MY STOCKHOLM VIEW.
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.