Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Swedish Adventure 2016 - Part 7 - And more!

27 April
Up, breakfast and out!  Out on the metro to Globen, and a short walk to the Ericson Globe for a ride in the pod.  Even though we are early, we have to wait an hour for "our" turn.  Each pod will take 15 people, and there are only two pods.  So we get the tickets, and then go for a drink.  Coffee for John, hot chocolate for me.  "large or small?"  I don't know why chains ask you this question, because even small is so large we both have to leave half of it in the mug.  Such a waste - grrrrrrrr!

It's time.  We are the first in the queue and we are shown into a small cinema for a film about the Globe and the adjacent arena and public spaces.  Not riveting, but there you are.  And then, on round the corner and into the pod.
 This is the view up through the roof of the pod so that you can see the curve.  This is not the ride of a lifetime, but if you like engineering, and views, it's worth a look.  The views across the city are there for the taking of course!  Below is a view as we get to the top.  Disappointed to find that it doesn't actually go right over and down the other side..... just up to the top and a stop for the views, and then back down again.  Of course, thinking about it, if it went over the other side and down, the riders would be standing on their heads, and so it would be a more complicated mechanism to turn the pod over.
 I can't solve that one, and presumably neither could the designer!  Fun ride though and I am sure that kids would love it.  Everyone in our pod did.  And if like me, you are not that keen on looking down from a great height, there is a seat in the middle so that you don't see the ground.  Anyway, here is Stockholm from the top!  We see a little box on the handrail near us inside the pod and quickly realise that it is a tiny "go pro" camera, the kind cyclists and adventurers use.  A guy has taken it out of the strap and perched it on the hand rail so that it takes a movie of the entire journey without a wobble!  Great stuff.  Mr Mac now thinks this kind of camera might be a very good idea. Mmmmmm.

We pre-planned our route for the day, and the next place to have a look at is SoFo, lauded in the guide books as an area with a Soho (London) feel.  Sadly not.  It is about 6 blocks in an area that in recent years has been taken over by trendies, but frankly, we walk a lot and find little.  There's a street market, and some food on offer, and every so often a second hand shop (whichis right on trend now in Stockholm);  and sometimes an art gallery but those were closed.  The oddest thing we find is that every so often there is a stall manned by a person or a family with personal things to sell - the equivalent to a boot sale (UK) or a yard sale (US).  We press on, seen enough and now hungry and stop when a delicious smell crosses our path.  It's a greek restaurant and we go in.  Nice food, but oddly, no humous?!  Home made bread comes to the table with a dish of pink stuff - Taramasalata? Now that I don't eat, so I ask the waitress to take that away and replace it with humous.  "We don't do humous, sorry".  Well!  so I tell her I don't like fish and she says "But it's cheese!".  Each to his own, but for us, far too salty and so we left that.  Good food, and pleasant staff.

Next stop Gamla Stan  or The Old Town.  Island of it's own, cobbled streets, the royal palace, probably the place most tourists want to see.  Interesting, couple of gift shops with not too much tat which is a pleasant surprise, and people everywhere (of course!)  In this picture some of the oldest buildings (and probably the most photographed) in Stockholm in the old town square.   We press on and find ourselves at the back gate of the royal palace just at changing of the guard. A bit of senendipity!  It's just as much a ceremony  as it is at Buckingham palace, but on a teeny weeny scale, because they change just 3 guards.  And as they march away, out of the back gate and right past us, I smile to myself as one of them is short, and is..... a woman! Yay!  equality despite height!

So, we have seen enough now, and my legs ache, so we make our way slowly back to our hotel.  In one of the back streets nearby, I spot this clock over an arch.  Odd I think, because it's on the wall of the arch which is the entry into a quite ordinary building, and I don't think it is as old as it looks.  But I rather like it.

  We stop on the way for a beer and a juice (always the equivalent of £10 in Stockholm and I guess even more in classy places), and then that's it for today.  Tomorrow, my quest for Carl Larsson may reap a result, as a wonderful bloke at hotel reception tells me there is a gallery on one of the islands that has around 24 of his watercolours permanently on show.  We can just about fit that in I think before we fly off tomorrow to Copenhagen in Denmark.