around the world – part 28.9 (stockholm)

Stockholm - St George and Dragon

Stockholm - St George and Dragon

Beer: it’s expensive!

Taxis: also expensive!

Hotel: way expensive!

But did I mention that I absolutely loved Stockholm.  It is without a doubt one of the most photogenic cities I have had the privilege of visiting.  For those of you who have never been, a few fun facts about Stockholm:  It was founded about 750 years ago – which was a surprise to me – as I had naturally thought that almost every European city of reasonable size had been around for a dogs age – but there you have it.  It is situated on the western edge of a substantial archipelago of several dozen islands, with the urban area concentrated on 14 of them and including the mainland.

As a hanseatic league city, Stockholm prospered with seaborne trade and consequently its orientation is still very much towards the sea.   Any marine industrial activity has now largely departed the centre of Stockholm leaving plenty of marinas and a pedestrian friendly waterfront.  Thus the central core is very conducive to walking as there are generous sidewalks and bicycle paths.  My morning routine generally had me up and off for a run by 0600 – out from the hotel, past the Vaasa Museum, over the bridge and on the the Strand.  Down around the thumb facing the old town (Gamla Stan) past the Grand Hotel and then back towards the Djurgarden.  Very pleasant. 

Being somewhat conversant in German, I found that there were enough cognates that when reading signs and instructions I could generally get the gist of the message – however I don’t think I ever quite got the ear for the language. 

How to get there:

By Air:

from Munich or Frankfurt:  Lufthansa direct into Arlanda Airport and then via taxi into town.  Note Taxi’s post a fixed rate of 495 SEK from the international airport into the downtown core.

eur08 sweden 2 – 0 greece

62:10 Just got back from Kungstradgardsgatan which is absolutely packed with frenzied swedes packed tightly around a large screen.  Could pretty much hear them all the way back to the hotel.

72:22 Goal, Sweden.  I can hear the horns and roar from downtown across the water.  Fluke goal though. 

82:10 They are singing downtown.  Plenty of happy swedes tonight I predict.

86:45 Best chance for greece in the last 15 minutes or so.  Point blank from about 10 feet out from the right goal corner but no result.

93:04  Game over.

roos to you – “guilty”

When the definitive history of the trudeaupian experiment known as Canada is written some many years hence, experts will wonder how it was exactly that marsupials came to rule the country.   Largely incapable of independent thought and without opposable thumbs they were able to somehow infiltrate Canadian society and take over in little over thirty years.   Of course since they weren’t exactly capable of discernment, they only needed to learn one word – “guilty”.  They found it worked for almost every occasion.

Ezra Levant has the story.

Cartoon: Go get it

around the world – part 28.3 (lounges)

June 06 2008:

Airports are like gigantic elevators only with many more distractions.  Once inside you can’t really go anywhere, no-one smiles or makes eye contact as they shuttle rapidly between gates or out to waiting relatives.   Lounges are a subset of this culture.  Easily half of the denizens are talking on their mobiles, the remainder are munching snacks or reading all in splendid isolation from each other.   The senator lounge (which apparently did not make the world’s top ten) at munich airport is no exception.   While the cost of air travel has dropped, it is now simply  boring.   I alternate between bouts of people watching, reading and occasionally blogging. 

I am not complaining by any stretch of the imagination.  Had anyone predicted that I would in the midst of my career find myself travelling on a regular basis to Europe and beyond I would have been the first to scoff.  I am grateful always for the support of my wife and kids and the best thing about the travel is always the return home.