Days 16-17, June 3, 4 – Kelsey

Sunday, June 3

Mountain hare outside one of the cabins in Björkliden

So today is the day for heading back to Stockholm. We all awoke bright and early to a beautiful scenery while others were welcomed by a few mountain hares outside their windows.

Everyone in the van on our way back to Luleå

Once everyone finished up their packing and cleaning of the cabin we all got together that morning for some breakfast before heading out. We got the van packed up, rather nicely if I do say so myself, and made the six hour journey back to Luleå, Sweden.Upon our arrival, the group then had to wait for the arrival of our overnight train to Stockholm. So in the meantime, we hung around the train station for three hours reading or doing homework while others went to explore the city one last time. My time, however, was spent with Luke and David gathering up some snacks and breakfast food for the train ride.

The Luleå train station

Everyone’s luggage all in a pile inside the Luleå train station

By the time 8:40 p.m. came around, we were all aboard the train our way back to beautiful Stockholm. The train time was spent together reminiscing and playing cards until we all fell asleep in the couchettes.

Bioenergy Concept of the Day:

The last fill up of our trip

Before we returned the van back to the renting company, we had to top off the tank. Converting the values in the picture to U.S. terms, for $110 roughly 12 gallons of gasoline was purchased. This price is roughly twice the amount found in the U.S. This just symbolizes how much the Swedish government promotes renewable energy resources (ethanol) or cleaner burning fuel (diesel).

Monday, June 4

By noon, the group stumbled off the train ready for our last day in Europe together. After a short subway ride and a slight walk we arrived at the Red Boat where we will be spending our last day but had some time before we could check in officially.

View of Stockholm from the cliff above the Red Boat

With a little free time we were given the opportunity to explore Stockholm one last time. A group of the students ended up heading back to Gamla Stan for some lunch and window shopping with a slight detour to see some street performers.

Street performer swallowing a sword in the streets of Gamla Stan

Everyone headed back to the Red Boat by three o’clock where we were able to get our room assignments. At this time the group worked on homework, freshen up, relax, and even walk around the city again before dinner.

Wilson the snail that the girls came across during our walk around town

By eight o’clock the group was on its way to share our last meal together. We ended up at a Viking restaurant. Although the restaurant lacked the ruggedness of a Viking, the food was definitely up to our expectations. Once our tummies were full and our laughter and stories shared, the group meandered its way back to the hotel together one last time.

“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill

Media References (In order of placement: top to bottom)

1. Mountain Hare, Sweden. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

2. Car Ride, Sweden. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

3. Luleå Train Station, Sweden. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

4. Baggage, Sweden. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

5. Gas Pump, Sweden. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

6. View of Stockholm, Sweden. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

7. Street Performer, Sweden. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

8. Wilson the Snail, Sweden. Personal photograph by author. 2012.

======================================

Pre-Departure

For the finale of this study abroad experience, we will be staying at The Red Boat (3) which is no typical hotel. This place truly is a gem of the sea. Although it is not located in the heart of the city, this accommodation is relatively close to Old Town and many popular tourist/shopping areas of Stockholm.

For instance, just minutes away from our location is the Stockholm Palace (4), located on Stadsholmen (City Island). The Royal Palace, which is dated back to the end of the 10th century,  offers public visitations. For the cost of SEK 75 (~$11) for students and SEK 150 for adults (~$22) we would be able to visit the Royal Apartments, the Treasury, the Tre Kronor Museum, as well as Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities.

Right beside the Royal Palace is Stockholm’s Great Church, known as the Storkyrkan (2). The oldest church in Gamla Stan, Sankt Nikolai kyrka, was built in the 13th century using a Brick Gothic style. This Swedish landmark is a perfect example of the city’s and country’s unique architectural legacy.

Another interesting site to visit in Stockholm is the Skogsyrkogarden (1) , also known as the Woodland Cemetery. Being one of the most unique UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world, this cemetery blends  architecture and nature into a harmonious setting.

Informational References

1. “Skogsyrkogarden.” Skogsyrkogarden. Web. 14 May 2012. <http://www.skogskyrkogarden.se/en/&gt;.

2. “Storkyrkan.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 Apr. 2012. Web. 14 May 2012. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storkyrkan&gt;.

3. “The Red Boat Hotel and Hostel in Stockholm.” Stockholm: Hotel, Youth Hotel, Hotelboat, Guest House, Rooms in Stockholm-City! Web. 14 May 2012. <http://www.theredboat.com/&gt;.

4. “The Royal Palace of Stockholm.” Swedish Royal Court. Web. 14 May 2012. <http://www.kungahuset.se/royalcourt/royalpalaces/theroyalpalace.4.396160511584257f218000138.html&gt;.

Media References (In order of placement – Top, down ; Left,right)

1. The Red Boat Hotel:
Meleca, Leonid. Red Boat on Water near Old Nordic City Buildings. Photograph. Shutterstock. Web. 14 May 2012. <http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-41757640/stock-photo-red-boat-on-water-near-old-nordic-city-buildings.html&gt;.

2. The Royal Palace:
Stockholm Palace. Photograph. Paranormal Events UK. Web. 14 May 2012. <http://www.paranormal-events-uk.co.uk/database/rest-of-the-world/stockholm-palace-sweden.html&gt;.

3. Inside the Storkyrkan:
Stockholm Cathedral. Photograph. Stockholm Gamlastan. Web. 14 May 2012. <http://www.stockholmgamlastan.se/lang_en/se_gora/storkyrkan.php&gt;.

4. Outside view of the Skogsyrkogarden:
Skogskyrkogarden Woodland Crematorium. Photograph. Garden Visit. Web. 14 May 2012. <http://www.gardenvisit.com/garden/skogskyrkogarden_woodland_crematorium&gt;.

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