Speechless in Stockholm

May 31

No Words Necessary

The older woman comes out from behind the counter and stands beside Sally and me. She reaches up to a shelf at eye level. Withdrawing a square metal tin she gently removes the lid and holds the tin out toward us. We stand still, looking from the old woman to the dried herbs in the tin. Insistent, she holds it up higher drawing air through her nose to indicate that we are to sniff the tin’s contents. Hesitantly I lean forward and take a sniff.

IMG_2590We’re in a tiny, hole in the wall shop in Stockholm. Having slipped in here to escape the drizzly rain blooming above the old city, we hand’t intended on buying anything. It seems this woman has other ideas.

The tea leaves in the bottom of the tin smell delicious. Quickly the woman withdraws the tin and replaces it on the shelf. She reaches for another tin, offering it to is in the same manner.

The old woman is sort, with curly salt and pepper hair. She speaks almost no english and communicates with us only through action. She is also an excellent saleswoman because after prompting us to sniff a few teas we begin rifling through the shelf of tins intent on finding the perfect flavor to buy.

Outside the misty rain coats the narrow, cobblestone streets with a thin varnish, while we are warm and dry in the tea shop.

Getting to Know Stockholm

My first impression of Stockholm is dark and foreboding.IMG_2586

After Bergin’s peaceful, meandering street and leisurely parks, Stockholm is a big contrast. The city is huge. spread across multiple islands encompassing a busy port. One island is part of the old city another is the new and of course our hostel is on the southern, ghetto island.

The streets around our hostel look like the quaint european version of all the places my mom never wants me to go alone.

IMG_2674I’m getting to know the city. We’ve only been lost a few times and I’ve decided to think of those as impromptu walking tours. Ducking into a few shops, pondering the metro map a few times, I can feel myself settling in. The old city on the central island is pretty cool. With it’s cobblestone streets and narrow alleys, oh and the royal palace.

Though Stockholm’s cold, misty rain makes me long for Bergin’s sunny harbor I know theres more to see in Stockholm. Tomorrow we’ll cash in our city passes and see how many museums we can hit in a day, but today is a rest day. Today we’re still traipsing around lazily, and I like that.

Until Next Time

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