Your first hint that things will get interesting: your boss asks “do you have a passport”?

Being the honest soul that I am, I said yes. Next thing I knew I was off on a whirlwind trip to Sweden. When your plane takes off mid-morning Saturday, and you land at your destination late on Sunday….. turns out that Sweden is #2 in the world in coffee consumption. Good thing.

Stockholm is a series of islands, off the Baltic Sea. There is water everywhere, and ships, and bridges – and historic buildings; that’s the opera house in the distance. On the wall is one happy seagull – he’s just caught a live salmon:

(Yeah, bad pic…. I’ll save you my rant about the quality of cell phone cameras). Bird was pretty happy about this; fish did not look happy at all.

This was right across the water from my hotel, on another island; that’s a museum on the left, and the ship is apparently now a hostel. I meant to get over to check it out, but it was about a 1 km walk and didn’t have time.

There are some very very familiar sights in Stockholm; this is the square right in front of the Royal Palace, complete with a statue of Admiral Nelson on his horse, the Lincoln Memorial, and some random church. This is a public street – but with the cobbles and masses of tourists, there are very few cars.

And being Sweden there are lots of tulips…. wait, that’s wrong. It did snow twice while I was there (which the locals swore was the first time it’s snowed in May) but there were flowers blooming.

One thing about Sweden….. it’s north. Far, far north. This is the view out the front of the hotel….. at 3:00 AM. No camera trickery – it just never really got dark for the week I was there. On the other hand, I do NOT want to go back in February, where I suppose it won’t really get light for a week.