Good evening folks. Our good friend Seraquel is on the scene in Stockholm and has agreed to share his experiences leading up to the Avalanche games this weekend with us. Enjoy day two!
Today sightseeing was on the agenda; we started out by figuring out how the public transport system works here. Whilst there are taxis and Ubers available, the public transport system is pretty good. It’s a mix of trams, subway trains, buses and boats. We worked out that getting a 72 hour travel card so we could go anywhere anytime using any of the means was the simplest and best option for us; we bought that at a subway station. They do have a SL-journey app for smartphones as well which includes the ability to buy single journey tickets and has a convenient subway map.
Travelcards in hand, we set off for ‘Gamla Stan’ which translates as ‘old town’ and thats just what it is – the oldest part of Stockholm. Founded around 1250 by Birger Jarl the oldest part of Gamla Stan is called Ridderholmen and is an island all on its own; in fact, Stockholm is built upon 16 islands and there is certainly a lot of water around us.
Our next stop was the parliament building followed by the Royal palace. We happened to time this correctly and caught the Changing of the Guards ceremony. We were later informed that this was a ‘small’ one and that there would be a bigger ceremony on Saturday featuring a military band which, depending on how things fall, we might catch on Saturday. It was at this ceremony I spotted the first Avalanche clad fan of the day!
After the ceremony we decided to take a tour of the royal palace; this was awesome. I’ve visited a few different palaces across Europe, including Buckingham Palace, and I have to say this was the best one yet. The access granted was great and we saw some of the best rooms in the palace. This is even considering that the Swedish King was in residence, in fact earlier in the day some of the rooms we were saw had been out of bounds for visitors as the king held a reception for some new ambassadors there – pretty cool.
After the royal apartments we took the winding steps down into a vault of the Royal Treasury to view the Crown Jewels. No pictures were allowed down there, some of the valuables they had were almost 600 years old – the detail and craftsmanship were amazing.
Next we headed across the river to the Grand Hotel, which just so happened to be where the Avalanche players are staying. We loitered for about 15 minutes but didn’t spot any. There was a group of what could be fans hanging around, but none of them had any hockey gear from the avalanche or senators on so I could be wrong about that, My better half did remark that they were loitering with intent though.
After this we went to a local burger chain shop for a bite to eat, wandered around some shopping malls looking for Avs or NHL gear, but we couldn’t find anywhere that sold it and our phones were running low on power so we decided to head back to the hotel for a break, which turned into a bit of a long one so we skipped visiting the Globen arena today as well, it will definitely be the first thing we do tomorrow though.
Tomorrow is game day, so it will have a lot more Avalanche content, I promise.
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Awesome, now I’m wishing I had motivated to go. Thanks again to Seraquel and more on the morrow of course.