Friday, April 29, 2016

A Raw, Rainy Day in Stockholm

Thursday, 28 April, 2016:

This is the Transportation Card
that the Warriors gave me

During my first two years of coaching in EuroBall with the Catania Elephants on Italy's beautiful island of Sicily, we were given a brand new rental car to use. We had to pay for the gas which at about $9.00/gallon proved depressing.

In all of my other EuroBall stops, clubs have provided me with a Transportation Card good for any of the busses, trams and or metros that that particular city had to offer. These cars were a great way to move about town with no additional cost on my part.

The Warriors provided me with an Access card pictured above which is fantastic as it not only allows me to use the bus system in Upplands Väsby but also allows me access to the commuter train to Stockholm and, once in the Swedish capital, lets me use that city's busses and efficient underground metro system.

GREAT CARD, tack så mycket Warriors!!!

Thus armed, and having not been able to sleep all night, I left Icelandia II bright and early to take my initial trip of the year to Stockholm.

Our train station

It was a quick and easy bus ride to the station followed by a five minute wait for the next train to Stockholm. The train was packed with commuters heading in to work but the ride was smooth and took a mere 25 minutes to make the journey.

The inside of Stockholm Central Station

It was a bit bigger than the one at Upplands Väsby's.

Of note, when I used this Station's unisex bathroom at a cost of about $1.00 with about 30 of my newest Swedish friends of both sexes and I'm sure persuasions, I felt completely safe. 

The Swedes and I don't know what all of the fuss is back home over this issue.

Once relieved and out of the train station I found that it was raining steadily.

My goal was to visit the city's central area which I had not seen in our 2010 visit to this beautiful city. The rain combined with a lot of open land around the sites that I tried to visit combined with the fact that it was only 8:00 a.m. and nothing was open forced me into Plan B.

As it turns out, few museums and most stores do not open until 10:00 a.m. Most of the museums that I was interested in seeing had an 11:00 a.m. start time.

Back to the metro for a quick ride to Stockholm's oldest area, the Gamla Stan and . . .

. . . a warm, dry coffee shop

I nursed a large latte for about thirty minutes while the rain continued to disrupt my plans.

Finally, the downpour abated and my courage increased, tike to hit the road.

 One of many, many souvenir shops
on Gamla Stan's Västerlånggatan

 I walked up towards the
Royal Palace area


 One of Stockholm's great Churches

And another

Suddenly, I heard a bunch of commotion coming from back at the Royal Palace.

I had to see what all the fuss was about.


What the deuce?

I asked a policewoman what was going on and was told that this was a practice for the upcoming celebration for Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf's 70th birthday this Saturday.

So let's watch the parade

Laurie would have loved this show!

Lots of horses

I'm guessing that the riders will be
more colorfully dressed on Saturday

 The Stortorget
Stockholm's historic main square

 Every white stone on the building
on the left has meaning

The story is that each white stones stands for one of the noblemen and clergy who were beheaded in the Stockholm Bloodbath on this square over three days in 1520 by the Danish King Christian II. Current day Sweden was part of the Danish empire 500 years ago.

Interesting fountain on Stortorget

Loved it on this fountain

 And this one too

 Meanwhile, Practice #2 was starting

The security guard was snappily dressed.

They looked much better this time

 Bringing up the rear

Crowd Control

 Sabres Drawn


 Sweden's symbolic Three Crowns

The Changing of the Guard at
Kungliga Slottet

The Royal Palace has 608 rooms and the Royal Family moved here in 1754.

Definitely not a fixer-upper.


Did I mention that it was dreary?

 Time for a warm beverage
on the Stortorget

 Atmosphere and . . .

. . . maybe the BEST hot chocolate
I've ever tasted

At this point, I still had over an hour until the museum I had targeted opened so it was time to see some architecture.

 Nice Entryway Symbol

 One nice door . . .

. . . and another

 Over the top?

Alice in Wonderland store

What the . . .

Bike rusting in the rain

 Church Entry Arch


The Cookie Monster is coming to town!

I was getting colder as the drizzly
morning went on and on

 UT fans in Stockholm?

 The Nobelmuseet

Finally, at 11:00 a.m., this museum that houses all things Noble Prize related opened for business.

The Inventor of Dynamite

 Colorful Entry

Hard to see autograph

Currently, Noble Prize winners autograph and leave a message on the bottom of a chair the will soon be used in the museum's restaurant.

 Alfred Noble's Death Mask

George F. Smoot
2006 Physics Nobel Prize winner

More importantly, he has been a guest on the Big Bang Theory TV show.

The Noble Prize Award Ceremony

Strange sight in the Noblemuseet

Noble Prize winners are asked to leave behind something that symbolizes their life path to this award.

The 2009 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics winner was Oliver E. Williamson, a professor at UC Berkeley.

These are the two items he left to the museum stating, "The glove has special meaning because baseball taught me the importance of teamwork. The pipe holder was my companion when I wrote one of my major works in economics."

 And another church



 March . . .

 . . . march . . .

. . . march

Did I mention that Stockholm
is made up of 14 islands?

Swedish Flag/Pennant

Where did this come from?

Odin sporting a great helmet!


 Loading up the old crossbow


My kind of supporters

Nice House

 Even Swedish lions are nice

Carl Michael Bellman

Noted Swedish poet and, back in Camarillo, Dick Bellman's hero!

Saint Clara Church

 It was nice inside and so warm

 Time to head back to Upplands Väsby

Nils Ericson
Engineer and Builder

 Back at Stockholm Central
time to go home

At 6:00 p.m., we had a two hour meeting scheduled with the U15 team to go over the playbook.

Head Coach Thomas Andersson

Players taking notes

Still looking for more players

It was a good meeting to end a long day.


David said...

So was Odin the original Rams draft pick?

Laurie said...

Great pictures. Thanks!

George said...

Yes, in the 1942 draft when they still played in Cleveland.