Stockholm: Wednesday 18th March 2009

This morning was to explore Gamla Stan – the old town of Stockholm. We walked past the palace which over the last 2 days has been groomed as a cross country ski track. There have been trucks bringing in snow to be compacted and graded – but more about that later

We saw Stockholm’s smallest statue “The Iron Boy” which is just a few inches high.

The boys

From there it was to Storkykan, the royal cathedral consecrated in 1306.

The church interior and a rather unique and lovely candle holder in the church

It was a lovely building and has a life size sculpture of St George and the dragon from the late 15th century.

We turned up at midday in front of the palace to watch the changing of the guard.

After lunch we returned to the palace where a world cup event for cross-country skiing was being held. The course had been laid down while we have been in Stockholm, there is no actual snow on the ground in Stockholm.

The weather was sunny, but only 2 or 3 degrees. People were enjoying watching the competitors, and there seemed to be a reasonably high number of locals . Neither of us would make good competitors as you need to be featherlite, you need to have great upper and lower body strength, and basically you have to be exceptionally fit.

The uphill to the finish, in the morning before competition

Watching them ski and stride along the flat pieces of the course was interesting. Watching some come undone at the tight hairpin bend was entertaining. But watching them literally sprint up the 2 hills, one of which was the finish line, was stunning. Great fun.

The view from the hostel window, that we, and the Royal Family, share

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