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This morning was absolutely gorgeous! The sun was shining, it was cold but warm in the sun, it was absolute perfection! Today’s breakfast was Semla again, because why not. It’s seasonal and I was only here in Sweden for a few days, gotta embrace the food culture. On our way to breakfast I got to pet a super cute Shitzu puppy who was rather shy but she had no qualms about coming up to sniff my hand and even give me a few kisses. The place we went for breakfast was recommended by Hanna our programs coordinator; Grillska Huset . This was perfect since it was close to the Stockholm Bloodbath square. In the square the story goes that the fountains run red with blood (or did?), and that the cannon balls lodged in the buildings were from the 1600’s! I was definitely interested in finding the cannon balls and Google helped me out since we didn’t have the most time to spend looking. From here we went to seek out the narrowest alleyway in Stockholm. img_6663img_6665

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Just some random walkway in Old Town aka Gamla Stan that I enjoyed so I took this photo of it.

The main square where the blood bath and cannon balls were was only about a five minute walk away and took us towards our next destination. Talk about convenient! The alley way was as described, pretty dang narrow, I could reach my arms out and touch both of the walls comfortably. We stopped here for some photo ops as usual and moved on to the ferry from Durgarden (I believe) to Skeppsholmen for the Stockholm Museum of Modern Art.

  
   
This was really fascinating and I really enjoyed this one!! As we were short on time still we didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked but even still it was still fabulous! Plus admission was free and that’s always nice! I saw some Dali, Warhol, and many others. The first gallery was mushrooms and I’m a big fan of mushrooms on food, sauteed is the best in my book.

Andy Warhol; Ten-Foot Flowers 

  

Olle Baertling; Iru 158

Bridget Riley; Meadow 19983

Sturtevant; Rausse Peniture a Haute Tension

Francis Picabia

Sigrid Hjerten; View over Slussen

Max Ernst; Human Figure

Salvador Dali; The Enigma of Willhelm Tell 

Henri Matisse; Moroccan Landscape

Juan Gris; Landscape from Ceret

 I must confess, most art goes over my head and I appreciate it in my own way. I look for the colors first then if they catch  my eye I look more into it and read the caption that goes along with it. Some of my favorites from today were brightly colored and abstract. There was one painting that was dark purple with flowers that I really enjoyed. I’m a fan of purple as is my mom so it was fun to see, it was also huge! There were a number of other paintings that I really enjoyed, I won’t talk about them but they’ll be below with a caption of the artist’s name (tomorrow that is it’s a bit late now).

Skansen was the next part of our journey for today. We rushed over there-well at least as fast as the ferry got there& took us across the water-and made good time getting to the park. The disappointment was that when we got there all of the old town portion was closed including the glass blowing part. That was primarily the reason I wanted to go, I was a bit disappointed needless to say. I guess I’ve got a reason to go back to Stockholm now, oh darn. So while I was being grumpy over the lack of glass blowing to watch I wandered and looked at the beautiful buildings that were recreations of old Swedish buildings. In particular I really enjoyed the windmills. There was also a belfry that was quite exquisite looking! I would most definitely go back to see Skansen especially in the warmer months when more parts of it would be open.

  
  
  
 Before we headed to the Nordic museum we got some lunch at a cafe across from Skansen’s main entrance. We got the “tourist lunch” for 125 Krona, I got the salmon quiche which was tantalizingly staring me down.. I love me some salmon and quiche is pretty darn good in my book so it was the best of both worlds! The lunch also came with a salad bar with some unexpected parts of salad, I for one didn’t expect to see banana peppers & pickles but alas there they were! I’m a sucker for a good spicy banana pepper and the like so it definitely hit the spot! The bread selection was also on point, I made sure to pick out two different pieces so I could get a good sampling. Last but not least the lemonade was quite tasty as well! All in all lunch was a good success and quite yummy!

 By the time we finished lunch it was just about 2:30 and we had one last stop: the Nordic Museum. By the time we got to it we didn’t have much time left at all so I asked the woman if we could just go in to see the gift shop instead of looking at the museum and paying 100 krona I believe it was for less than 30 minutes. She was kind enough to direct us to the gift shop and let us in. Looking back I was a bit shocked, I could never quite see anything like that happening back home. The museum staff would more or less tell you to beat it but in an uh, more polite wording I suppose. The gift shop was rather nice as the rest had been, but it didn’t quite have what I would have expected but then again not having gone through the museum itself we didn’t know what to expect! Another place to add to my list for the next Stockholm trip!

  From the Nordic Museum we made our way by foot this time to catch a bus as we didn’t exactly have time to take the ferry and figure out the next step from there we just bused back. We got back to the Interhostel at about 4pm ish and had just enough time to buy tickets for the bus to the airport and make it comfortably in enough time to relax before it picked us up at the Central Station. We were literally the only three people on the bus besides the driver which was rather fun.

Now I’ve made it seem as if everything was all perfect and as amazing as it could be but there was one specific portion of this trip that I could have done without. While I do appreciate that the hostels are inexpensive they aren’t the best for, well, sleeping. The first night in Stockholm the guy on the top bunk above me left at 4am and woke me up with his moving about for about 30-40 minutes. A few hours later at 7:30 the woman and man at the end of the room were talking in their normal voices, I could hear this through my ear plugs. It was great. Anyway, besides those two instances and the added cost of bed sheets the hostel was pretty good.

Stockholm was an amazing city and I do hope ill be able to visit many more times in the future. It’s got to be my favorite city so far. Plus allll of the dogs. So many. If there were this many just taking their walks in winter I’m sure it’s a dog haven times 10 in the warmer months. I’ve got all the reasons/ excuses to go back now! Classes start up again tomorrow and I’m pretty excited to see what they’ll be like this time around! I’m loving this program so far and the amazing opportunities that I’ve been able to take advantage of like the travel and museums and the likes.

The flight back to London was quite pleasant for me, since I’m a window hog I made sure to get myself a window seat again. I sat next to a pleasant couple, we didn’t talk until the decent when we were all looking out the window and noticing the sights. I got to see the London Eye all lit up looking nice from the plane. We also saw a strange purple light that seemed to be on part of the river, none of us could place it, that’ll be a Google question later tonight! Getting through customs/ immigration was pleasant like usual, the three of us, Andrew, Eli and I went together to the same person since we were coming from the same place and going to the same place. The Tube, again as pleasant as usual, not very crowded at 11pm at night! I was a bit silly though; I always see people with luggage lay it on its side so they can just chill and sit without having to hold it, but yet here I am doing just that, holding it on its wheels. Luckily for me a nice young woman mentioned that fact and re-enlightened me to that tactic, good timing too since I had the majority of the ride left! Overall, this trip was fantastic and I loved most every second of it!
Until tomorrow when I’ll talk about my next bunch of classes and how I think they’ll go!

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