1st Morning of 3rd Week in STOCKHOLM



And on the first morning of the third week, I awoke feeling…okay I think. A succinct sentence scrolled across my mind’s eye, ‘Only 28 more mornings until you wake up in that huge bed on 13th Street….’ Gone in a flash though.

Stockholm. Best Western Hotel Bentleys on Drottninggaten. I am quite good at picking hotels it seems, while I’m sure there will be the exception, this one is practically perfect for the price. Prime location for Central Train Station and the busy shopping/strolling street of Drottninggaten and just over $100. Building very old and room very tiny but cute and clean and cozy and comfy…how’s that for the 4 c’s of good hotels for the single traveler? So there I see I’ve reached my alliteration quota for this post.



I just succumbed to, what is for me, the trauma of the ‘breakfast included with room’ decision. Not liking food in the morning is only a problem if you can have free food—usually from a very bountiful buffet—in the morning in a place where everything you eat for the rest of the day will be very expensive. I brought a slightly oniony lefse/crepe/thin pancake with a whipped butter/sour cream and sharp marmalade back to my room. It was actually very tasty and now I can live on yogurt the rest of the day.

This morning is for resting. Hauled my heavy bags about a kilometer (said a person on the street though I thought it was more like two miles) from the train to the hotel after the not-so-charming ride over from Oslo on the ‘fast train.’ I expected more from the train than was reasonable I suppose. It is fast and it is the smoothest ride you can possibly imagine in any vehicle of any kind—zero turbulence might be a good description. On the downside it was packed with lots of weekend kids and dogs so it wasn’t exactly glamorous or luxurious. But I had a nice wine and the miles whisked by.

The guilt of not spending every possible minute roaming around Stockholm, surely one of the world’s most beautiful cities, is great. I’m will take a walk or two but otherwise it’s my room, reading, writing and resting for the four great picturesque historic new-to-me cities where I must spend every minute gazing, admiring, capturing the wonders of Riga, Minsk, St. Petersburg and Moscow. So grand and gorgeous Stockholm, please forgive me for being a bad visitor this time, next time I will fall into full appreciation mode the minute I arrive and gorge on your glorious green and stately presence.

There are a few mundane but slightly interesting observations and experiences to share now. Dedicated to those most interested in the topic at hand.

MARSHA and SCOTT. Travel Wardrobe. Scott, included you in this section because it will begin as a paean to REI. So much of what I am wearing and carrying is straight from there, both bags and clothes and so far each item is perfect, exactly what I hoped for…even better. They make me feel beautiful and young and intelligent and happy…No, wait, I went a bit overboard there…but they are holding up extremely well.

The devil in the details part. Marsha, I think I have found the ideal bag/purse. I know that is one of your goals in life, most women’s probably, and here it is. Sherpani. Black, lightweight, long strap to go over opposite shoulder, other straps so it can double as a rather dainty little backpack but they disappear perfectly when you’re using it as a purse, elegant lining, good pockets. Quick order one. It will solve most of life’s problems.

I may as well finish up this pre-shower post with clothes info. Seriously this is good stuff to know for anyone traveling. So every single item of clothing comes from REI, Nordstrom’s, Costco OR Bender’s of Grand Rapids. For the first time ever I seem to have brought the right amount. Four pants and tops for country or city or trains and one amazing black fleece pants and top for all chilly times on ferries or hiking the Mongolian countryside. Oh, and that shiny black sophisticated-looking down jacket (REI of course) for all seasons.



Finally a tribute to Benders, Grand Rapids, and my years of happy shoe buying…especially this year when I had those lovely gift certificates (thank you Marsha) with which to indulge in the perfect city/walking/finding-the-loo-in-the-middle-of-the-night-on-the-train shoes.

It is almost 11am, time to do a small walk before coming back to share more vital information about luggage and budget and strength and Joie de vivre.

I am getting so much better at selfies.



3 Comments on “1st Morning of 3rd Week in STOCKHOLM

  1. Very interesting write-up Marj which reminded me of my own RT trip by train from Stockholm to Oslo, almost 15 years ago when I decided to visit and learn about Oslo’s dance scene while meeting with Swedish Presenters. Whereas I had visited several times Stockholm where I first stayed for a one-Summer month long internship when I was 20 years old and thanks to a grant from the Rotary Club, I was happy to get a taste of Oslo where I had the opportunity to return last December for the ICE Hot 2014 dance platform. Talking about some of your upcoming cities and thanks again to my passion for dance, I first visited fabulous St. Petersburg in the early nineties to meet a potential Dance Presenter while meeting with another one in Moscow, taking the overnight train from the capital city to the imperial one which reminded me of Venice, instantly transporting me to some scenes of David Lean’s film “Dr. Zhivago”! In St.In St.Petersburg, don;t miss the Ermitage Museum, Pouchkine’s home and St. Isaac’s Cathedral, all 3 within walking distances from each other. That week-long trip brought ELISA MONTE DANCE a 2-week long tour of Russia, from St. Petersburg to Vladivostock (yes indeed!) via Moscow, Iaroslav and a couple more cities….. And wait till you get to Riga which I first visited 2 years ago as part of a 10-day long tour of the 3 Baltic countries by AILEY II: try and visit the Russian style architecture Opera House, don’t miss the streets with the Art Nouveau architecture and if you have some time, there is the nearby seaside town of Jurmalla which you can easily reach by train in about 30 mns, also reminding you of the countryside streets seen in the film Dr. Zhivago! As you know, one eats borscht soup and beef Stroganoff a lot in Russia, both accompanied by/made with sour cream (called smitane in Russian language) which makes me go and prepare a 60-minute gourmet recipe from a 1985 edition of the NY Times with , andlean pork meat, the Hungarian famous paprika spice, strips of red peppers, some onions, a bit of white wine, heavy and sour creams, all served above white rice: yummy indeed and even tastier when reheated a couple of days later! Wishing you safe trips and delicious meals and, MERCI a la DANSE !

  2. I don’t think much about clothes, as you must have noticed by now. Boscov’s on sale….inexpensive shirts, shoes from Schuyler (he always gets me just what I need) and Lee jeans…used to be Levis, but they changed the cut. However, If I ever get to do extensive traveling I will surely ask you for traveling clothes advice. Do they really let dogs ride on the trains? Do they have to buy a ticket?

    • Yes, Marj is becoming an expert on best clothes and shoes to wear when traveling far, light and for many weeks: will certainly remember to call on her if I do the same kind if trip one day!

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