Bikes, archipelago, royalty

I am writing from the living room of my second airbnb.  From the couch eight floors up I can see all of Stockholm.  The photos you will see were all taken yesterday (Sept 8).  I managed to accidentally sneak on a boat trip through the archipelago and to the royal castle– another royal castle different from the other one.  The royals actually live at this one.  It’s confusing.  Yesterday I rode a bike my host lent me all day.  It is a really great way to see the city– you miss too much when you’re underground in the subway!  I am not meant to go long without riding a bike.  While it doesn’t quite compare to the Netherlands and certainly not to Copenhagen, Stockholm has amazing bike infrastructure!  Lots and lots of buffered bike lanes and lots ans lots of completely separated bike lanes.

I met two women on the boat.  They were about my age and were from Utah and Seattle.  They have been traveling like crazy and told me that they average 12 miles a day walking!  It was nice to see someone from the Pacific Northwest.  We both agreed that Swedes talk about the weather even more than pacific northwesterners– and that’s saying a lot.  Speaking of weather, it’s cold!  Coming from 95 degrees to 65 degrees has been a bit of a shock.  It feels like very crisp fall weather though, and I love fall!

My host calls me “the archeologist” because I’m so interested in humans and the way they live.  I’m pretty sure that’s not the completely correct term for what I am, but I dig it.  I saw an American movie last night just to observe the differences in American versus Swedish humor.  While I don’t have enough data to be conclusive, I observed that Swedes laugh pretty hard at humor dealing with sex and at mild slap stick humor.  The pop culture references in this movie — there were many — were completely lost.  Crickets.  Very interesting.  I now also know a number of Swedish cuss words from watching the subtitles.

Today I am taking a free bus to IKEA to see what a Swedish Ikea is like.  This may sound really lame to most of you, but you just don’t understand my love for IKEA.   I hope they still have ice cream.  I will really miss my IKEA partner, Kiel.  This bus takes people to and from one of the two IKEAs every hour on the hour from the city center from 10am to 7pm.  Pretty serious stuff!

Tomorrow I’m going to the town of Uppsala to visit the country’s oldest university — Uppsala University.  I’ll be there until Satuday morning.  Maybe I’ll find some college kids and pretend I’m not almost 30!

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My new American friends took a picture of me in front of the castle!

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Ooo lala!

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This is inappropriate.

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You go girl!

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These geese are not Canadian.

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This sign is for real.  What do you think is going on behind that door?!

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Peace, love, and patchouli

Portland Pollyanna

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