Posts Tagged ‘Stockholm’

Stockholm

November 17, 2014

Monday, 17 November 2014

As always, getting from home to Stockholm was a superb approximation of sheer physical torture, but as always I made it. Very little sleep for well over 24 hours. Colleague Joel was on the same flight from Newark. It landed at 7:30, and we had a meeting at 9:30, so we took a taxi direct from the airport to Kista. Gray, cloudy day. We passed a thermometer somewhere that said +5 (degrees C, that would be), which is within 2 or 3 degrees of the day’s high and the overnight low, predicted for all week. ‘Tis okay.

Several meetings, worth while, even though I can hardly see straight. Lunch at the Kista Galleria food court with Stefan, Nick and Joel. But by 2, it was time to go off to the nearby Pressbyran, buy a week of transit pass, take the T-Bana subway to Gamla Stan (old town) and seek out my hotel. Along the Riddarsholmen waterfront, not that far.

IMG_0439

My room. Yes, the hotel is a ship, a yacht that was once owned by Barbara Hutton. I came across it while searching for hotel reservations, and thought it would be a bit different from the usual.

IMG_0434

The portholes look out over the water, but they are high enough that I have to stand on tiptoe to see anything but sky.

IMG_0436

This is the last cabin in the stern, the shape of the ship clearly tapering off.

IMG_0437

After a nap, I’m up for a walk around somewhere. I may just end up at the hotel bar… we’ll see.

Later …

IMG_0442

I didn’t bring my real camera along this time. The iPhone camera is not up to the same standards, but it is surprisingly good, better than one would have a right to expect, given the minuscule lens and depth.

IMG_0453

I wandered Gamla Stan looking for maybe an interesting place to eat. Lots of kebab places, but that’s what I had for lunch, and it was a big lunch. I stood looking at one menu, and decided I was not hungry. Thai restaurant for later this week, but I really am not hungry now. I have been eating too much, that’s what! But a brew would not be amiss.

IMG_0447

Ended up at Liffey pub, where they steadfastly ignored me until I went to the bar, where I ordered a Paulaner Hefe. There was a space on the charge slip for a tip, but why?

IMG_0445

Tried for a night picture of the Riddarsholmen Kirk on the way back. That miniscopic cell phone camera really is pretty, pretty good.

IMG_0449

Even its flash isn’t bad.

IMG_0451

Stockholm, Thursday

November 7, 2013

 Thursday, 7 November 2013

Today I went to Kista, where I presented basically the same material twice to two different audiences. There is a true raft of people here from San Jose; probably one of the reasons I’m unlikely to get an upgrade on tomorrow’s flight home.

Olle invited me for a walk around the area at noon. Swedish law allows overnight camping on private property, but caravans from eastern Europe have taken to extended stays, leaving trash (and worse!) on the property, both public and private. So there is a sudden boom in the market for concrete barricades and gates with low overhangs. Too bad the slobs ruin it for everyone else!

Finished my work around mid-afternoon. Took the train back into town, got off at Rådhuset. I can never remember which is the Rådhuset and which is the Stadshuset, where the Nobel dinners are held. It’s the Stadshuset, but they are so close that it would be the same subway stop anyway.

P1110499

P1110500

P1110504

View from behind the Stadshuset across the water to the old Munich brewery conference centre, where we were yesterday.

Wandered around enjoying yet another little corner of Stockholm that I have not seen for a while, then back to the hotel. Not yet 4, and the sun is down. Time for a nap.

P1110507

Because I skipped lunch, I was hungry. Greek, maybe? Lebanese? I don’t recall having seen such things, but if I wander, maybe I’ll find something. And I did. Kebabs, order at the counter, shawarma and such. Well, maybe. As I stood there looking in the window, the chef began picking his teeth. Without a toothpick. Well, maybe not.

Eventually ended up wandering out Birger Jarlsgatan. Just before Citizen Jarl gives up on city and turns a bit suburban, I found a Korean barbeque place. Not exactly what I had in mind, but I bet I’ll go away happy. And I did. Falcon dark Bavarian beer: darker than the usual Swedish, but I don’t think a Bayer would claim it. My stir-fry duck was marked spicy on the menu, and it was, after I added Jam from the little pot at the table. Hmmmm!

Tomorrow, home. It’s been fun.

Stockholm, Tuesday

November 5, 2013

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

It was raining when I woke up (late: 7:30) this morning, so I spent some time in the hotel, until it stopped and became a rather pleasant mostly cloudy day. Went out for a walk, in the general direction of Skansen.

P1110442

Very nice, the coolth and colour of autumn.

P1110450

As elegant as any city in the world, Probably about as pricey, too, for the people who live in places like this.

P1110451

This is the nordic museum, where they wanted SEK100, which is more than I wanted to pay. (I also checked out the Wasa museum, a terrific place, but not for SEK130!).

P1110460

More really classy places around, most of them now parks or museums.

P1110474

The view back toward the city.

P1110455

Stopped back at the hotel, where I sat in the lobby (free internet access: in the room, they charge SEK100 per hour, which is truly horrifying, especially since every crummy roadside motel in the world offers free internet access). Had a Paulaner Hefeweizen, but when I had to leave, there was no bartender. Well, maybe I can pay later.

Took the T-Bana (subway) to Kista, where there was a reception. I figure that’s dinner tonight. As the host said, there is no free lunch: the assignment was to network with the assembled luminaries, and make at least five new acquaintances. For the world’s most introverted person, that’s a pretty extreme challenge.

I interpreted this as a mandate not to leave as soon as I had eaten, to stay the course. And I actually did meet a few new people, had some good conversations. Mostly due to my colleagues, admittedly, but it’s the results that count.

Back by subway, accompanied by one of the colleagues that I already knew. Into the hotel bar, for another Hefeweizen and the opportunity to pay for both of them.

Tomorrow, real work. Well…. yes. Real work.

Stockholm, Monday

November 5, 2013

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!”

P1110354

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.

P1110346

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.)

P1110347

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

P1110372

P1110404

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.

P1110409

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.

P1110423

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.

P1110431

P1110432

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!