Another beautiful day in a Scandinavian paradise. We started with a tour of Stockholm City Hall, site of the annual Nobel banquet. The banquet is held in the Blue Room, which isn't really blue. Apparently, the architect liked the look of red bricks better, but the name stuck. The Gold Room was even more impressive. City Hall isn't like this back home!



Julia was our friendly and knowledgeable guide. She pointed out some interesting aspects of the building that we might not have noticed otherwise - especially if we hadn't looked up. The ceiling was shaped like an overturned Viking ship, reminiscent of meetings that were held under actual boats in the ancient past.

Sue enjoyed sitting in the chair of a city council member.


The trusty Heidebloem bus headed southwest out of Stockholm. It was a little shorter than the usual tour bus, but we still had plenty of room to spread out. Lunch was in the little town of Söderköping, along the Göta Canal. We stretched our legs with a walk through town. For such a small town, it was easy to get lost. So many interesting things to see! Dave scolded the latecomers, but at least the bus didn't leave without us.


Roadside attractions.

(Or: When on vacation, some grownups take advantage of the opportunity to act like children).


The bus ride to southern Sweden wasn't too taxing. Dave regaled us with the history of the Kalmar Union. We were amused when he popped in a CD of "local folk music," which turned out to be ABBA. The bus arrived in Kalmar in the late afternoon, so there was time to wander around and explore the town before dinner. We were booked into the Frimurare Hotel, a place with a lot of character. The hotel had a warm and bright sunroom, which we took over with our pre-dinner function.


Most meals were included in the cost of the tour, including dinner at a cellar restaurant in Kalmar. Here is Charlene, showing off her arm strength by hoisting some very heavy salt and pepper shakers. I don't know how Charlene got in so many of these pictures... "Doctor Gorgeous" will live in infamy.