Thursday, June 21, 2007

Cruisers 6 - Stokholm, Sweden

0128We had a great time in Stockholm. We knew there was a Hard Rock Café but since we had a tour scheduled for the afternoon we were not sure when we would make it there. Adrienne and I decided to walk into town in the morning to find it. The cruise director told us that it would be about a 15 minute walk into Old Town and we just had to follow the blue line. Sounds easy, we knew that the Hard Rock would be beyond Old Town but we figured it would be manageable. We are so stupid. It turns out that the blue line was a myth. It went until just beyond terminal and then stopped. We had followed some people that we assumed knew where they were going but we lost them and then we were on our own. We had maps (three of them) and Adrienne is very good at maps, but we still could not figure out where we were. So we stopped to ask. It turns out that we had not even made it onto the map yet. 0130We were in Old Town, but we still had quite a ways to go before we would be within striking distance of the Hard Rock. We went over another bridge (did you know that Stockholm is kind of like Venice with a lot canals and such?) and walked some more. After another half hour or so we asked a Postman for directions. He pointed us toward the right road but suggested that we might want to take the underground if we were going all the way to the Hard Rock. “All the way? How far is this place?” But since we had not changed any money in to Krona we just pressed on. Once on the right street we relaxed a little bit and stopped at a 7-11 (yep, really a 7-11) for a soda and looked for record stores. It took more than an hour and a half but we finally made it to the Hard Rock about 15 minutes before it opened. It was a beautiful sunny day and we just waited outside. Long before we got there Adrienne had decided we were going to take a taxi back to the boat and I was ready for that too. Unfortunately, we could not find a taxi. They were all full. So we walked about a half mile before we finally flagged a taxi down. I asked if he spoke English and his answer was “so so” then I asked if he took credit cards and his answer was an enthusiastic yes, so we got in. Within minutes we were back at the boat.

0133We had just enough time to eat some lunch before we left again, this time taking mommy, and boarded a smaller tour boat for a waterway tour. It was beautiful. We just sat back and our tour took us to old town, where we were able to get a picture of the hotel where we asked directions (Hotell Reisen). Our guide was cute and told us lots of nice stories and such. We saw lots of sun bathers laying on rocks and swimming in the Baltic. I can’t imagine that the water was anything but freezing, but they must like it. We also went through some locks to go from the Baltic to another bay.

Getting into and leaving the city was really spectacular. Starting at about 5:30am we entered the archipelago that leads to the city of Stockholm so there was land on all sides. We saw a little bit of it on our TV in the morning but looking directly at the front of the boat did not do it justice. Then we took the same way back out and we were able to watch all of the islands and houses and such for a few hours after dinner. It was really cool.

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