Following the directions given to us by our airport information kiosk guardian angel we boarded the bus which would take us to the commuter train. After several stops at the airport the route took us through the forests and fields which lie between the airport and Stockholm. The bus deposited us at the commuter rail terminal. People rushed across the large plaza connecting to their various buses and trains. The train, clean, spacious and modern, sped us toward the city. As we drew closer the forests, a mix of evergreens and birches just beginning to display their spring buds, diminished, giving over to clean lined, almost spare, traditional Swedish houses and equally clean lined, spare mid rise apartment blocks. As we were to discover over the next two days, Swedish architecture, even that hundreds of years old, has a no nonsense, form follows function feel. Although not completely devoid of ornamentation, what there is, while as beautiful and elegant as what I have experienced elsewhere, is restrained. The fairy tale buildings of Stockholm, with their spires and domed turrets, appear as if they had taken the advise of Coco Chanel, looked in the mirror and removed one accessory. One even sees this aesthetic carried over in the groundbreaking Scandinavian designs of the 50's and 60's.
As we drew closer to the city colorful graffiti began to appear along he walls which run alongside the tracks proving that bored teens transcend countries and continents The main train station, like many in Europe, is venerable and elegant. It's grace shows even through the glare of neon, noise and cheap trendy shops.
Our last ride was on a bus which traveled down broad avenues lined with grand facades before passing through a tunnel and emerging into a much more modern realm of apartment complexes.With the assistance of several Swedes we managed to get off at the correct stop and check into our home for the next three nights.