Notes on Stockholm

5
Jun
2011

As we get ready to bid adieu to Stockholm, I have collected a few random notes about the city we have come to love during our short stay here.

Churches – None of them are all that much to write home about, and many of them are closed to visitors, and it makes me wonder. Perhaps this is because we are in a culture for whom the church isnt so important (as it is in Catholic countries, for example). And I notice that almost all the churches we have been in have an interesting sort of square-cross, more egalitarian seeming floor-plan than the Catholic basilicas.

Light – Good god, it never gets dark! The darkest time is around midnight or so, after which it gets light again!

Pricey – As you have no doubt realized from previous posts, Sweden is a very expensive country to visit. Everything is about 2-3 times the amount we would pay in New York.

Walking sticks – Bizarrely, there are very many people walking around with two canes or walking sticks. Is this some hangover from that nordic track exercise fad? A government program? A conspiracy?

Crosswalks – As in Gothenburg, cars will stop at almost any crosswalk if they see people approaching. It is so civilized, you can just walk across the street. (Unlike some cities in the US where they will totally mow you down)

Bald and plaid – At least out at the gay clubs, there are a ton of guys who are both bald and wearing plaid. So much so, that we were sure we had stumbled onto a cult of some sort.

Winter – We are almost in summer of course, and the weather has been perfect, but we can’t help but wonder what winter must be like here, when the days are only a few hours long and the cold (and sometimes snow) is everywhere. From the stories we have been told from the locals, it must be quite awful, and a full accounting of the city should probably take that into account.

Drink – As with elsewhere in Sweden, there are some strange laws pertaining to alchohol, so there are no bars around, only restaurants with bars (or bars with restaurants). Add to that the fact that they tax according to alcohol content, and you can see why no one seems to buy anything harder than a beer.

Beer – That said, the average alcohol content of beer here seems higher than in the US, as Josh and I were almost always drunk after only one. But this could also have something to do with the fact that we have been eating so much less because it is so pricey, and a beer on an empty stomach is bound to have more of an effect than normal.