Sunday, September 7, 2008

Three Hour Tour

Day 180
I had to be up early to pack up my things and make my tour for the day. I was a bit nervous about the tour. I would be spending about three hours on a boat. Just sit right back and your hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip. That started from this tropic port about this tiny ship. Ok, so it wasn't really tropic (it was cold), and I don't think that there was any chance of anything going wrong, well, I might lose my breakfast. It was, however, a three hour tour.

Sweden has about 100,000 islands in its archipelago. About 30,000 of these are in the Stockholm archipelago. The last time I was here I had wanted to see it, but because it was winter none of the tours were running. I still wasn't going to be able to see the outer bits, those tours has stopped a few days before, but I was going to get to see the central part.

The tour began with a bit of history. Stockholm became a city in 1252. During the middle ages there was no Swedish capital. Stockholm was picked in the 17th century because it was in the middle of the Swedish empire. Sweden used to be a much larger country.

We passed a statue on the mainland that was god riding a rainbow. This had been made for the UN building in NYC, but was deemed too religious so it was placed here instead. One of the small islands was used for hanging criminals. Six islands were named after days of the week to help farmers know which one their cows were on on a given day. There was no Sunday because they didn't work then. One set of islands was called the Christmas Tree Islands. This was because the brothers who owned them a few hundred years ago had the last name Christmas Tree Island.

I really enjoyed my three hour tour, especially the part where I didn't get stranded anywhere with someone named MaryAnn or the professor.

After wandering the city a bit more I had to pick up my bags from the hostel. It closed at 6pm. As I was stuck with the heavy bags I went to the train station to type up blog for a bit. Internet in Scandinavia has been really maddening. There are tons of places where I can email or type but nowhere that I can upload pictures or spell check. This means I have a bunch on entries ready to go, but no pictures to put with them.

Eventually I headed to the airport. I had a late flight to Helsinki, Finland. When I landed I was sorta surprised to find out that I was in a different time zone. By the time I got my bag and took the bus to the train station it was almost 2 am. I went ahead and sprung for a very expensive cab. I had no idea where my hostel was from there. Once I had checked in I pretty much collapsed exhausted into bed.

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