Stockholm, Monday

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Monday, 4 November 2013

The plane arrived in Stockholm at 6:43, ahead of schedule and ahead of sunrise. A whole day to be out and about. Too bad I never sleep well on planes; I’m in pretty bad shape. But outdoors is the right place to be, as long as my eyes will stay open.

Took the train into town, found my hotel, which had no rooms available at the ungodly early hour of 8 AM. Scrounged what I needed from my luggage, left the remainder at the hotel, and went out to rediscover the city. It has been several years since I have been here, and I remind myself of things I know about but that have faded a bit. I take wrong turnings, but I’m only a little bit off where I ought to be; I turn a corner and see something and say, “Oh, right!”

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For example, the bronze above is the princess as nearby George savages the dragon.  She’s such a wimp, I don’t know why George bothers, myself.

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Here’s an old wellhead, the weighted pump handle designed so that a team member on the opposite site could synchronize the pumping action and not get out of step. (I figured that out myself: pretty clever of me, right? Pretty clever of them, too.)

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A nice day, but crisp. Streets wet from overnight rain, and it may rain again this afternoon or evening. Meanwhile, everyone’s out enjoying!

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My meetings later this week are at the old Munich Brewery, now a convention centre (I hope they still have beer!), so I wandered over to have a look. Here’s the view back across the water to a sunny corner of Gamla Stan, the old town. Very nice.

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Lack of sleep was catching up with me. Back to the hotel, which still had no rooms available. Sat in the lobby, connected to wi-fi, did some work for a while and napped.

At noon, I went out and bought a week-long subway pass, and rode to Kista, where I met Elmar. He had arranged to take the afternoon off; we went to Täby, where he lives. After he changed clothes, we drove to a nearby lake, which we walked around. Only 5 or 8 km, but nice to be out.

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The country reminds me a lot of the area around Ottawa, both because of the geology and the  vegetation, but also because of the autumnal scenes that are taking over the landscape. Nice, nice, nice.

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And even though this isn’t Canada, there are beavers here. This tree was weakened enough by beavers that it became a safety hazard by the trail and had to be cut down.

The sun goes down early here; we went back to Elmar’s where I crashed for an hour or so of much-needed sleep. When Antonia got home, she  very kindly prepared an outstanding dinner, very artistically presented, complete with hausgemachte Apfelstrudel!

Konstantin (age 4 1/2), is learning some English along with German and Swedish. He got a considerable amount of practice as we spent the evening playing games around his age group. For some reason, I couldn’t win the games aimed at age groups 4+, but I did win games whose age group targets were 3+ and 2+. What does that tell you?

It was a fairly early evening; I was turning into a pumpkin. Elmar drove me as far as the Mörby Centrum T-bana station, where I caught a train. Back to the hotel in the just beginning overnight rain, where they finally did have a room for me. Nice not to have to sleep on the lobby floor.

Great day!

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