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The life and times of james Hart: his family, his music, life in Luton and his occasional escapes onto the internet.

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Wednesday, 14 September 2005


While surfing the internet, Beth discovered some reasonably inexpensive flights to and from Stockholm with Ryanair so we booked me a 'day trip' there!

OK, so I had to rise at ten-to-five in the morning (the day after the end of my last night shift; I'm not sure my body clock's back in sync yet!) and didn't get home until after midnight, but wow - what a day inbetween.

Petrol station queueI walked to the airport (one of the benefits of living where we do!); it was a quarter past five in the morning, but there was already a queue outside the petrol station! Panic buying 24 hours a day... who'd have thought?

So, after a quick dash through the check-in followed by the traditional tedious wait, off I went - it was a fairly uneventful flight, on the standard Boeing 737 type of plane.

Airport coachThe coach at the far end to take me 80km to the capital was smooth and swift - Greenline could learn a lot about new vehicles, air-conditioning, comfort and customer service (especially since I only knew one word of Swedish!) - and I found myself in the centre of Stockholm before I knew it.

Wow - what a place. It's almost impossible to compare with anywhere I've been before, although the closest I've managed is Bristol, which has a fair amount of water around it, too. That said, though, as I reflect on the calmness, the antiquity and the ease of travelling from place to place (I spent the whole day finding my way around on foot, although the public transport seemed excellent), it's a world apart from any large British town - or any capital city for that matter!

I made a point of visiting the old town (Gamla Stan) where I chanced upon the procession of the King and Queen out of the Royal Palace to the opening of parliament. In fact, I thought I was watching the changing of the guards when the small crowd of people assembled behind a rope barrier started clapping. I had noted that a couple of students had been carrying out surveys with those gathered around, so I asked them "Who's that?" As one does.

To cut a long story short, I covered a good portion of the city on foot, chancing across the Swedish national public radio and television broadcasters on my way out east to the lofty Kaknästornet.

Once I'd had my fill of the wonderful aerial view of Stockholm, I returned to town via the nearby National Museum of Science and Technology, and a supermarket to buy some treats for the children (it's OK - I didn't buy them saltlakrits... ew!) and it wasn't long after that the coach took me back to the airport (there is only one coach, so it was critical that I caught it!)

I certainly wasn't the only person taking a day-trip - there were a few faces I recognised on the return journey to the tiny, yet (as with so many things in Sweden) perfectly formed Västerås Airport. In fact, I could even have saved myself a couple of hundred Kronors by walking to the nearby town of Västerås, which seems quite pretty from the webcam image (even though it's a bit old!)

I took plenty of photos while I was over there - and I have finally succumbed, and signed up for a Flickr account - all of the lovely Stockholm photos I took with a 'proper' digital camera are on there (see below for a preview!)


I arrived home just after midnight, having enjoyed chatting to two other day-trip travellers on the return flight (it always makes time go so much more quickly!) and went straight to bed, footsore and achey but having enjoyed my trip to the beautiful city of Stockholm!

Link of the day:

  • www.vectorpark.com - simple yet beautiful vector-based moving art. Isn't this what the internet is all about? Essentially pointless, but so creative...

Posted by james at September 14, 2005 10:34 AM

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