fivemack (fivemack) wrote,

Ooh, Stockholm

I will need to come back here. Don't know when - part of me contemplates the contrast in coming in mid-winter when the water all around is a foot thick in ice and you can walk from one island to the next, and part of me remembers how badly Iceland in December triggered my SAD. There are many more interesting-looking museums than can sensibly be visited on a single trip, and many places to sit back and enjoy the sunset when you've run out of museum-visiting stamina for the day.

Today: the Changing of the Guard at the palace - a ceremonial regiment in blue coats, shiny silver helmets and the kind of rifles I remember from Cadets out, some much more serious commando types in camouflage and berets with assault rifles and no-nonsense bayonets in, accompanied by a full military band which features some strikingly jazzy trumpet playing and drumming. Crowd control not perfect; at the front of the crowd, I was twice marched into by the front left drummer.

Then a tour of the Parliament; unicameral, with the chamber clearly obtained from the high end of the range of Ikea flat-pack parliament chambers. A guide who was distinctly smug about the civilized calm organisation of Scandanavian politics. Then across the island to the Techical Museum: it's a science museum, steam turbines and early cars and a floor full of telephones and lots of mining. Sweden is more made of iron than I would have imagined, they have lumps of iron ore that you can play with. Black and dirty, very dense, magnetic.

Walked round to the island with the modern art museum on it, but walked around the island (looking at an outdoor exhibit of blackened cast iron kinetic art which whirred and idled and made me wonder
if the artists actually appreciated Mechanism) and watched the ships as the sun went down, before
returning to the old Stockholm prison, now a youth hostel, where I'm staying this last night.

It's been a good trip, I've enjoyed myself, I hope six hours of walking a day, even if mostly on city streets, has been good for me. Not altogether sure how happy I'll be to be back at work on Monday; I'm feeling a bit aimless, or at least incapable of figuring out how to achieve what clearly ought to be my aims, and the more I travel the more I remember how I like to travel. Though, to pick the nearest high-travel job I can think of to what I do, there is little scope to sit and watch the sunset while selling small X-ray sources to the inhabitants of Chengdu province.
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