Our hotel was a converted, century old flour mill, a boat ride away from Stockholm's historical center. Using our 72 hour unlimited transit passes we boarded a water bus and rushed to the top deck to experience the first of several rides across the broad waterway which our hotel fronted. Dead tired, having pretty much gone the entire night without sleep during the long flight, we took a short walk through what we discovered was Stockholm's high end shopping district. The names Prada, Chanel and Gucci, among others graced the ground floor storefronts of the historic buildings. The gold and white facade of the Royal Dramatic Theater, the national theater of Sweden, glittered in the early evening sun.
We found a small burger stand amidst the fashionable surroundings. Sitting at a table on it's tiny deck we people watched as we noshed on our deep fried delicacies. 2 men in suits rode past on their bicycles, one steering with one hand, the other holding his cell phone up to his ear.Well dressed women, in heels and platform shoes, did an admirable job of walking gracefully over the uneven ground cover of brick and cobblestone. We noticed even those sporting more casual attire had a certain smart, crisp air about them. They were slim, trim and overwhelmingly blonde, most of them naturally so.
The lack of sleep had begun to wear on us. Bodies aching, minds beyond fuzzy, we walked back to the water bus dock. Pulling out the schedule provided us by the hotel I discovered that we had just missed one boat and the next was 45 minutes away. We both quickly acknowledged that we would not be able to last that long. Gambling on the gesture transcending language and cultural barriers I raised a forefinger in the air as a cab approached. 20 minutes and the equivalent of $20 latter we were deposited in front of our hotel.