Sunday, February 1, 2015


Despite the snowstorm that was today, my corridor mate from South Korea, Sam, and I went to Stockholm for the day. We took the SJ train from central station to Stockholm and it took about 40 minutes and cost 81 krona one way. We left early in the morning, because it's a also a 40 minute walk from Rackarbergsgatan to Uppsala central station. The train was very easy to take and the Swedish countryside was beautiful, all covered in snow.

We went on a free walking tour that was about 2 hours long and very interesting. We walked through the shopping district, which is called the Queen's Street, named after Christina who was actually not queen for very long, because Sweden was Protestant at the time and she converted to Catholics and got kicked out of her country. She ended up going to Rome and is buried in the Vatican. The oldest H&M along with three others are on that street. I ended up buying water proof boots, like many Swedish girls wear! 

The tour also took us to PUB which, despite its name, is actually a department store, the first in Sweden. PUB is simply the initials of its founder. Greta Garbo worked there and starred in a swimsuit commercial. She was later picked up on and went to holly wood to become a movie star. She ended her career at age 36, but lived in Manhattan until she died at age 84. You can read about her here: 

Close to PUB is the Swedish concert hall, the blue building. It is here that five of the Nobel Peace Prizes are given out every year on December 10th. The statue is of Orpheus playing his harp and one of the muses apparently wears the face of Mozart. We tried several doors, but the building was locked.

We also stopped by the place where the prime minister was killed. He was a very hated man and he and his wife couldn't contact their body guard and decided to walk home one night from the cinema. Turing a corner, they were both shot. His wife survived and identified a known drug addict as the shooter, who confused on his death bed (but he was also a notorious liar). The murderer remains unknown, but whoever finds him will get a reward of 5 million dollars. 

At the red building, in the 1900s, two robbers entered the bank and held up several hostages. One of the hostages, a young woman, called the prime minister and asked him to pardon the two men, who said no, he couldn't do that. The conversation was recorded and it sounds like a girl arguing with her dad about dating a bad boy biker dude. She ended up being the maid of honor at one of the robber's weddings. Her case has been made forever famous, psychologically known as Stockholm Syndrome. 

We ended the tour at the park which contains an ice skating rink and is across the bridge from the royal palace. We watched the changing of the guard and got to hear some Swedish drum-and-trumpet beats and learned what they mean in the Swedish army. It was very cool. When I go back to Stockholm, I hope to see the inside of the Royal Palace. There's a total of 600 rooms! 

Since most of the museums closed early on Sunday, Sam and I decided to go to the Modern Art Museum. Most modern art I look at and think "I don't get it. What's the point of that? I could have made that? Moving on." However, some of it was very cool and I took lots of pictures. I do greatly appreciate art. 

One cool part was Design S which had models of different houses in Stockholm. It also had a bright green room called the ArtDesk which has workshops for kids where they can do arts and crafts. 

Sam and I got hungry, so we ate at the first McDonald's in Sweden. Did you know that Sweden got a Micky D's before Great Britain? Well, it did! We also sang songs to the movie Frozen...let the storm rage on! 

After dinner, we took the train back to Uppsala. It was a very long and cold day. Hopefully, next time the weather will be better. 

That concludes my first trip to Stockholm, Sweden. What an adventure. 

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