Tuesday, February 10, 2015
When I landed in Stockholm for the first time, I was surprised at how familiar it seemed. Perhaps it was because of the daily snowfall and the people rushing through streets and train stations bundled against freezing blasts. This is my Chicago reality and Stockholm really was not that different at all. Gamla Stan, the city's old town and city center, was where everyone suggested I start my exploration. So I hopped on the metro and arrived in the winding labyrinth of Gamla Stan streets.
This sculpture is the first thing I spotted as I climbed out of the metro. Stockholm is a city filled with art and aesthetics but this was my first up close look at an art piece. I was charmed by the whimsical lines and the parents sheltering a smiling child. I thought it was a good representation of Stockholm's overall welcoming vibe.
Gamla Stan was built in the '1300s but most of the buildings date from the 18th and 19th century.
The cobblestone streets were narrow and slippery with snow and I was worried about sliding down one of them so I didn't stop and take as many photos as I would have liked. It seemed like the streets all melted into each other and opened up into tiny alleyways like this one.
When I arrived at this imposing structure, I was sure it was the palace but it turned out to be the parliament building. All of the streets started to look alike and I got lost strolling through Gamla Stan. I didn't worry though, the Swedes I met were very friendly. A nice man guided me to a metro station that was two stops away from the stop I started from. By this time, I was soaked from all of the soggy snow and ready to visit a cafe for tea.
This was my last glimpse of Gamla Stan and it's my favorite image. The faded gold buildings and narrow passages served as my first Stockholm greeting and I was eager for more.