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
PROTECT THE KING!!!
One of Stockholm's great Churches
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
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
Sweden's symbolic Three Crowns
The Changing of the Guard at
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?
Finally, at 11:00 a.m., this museum that houses all things Noble Prize related opened for business.
The Inventor of Dynamite
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?
Where did this come from?
Odin sporting a great helmet!
Loading up the old crossbow
My kind of supporters
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
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.