Stockholm, The First Week

Posted on April 13th, 2013 by

Well friends, this is over due but only because so much has happened here in Stockholm.

We left from Mora on March 17th early in the morning in order to visit the Vasa Museum because it was going to close down on that Monday for renovations. It was bitter-sweet leaving Mora because I had made some really good friends with my professors and some of the students who attended the folkschool, I also had created many memories of Mora from the Innebandy match that we went to the first night in Mora, singing a whole bunch with Ingrid, the Dala Horse museum, the Zorn museum and so much more. However, I was really excited to get going to Stockholm because we would be entering a large city, a vast difference from being in the Northern Part of Sweden which was spread out and more rural.

After being in Stockholm now, I have really grown to love it because it is a large city but not crowded and very easy to get around. Our hostel that we are staying on is called Af Chapman and is a Ship in the harbor where on the other side is the Royal Palace of the Swedish Monarchy! I later found out that my dad had stayed at this hostel when he stopped in Stockholm on his trip around Europe after he graduated from Gustavus =). However, getting to the hostel was sort of a struggle because I had my jacket on and all of my bags with me, we were walking across the city and it was starting to get warm in the city, so naturally I started to get very warm and started to sweat haha.

Now, the fun begins. Seeing the Vasa Museum was awe-some because it is not everyday that you get to see a 400 year old preserved ship. Now what happened to this ship was that Gustaf Vasa had ordered this war ship to be built but wanted there to be an extra cannon deck so they built the ship up another floor which caused it to be top heavy, so once it set sail in the harbor a gust of wind caused the ship to sink.

Tuesday marked the first of two very packed, but very exciting days. The first thing that we had done was met the head of the major publishing company of Sweden, Eva Bonnier of AB publishing. It was remarkable to have met a woman of her position for a few reasons, first was the fact that she was the first woman of this Family run business to be in charge of the company and second was that she seemed very salt of the earth, not so much of the type A personality; I very much enjoyed hearing what she had to say. She told us about her family history in publishing and about the struggles of a publishing company when media is converting from physical to digital. I do believe that they are going to make it work because they have such a personal way of running the company and they seem to be open to change in the future; it was definitely a honor meeting her.

Next we were off to the Royal Palace, like the sound of that ;) There we got a tour of the parts of the Palace that we were able to get into because they were having some meeting later that week, so for security they had to have those areas blocked off. Before hand we were given a brief introduction  to the palace and through out the tour got some history as well. (It can be said that the palace is modest, much like the swedish people ;)

We then took a short walk across the Square to the Swedish Academy where the decision is made for the Nobel Prize of Literature. I was pretty much in awe the whole time because we were able to see where the ceremony has been held over the many years and the room where the discussions happen for the the prize winners. I took a little time to sit back and just imagine the discussions that the walls of that room have heard, it was quite incredible.

At this point we all were pretty tired because we were not used to walking around all day but we were up and at’em again in which we took our first subway/bus in Stockholm. Next we meet an absolutely incredible man,  Åke Bonnier. He is a member of the Bonnier family but took his life in a different direction, that of the Church of Sweden. His current position is bishop in the Church of Sweden in the Scara church. He is a very humble man of God and was very gracious to have us in his home. There we enjoyed a lovely dinner and dessert prepared by his wife.

It is pretty incredible to have been able to have done so much with so many wonderful people, and to have done things that most Swedes probably have not done. Even so continuing the next day we did so many awesome things as well.

Early in the morning we met with an important man of Anders Wall, who is a very well known business man in Sweden who was generous enough to fund a great amount of our trip. There we were able to tell him about what we have done on the trip thus far and some of us were able to tell him why we wanted to go on this trip, because most Swedens even are very curious as to why a bunch of Americans would come and study abroad in Sweden!

After that meeting a group of us has a very exotic lunch of….yes…..subway haha. We then went to Klaragården or at least tried to because we got lost finding our way there haha Now, Klaragården is a very special place in Stockholm because they serve as a women’s shelter in the city and care for 700 women annually.


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