Saturday, November 12, 2011

Claire and Stockholm

November 12th
Stockholm is a capital city built on islands connected by ferries and spanning bridges.  This provides great views in many directions.  Plus you get to see a lot of boats!

View of one island from a different island!
Note the little monkey Darwin on the rudder!
I love boats!
But the best part of Stockholm is Claire!  Claire is the daughter of some dear friends, and she is also one of my ol’ FALA students.  She is now an AFS student in Stockholm, but you would never know she isn’t Swedish herself!  I met Claire just outside the metro station in the middle of the afternoon.  It wasn’t long before it was dark though, so these pictures that look like 9 pm are mostly between 4 and 5 pm!  It was sooooo great to visit with Claire – a true highlight of our entire trip!

Claire, aka Swedish girl, in Wayne's Coffee
We walked through the newer part of town, and Claire took me to Wayne's Coffee, her favorite coffee place.  We had the best Chai Latte's I've ever had as well as a Swedish roll - not too sugary and I tasted cardamon - called a Bulle.  Who needs Starbucks when you can have Wayne's?

Then Claire took me on a tour of the Gamla Stan, old town.  We got our picture taken by St. Nicholas.  They had several trees up in the open squares, and some of the streets already had Christmas lights.

Claire and I with St. Nick
Then Claire took me to the narrowest street in all of Sweden.  It had stairs going down the hill toward the water.

Claire in the smallest street in Sweden
Claire also took me to "Castle Hill", the top of this small island, where there is a square known for the Stockholm Bloodbath of 1520.  I read the wikipedia information on this historic event entrenched in Swedish and Danish history, but I can't fairly summarize it for you with my limited understanding.  I can unfortunately visualize Claire's description of the blood pouring down the streets from the top of the hill!

We walked back to the metro station so Claire could go to her Swedish family's home in the north part of Stockholm, and I headed back to the hotel.  I tried to take one last photo of the two of us!

Self-portrait of Claire and Mindy
Thanks, Claire, for the great tour - and mostly for just getting to see your smiling face!  Enjoy the rest of your year in Sweden - and don't forget to get me the recipe for Bulle!

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