As promised some time ago, The Other Half brings you, at long last, the thrilling conclusion to the saga of traveling in Stockholm, Sweden!
In all seriousness though, this was one of the most surreal experiences I’ve ever had. After my previous experiences in Old Town, I decided to do a bit of wandering. I’m sure you know by now from the adventures here on Batscapades that we’re big fans of off-the-beaten-path adventures. So, I got off the train, crossed the bridge south out of Old Town and, knowing only that there lay civilization in that direction, headed out east.
Stockholm sits on an archipelago on the Baltic Sea, which makes for a rather easy game of boat-spotting. The road I was walking was on the south end of Saltsjön (“Salt Lake”), one of the main bays in the area and site of a lot of ferry service, as you can see.
A theme park! Gröna Lund is notable in that it was built around the existing buildings on the island. Regrettably, I did not have the time to go over to Djurgården; that will have to wait for the next trip. (By the way, “Djur” = animal, and gården = farm, so the name of the island roughly translates into “zoo”. Sorry, I find this nifty.)
As I made my way down the road (which was completely empty except for a few workers on the docks, a fact that makes this walk even more striking later), I reached a point where I could continue my current route and go through a creepy-looking tunnel, or climb the stairs built on the side of the hill beside me. Sensing the potential for some nifty pictures aimed back across the bay, up I went. I was certainly not disappointed with the views of Old Town this vantage point provided.
Turns out, this is the Kastellet (literally “fort”). It was initially built in 1667, but this particular instance is the 1840s vintage, as the original building was destroyed.
For the rest of the story to the top of the hill, I’m going to switch things up a bit. Instead of my narration, you’ll get pictures, and my thought process along the way.
“This is an interesting sculpture. Obviously in honor of whomever is depicted here. I’ll have to check it out later, and translate the inscription.”
[The work depicts Anna Lindhagen, an early champion of women’s suffrage in Sweden. This sculpture marks a museum of the merchant class, which itself is a house in which she lived prior to her death. The inscription roughly (and by roughly I mean Google tells me so) translates to “More righteousness and beauty in the world—More contrivance more righteousness in work therefor to our endeavor.” Obviously needs some punctuation and work on word ordering, but you can get the gist of it.]
“I’m glad I came up here. The views are great, and I saw something not listed in any travel guide I’ve read.”
*I note a street sign: Fjällgatan*
“Something Street, okay. I’ll check my map and see if there’s a different route back, since I need to return to the hotel. Hey, maybe that information sign over there will have something useful.”
*I start reading the English part of the sign, thanking Sweden’s bilingual culture.*
“Fjällgatan. Galgberget. Gallows…Hill…”
As it turns out, I had just made the long, lonely walk from Old Town up Gallows Hill, just as the condemned once had, and now stood more or less on the spot where the gallows themselves once stood. Very, very surreal. It actually took me several minutes before I was able to move, as I comprehended what I’d unknowingly just done.
Thus ends the Other Half’s adventures in Stockholm (at least, the interesting, non-engineeringy bits of it). I hope you’ve enjoyed my stories, and perhaps I’ll return again in the future with more fun things to share.