Well, we’ve arrived. Plane ride was long, and neither of us got sleep, but Norwegian Air seems a good airline. (The food was decent–my GF menu was served first and had a lovely healthy grilled chicken and a GF muffin AND cookie) plus other snacks. The plane was roomy and tall, with huge windows, so we got an amazing view of the sunset and the Bay Area as we flew out.
So far, we have wandered quite a bit around three of the islands, taken a bus tour, and seen the amazing Vasa Museum. (The Vasa is a 17th c. elaborate Swedish royal warship which sunk less than a mile into its maiden voyage. In the 60’s Sweden–plus a huge slew of international archaeologists–were able to recover it, figure out how to keep the wood wet and malleable and restore it, and piece it back together. It’s a 4-story ship and they were able to salvage 98% of it! It’s an absolutely astounding accomplishment, and the museum makes the experience so accessible. Very cool stuff. I’ll post pics when I can.) We’ve also walked around a lot and painfully plodded through figuring out the train and bus systems. Despite the fact that Stockholm is by far the cleanest big city I’ve ever been in, the roads here (as in much of Europe) are kind of a clusterfuck, and the transit systems are not very intuitive. I personally think San Francisco’s system is better. Still, it’s been a good experience so far overall. A huge added bonus is that I seem to be able to eat wheat products over here! THANK ALL OF THE GODs, because the pastries here are everywhere and they are all amazingly good.
Pics and more details to come later. So far both my sister and have felt a sense of coming home and being part of a family. Our last name is classically Swedish, which most of the cashiers have picked up on. When I tell them that my grandfather was from Sweden, they give us the biggest smile and send a burst of warm, friendly energy. It’s awesome 🙂