Sunday, December 21, 2008

Days 105-108: Stockholm, Sweden

Stockholm was one of the most amazing cities I have ever visited. In the winter, obviously, things are not quite as nice as in the summer, but it was still terrific.

The city is actually located on many islands, so with the long summer days come the warmth and picturesque moments. In the winter, it was as good as it gets, which is saying one must make most of the six hours of daylight.

Another pleasantry was the fact that Sweden's Central Bank had cut interest rates by about two percent the day I arrived, so the krona, the local currency, fell against the dollar to 8.40 SKR = 1 USD. Back when I was in Malmo, Sweden, in January, one U.S. dollar bought just 6.06 kronas, so prices, in dollar terms, were down by roughly a quarter--and this made a big difference.

For once in my life in Scandinavia, I wasn't being too price conscious. I actually bought many things in Sweden: good food (rather than the cheapest stuff in town), a teddy bear souvenir, a newspaper, and other items. Sweden's taxes are so high that many of these things--especially alcohol--are prohibitevly expensive, but we found a place that was selling draft beer for about 25 kronas.

In short, I had a great time in Stockholm. It turned out to be, along with Paris, my favorite European city. And it wasn't even that cold out.

Now what could be better than that?

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