The old town was a cool place to wander, with lots of interesting old buildings and pretty little narrow streets and fun random bits of public art (a life-size bronze statue of a tourist goggling at the pretty old buildings, and an impressively spiky dragon being slain). I stumbled upon the old synagogue, which doesn't look like much. And I saw the changing of the guards (having previously had no idea that Stockholm even had a royal palace, let alone formal guards one could watch pratting about in dress uniform).
While fun, it was also very cold. There are lots of helpful digital displays around, so I can tell you exactly how cold: -6°C. There wasn't a lot of windchill even, but in spite of even more layers than I normally wear, it got uncomfortable to be wandering about for more than an hour or so. So in conclusion I am a complete softie! I have discovered that the temperature not getting any warmer when the sun comes up is possibly even more annoying than those climates where it doesn't get any colder at night. I woke at about dawn, saw the thermometer saying -7, and thought, that's ok, once the sun comes up it will be a decent temperature. But no, it was no more than -6 by midday. Useless northern sun!
So anyway, I scuttled into a random museum that happened to be lying around, more for the sake of the warmth than the actual content. Though the museum, which was about the archaeology of Mediaeval Stockholm
, was quite interesting too. Only about a third of the information was translated, but that was enough to give me the general idea. I also discovered I can read Mediaeval Swedish rather more easily than modern Swedish... Anyway, nice balance between actual evidence and archaeological finds, with reconstructions of scenes based on said evidence.
As I had rather expected, everyone I spoke to was perfectly fluent in English, but I felt like an idiot not even being able to manage basic tourist vocabulary. I shall have to fix that if I end up going back there. I also totally failed to find the Cathedral, which was one thing I was specifically aiming to look for...
So, my flight map
looks impressively arachnid, doesn't it? The thing is that almost all those lines represent trips in the last twelve months, which is a bit scary!
Also, I read and have put up reviews of: Vernor Vinge's A deepness in the sky
, and Anne Tyler's A patchwork planet
. Annoyingly I managed to run out of book before I got home, so the journey back was even more boring than it needed to be. I think it's because A deepness in the sky
looks like a big thick doorstep that I expected to keep me going for ages, and in fact it's such a quick read that I finished it much sooner than I expected.