10.01.2013

7 Symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome

Stockholm. Home of the stocks.

Stockholm, Sweden, is known for technological fortitude, pirates, and that thing where you start to feel like your kidnappers are actually pretty nice people--Stockholm Syndrome. The origin of the term is, shockingly, from Stockholm. There was a bank robbery forever ago, in which there was this stalemate between the robbers and the police, and the hostages were in there for quite some time. While at first they freaked out, the robbers didn't hurt them, and they didn't want the police to hurt the robbers either. The situation resolved itself, and the robbers went to jail, but the hostages testified to their character and pleaded with the jury to let them off the hook. Later, some of the hostages were invited to a robber's wedding.  

If you visit Stockholm, you will realize the city has a similar effect on you. While initially you stay only because you have been kidnapped, you will start to love the city, and before you know it, you're invited to its wedding.

1. The Royal Palace

The story of Swedish royalty is rich with drama. The Princess married her personal trainer. 
It's pretty much the Cinderella story, but without the glass slippers. 

Third or fourth palace of the city.
This palace was designed by a guy that probably burned down the previous palace. That's how they roll in Sweden. Also with Lions.

Give him a ring.
And more lions.
This Lion's got...poise.

2. Free Walking Tours

In every city I can, I do a free walking tour. This one wasn't great. But it does give you an excuse to walk around and check out some of the awesome scenery of this nice clean city.

From a bridge.
And as we were walking, the tour guide was rendered speechless for a moment, then segued to a different topic.

An unexpected segway.
3. Old Town

Ever get all the way to Europe only to realize you forgot to pack your confederate flags? Never you worry, there is a place in old town you can by the rebel X in hat form, flag form, belt buckle, etc. 

Otherwise, old town is a great place enjoy the old buildings.

Old town, new bike.
Not a kebab sign in sight!

4. Photografiska Museum

Haven't had enough larger than life naked women on your vacation? Check out the Photography museum. While I was there, I saw an abstract series of an artist's reactions to the Japanese Tsunami. And a huge display of Helmut, which was less abstract and more full of naked women. 

I didn't take a picture of the museum because I was afraid of drowning in the rain, so here's a building I saw on the walk back to the hostel.

Archways. Most rough-hewn thing in all of Sweden.
 5. Churches

The Stockhom Cathedral, also called Storkyrkan, has a massive statue of St. George Slaying the Dragon. This statue is totally beautiful and unique.

Look at that lens flare! Added drama.
Well, maybe not totally unique.

In case you don't want to pay to go into the church.
 6. Make a wish!

This is a fountain. If you blow the seed pods off, you get your wish. Good luck.

I hear rumors there is an identical one in Oslo.

7. Go to a Pirate Party!

Maybe you are a fan of the Pirate Bay, or the Pirate Political Party. Or Pirates of the Carribean. Any way you slice it, if you get to Sweden during the right time of year, there is going to be a Pirate party for your drinking pleasure.

Why wouldn't the Pirate Bay party have a Wikipedia Wild West Theme?
There are pirates. Just sayin.
This band of pirates was awesome.
Ye Banished Privateers.
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