Nov 28, 2012 - Miscellaneous    No Comments

Cruising along

Days seem to fly by here during the week. It’s mostly due to the fact that work is insanely busy and I honestly come home around 6:30 most days. Work is a simple 5 minute walk to the apartment which is part of the problem. If I had to hop on the metro every day it would be a different approach.

I am slowly getting sick of my routine of waking up at 6:55 (thank you alarm), having a shower, eating my cereal (two bowls every day as I am starving all the time … blame my tapeworm), watching Discovery channel (seems to be the only interesting thing on) program and in this case Dirty Jobs is on starting at 7:15 am. I then meet my colleague downstairs at 8 am exactly and then walk to work. It’s beginning to be too routine. I am on the back-end of the trip with 3.5 weeks to go so I should just enjoy it I guess.

Funny story to leave you for today. When I was coming back from the city centre in Stockholm on Sunday (I didn’t post as I was tired) in the train, I smelled some earthly products all of a sudden. Now, on a subway you see lots of things. For example, right before getting on my last train I saw a guy with a fridge on a dolly. Something you wouldn’t expect but that is what I saw. Anyway ….

I looked up and saw these two guys with pieces of sod on top of some orange/pink slabs. I assumed they were coming back from university or something like that and just chalked it up to one of those strange things you see on a train.

Well, later that night I was watching the news (ok, I look at the pictures and try and pick up words in Swedish) and saw that the old AIK football stadium (soccer for you North Americans) was being torn down and people were allowed to take things for 2-3 hours on Sunday before demolition. So it suddenly dawned on me that these guys had cut up some sod from the football stadium and the slabs were seats from the stadium! Who would have guessed!!

Here is the picture I took surreptitiously while these guys were on the train.



Nov 25, 2012 - Miscellaneous    No Comments

Skeppsholmen and Djurgarden World Tour

I must admit. I shouldn’t be staying up so late. It caused me to miss my planned adventure today as I couldn’t get my rear end in gear fast enough to make a 12:00 tour down in the city. I was planning on going on an archipelago tour but missed it by about 7-8 minutes which I suppose is my own fault.

So I was standing here wondering what to do on a gloomy overcast day. Well I decided to just go somewhere I hadn’t been before so I headed east past the National Museum (which is still on my list to see). I eventually got to the island of Skeppsholmen which was an army base for one of the kings and is now an assortment of museums and a hotel. I continued walking and eventually got to the next small island called Kastellholmen. This island was a citadel overlooking the entrance of the Baltic Sea into Stockholm and over 200 years was blown up once, rebuilt, exploded again due to fire and then finally rebuilt the way it looks now.

From there I walked around and took some nice pictures of the water between the island of Kastellholmen and Djurgarden where Skansen is located.

I had planned on walking around elsewhere but there are water taxis moving around this area and my fancy transit pass paid itself off again and I scanned my way on to the bus across to Djurgarden. From the side I was on, I just saw the amusement park which is closed at this time of year. I kept walking past it and saw the entrance to Skansen. Skansen was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era. It’s pretty cool to be honest. All the buildings (less three) are original buildings that Hazelius dismantled and built back up on this plot of land (which is huge by the way). There are native animals to Sweden as well living in the area which was interesting. You can see below some of the pictures I took on this journey and it was a lot of fun.

One video that I took that made me laugh was a bear getting rid of an itch. He actually did his front the first time which I didn’t get (maybe for PG reasons).



In the end, it worked out to be quite a good day. It sucks it gets so dark at 3pm or so but that is life in Sweden at this time of year. The best part is how the sun stays up for 18 hours in the summer I am sure so this is short-term pain.

The last picture is a shot of Sergels Torg at night which is one of the main plazas near the T-Centralen (main train station). It’s all decked out in Xmas colours and the pictures don’t do it justice. I walked around for a bit and of course saw more shops etc to see which I am planning on doing on Sunday. I am finding that the time is ticking away on my desire to see everything so I am having these long 7-9 hour days trying to soak things up.

Snow is forecast next week finally so it will be interesting to see how different everything looks when that happens.

The decision for Sunday is whether to go on the archipelago tour + hockey game or archipelago tour + shopping  + F1 race at 5pm. I think the latter will win as I can’t wait to see the F1 race and I will have at least 3 more times to go to a hockey game.

Chat later.

Nov 22, 2012 - Miscellaneous    No Comments

The Siren

Every morning I get a present from the citizens of Stockholm. It’s not their famous chocolate, coffee or even their amazing water out of the tap (it’s unbelievably smooth to the point I can’t describe it). It’s a siren.

The siren is for the office building under construction across the street from the apartment. Apparently it’s for the deaf workers who are unable to see what time it is to start.  (ok, I jest). The worse part is that it can be started anywhere from 6:40 to 7:00am. I think they are supposed to start at 7am but apparently the bylaw officers don’t care.

The closest I can come to describing the sound is the start of an air raid siren. In fact, I think that is exactly the sound. The worst part is that the guys work 7 days a week.

Oh well. It could be worse.

Today was pretty much the same. I went for a 5.5 km run through a neighbourhood nearby. It was kind of cool to see the houses people have albeit it was pitch dark.

Still trying to figure out where I am going this weekend. There are still some cool day trips to check out and the Xmas stalls apparently start soon with the local artists pawning their creations.

I am getting wordy …. a parting picture of some Swedish policemen outside the Swedish parliament a few weeks ago. What caught my eye is the Hero HD camera mounted to the helmet of the office on the left. Pretty cool.

Nov 20, 2012 - Miscellaneous    No Comments

Long day at the office

Pretty tired today for no other reason then it was a long day at the office. I was a bit frustrated today so I went for a run a way I have never gone yet. The route was pretty hilly but it was pretty nice going through the trees and stuff and everything is all lit up so I felt pretty safe.

I took a route across one of the highways on the superwide path paved and its really smooth. A couple of guys passed me that were using the dryland trainers for cross country skiing. They sure whizzed by me but struggled going up the hills. :-)

Not much else to say but good night! Another day another dollar tomorrow.

Quick view of the office I worked out of today to try and get some quiet time in.


Nov 19, 2012 - Miscellaneous    No Comments

Monday – 2 weeks into trip

Just a quick note that I have officially been here for 2 weeks. I can honestly say it doesn’t feel that long but yet I get a strange feeling of normality with my weekday ritual of  getting up, go for a quick run, eat breakfast (cereal always), watch Dirty Jobs in Swedish (still funny) and leave by 8am. Arrive at work within 5 minutes (I am that close), get cup of water (Stockholm’s water quality is off the chart good right out of the tap as per any guide-book about the country) and answer emails from the day/night before.

I definitely look forward to the weekends where I can wander around freely.

Trip ideas and suggestions are welcome. I am looking at doing a day trip to Helsinki within the next few weeks. Funny to even consider that. Return ticket price? $140 all in. Crazy cheap.