Stockholm, April 1996

Greetings! I’m sending this out through the Internet. You’d think this would be easy, right? As it turns out, it’s not.

Telephone jacks in Sweden are quite different from their U.S. counterparts, though a little adaptation with some alligator clips and a U.S.-style jack worked. Mighty stylish and professional, wouldn’t you say? But you’re reading this, so it worked.

I’m staying at the Sergel Plaza Hotel. It’s a pretty nice place overall; if nothing else, it’s certainly convenient.

The Swedes really know interior design; most any building here is spectacular by U.S. standards. Within the office, for example, they’ve chosen to use hardwood floors rather than commercial-grade carpet or linoleum in some of the hallways. They use a lot of halogen lights where you’d typically expect to see fluorescent bulbs. The results are awfully nice.

This is Sergels Torg, which is Stockholm’s main square.

It’s about two minutes from the hotel. Tobias Sergel was a Swedish sculptor of some renown, but I don’t think he designed the column in the center. The building at right contains several galleries, a library, coffee shops, and the like. The weather here has been much better than my last trip; it’s been sunny with high temperatures around 60 degrees; this is fairly warm for this time of year (low- to mid-50s is much more typical).

Sergels Torg is surrounded by office buildings and shops.

And you thought the Irish took their pubs seriously.

Actually, this is a department store in downtown Stockholm. It’s named after its founder, Paul U. Bergstrom.

No, I didn’t eat here.

They may have Swedish flags out front, but I wasn’t fooled for even a moment.

Another view of Sergels Torg. If you look through the archway at the lower right, you can see the hotel in the background.

The view down one of the streets surrounding Sergels Torg.

As you can see, there are many, many shops here; the central shopping/office district extends out from Sergels Torg five or ten blocks in any direction.

I wandered around a bit after it got dark, and I happened upon what was apparently a movie being filmed.

The gigantic white cube in this picture is a bunch of very bright lights inside a sort of fabric box; the whole thing is held up by a crane.

I looked, but I didn’t see anyone famous. In fact, it didn’t look like there was any filming going on; there were a bunch of passers-by admiring the Cube-O-Light on the crane (which really did a good job of lighting up the street without casting harsh shadows) and a bunch of bored-looking technicians, but no activity to speak of.

That’s it for now. I’ll put more pictures online when I get some more time…

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