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Wed, 11 Jun 2003
Germany - Vacation 1 - Stockholm - Day 2
We walked a log this day. I don't remember having a clear plan for this day. We went to the central station to figure out how we were going to get to the airport the following day to fly to London. Since we were taking Ryan Air, the flight that was allegedly out of Stockholm required taking something like a 45-minute bus ride to get to the airport. I guess that's how it works; you pay close to nothing for the plane but spend a pretty penny getting to and from the airport. Then again, the bus wasn't expensive compared to long-term parking, for example. That afternoon we walked across town to go to some museum. It turned out to be closed. Not just closed for the day; I think it was closed for the whole season! Fortunately, we were near another nearby place in the guidebook. It was the Vasa museum. You see, a while back the Swedes wanted to prove they were more cultured and powerful than crude Vikings, so they built a really big boat. They got some Dutch consultant and lots of national artists and make a grand, ornate battleship. Unfortunately, due to poor management, the boat sank on its maiden voyage -- in the harbour -- in light wind!. A couple hundred years later they brought it back up and built a museum around it. The museum is really well run, and we spent our first couple hours going straight from an introductory video to a guided tour to more stuff. They also had a temporary exhibit outside where you could wander through a signal boat and an icebreaker. There was basic no supervision or guidance, so we went through all sorts of nooks a crannies in the engine room and more.

That evening, after some debate, we went to Tivoli Grona Lund. That night was apparently the NRJ Summer Party. This turned out to be a concert of sorts featuring a couple songs from several artists including local Swedish groups, Stacie Orrico, and Ricky Martin. Some of the guys were embarrassed to be going to a Ricky Martin concert, but I thought it would be a great opportunity to see lots of beautiful, blonde Swedish girls. While we were waiting for the concert, I beat the guys in an intense game of Whack the Woody. Despite the questionable name, it was your basic game of whack-a-mole. My prize was a little stuffed snake with a suction cup. The concert was good, but I'm a sucker for life music. After the concert, we went back to the hostel. John and I opted for the bus. We had never taken a bus in Stockholm, didn't know the route, nor did we know if there were any stops near our hostel. I asked someone how much it cost to take the bus, and she said she didn't know. (But conveniently spoke English!) It ended up working surprisingly well. I held out a bunch of money for the bus driver, and he stamped a piece of paper and handed it to me. We took the bus until they kicked everyone off at a stop maybe 10 minutes later. We recognized the area (I think it was near the central station) and walked the rest of the way back to the hostel. That night the rest of the guys watched a movie on John's laptop while I wandered around town for an hour or so. None of us stayed up too late because we needed to leave around 3am the next morning to catch the bus to the airport.
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