My wife and I were watching TV in our hotel room at Radisson Blu Waterfront Stockholm in Sweden on July 14, 2016 when ‘breaking news’ came on BBC of a truck running over people in a Nice, France Bastille Day terrorist attack.
86 people dead. 434 injured in Nice.
My wife and I were watching TV in our hotel room at Best Western Amedia Wien in Vienna, Austria on December 19, 2016 when ‘breaking news’ came on CNN of a truck running over people in a Berlin, Germany Christmas Market terrorist attack.
12 people dead, 56 injured in Berlin.
Last month, I was watching TV in my hotel room at Radisson Blu Klaipeda, Lithuania on Friday April 7, 2017 when ‘breaking news’ came on BBC of a truck running over people in a Stockholm, Sweden pedestrian shopping street terrorist attack.
5 people dead.
4 days after April 7 Stockholm terror attack
On Tuesday, April 11, 2017, I arrived in Stockholm and walked for more than five hours around the city.
Long story short, Stockholm seemed no different in terms of police on the streets than any other time I was there, aside from Drottninggaten and Sergels Torg, the central city square near the site of the truck attack, where flower memorials were in place in memory of the victims.
Stockholm Polis van in front of Ahlens Department Store on Drottninggaten.
Carrying on in Stockholm
My belief is all terror is local terror. Unless you are in close proximity to the attack or somehow connected to a victim, no reason to panic.
I walked about 11 km across Stockholm from Central Station to Clarion Stockholm on Ringvagen in Sodermalm and around the island to Marieberg, then to Sergels Torg and along Drottninggaten, to find the Stockholm memorial tributes.
Gamla Stan – Old Town Stockholm
Stockholm is a city built on 17 islands of the extensive Stockholm Archipelago consisting of some 24,000 islands on the east coast of Sweden.
Gamla Stan is the oldest part of the city on an island about 10 to 15 minutes walk from Central Station.
Norstedts is Sweden’s oldest publishing house (1823). This building on Gamla Stan has housed the publishing company since 1882.
Riddarhuset – House of Nobility, Gamla Stan, Stockholm
On the street outside Riddarhuset, I considered walking one route over a bridge with lots of car traffic or staying within the smaller streets of central Gamla Stan.
Pedestrian alleys are my style.
Gamla Stan tourist zone
The weather forecast for Stockholm April 11 was clear skies. After 40 minutes, I was beginning to see some blue sky overhead at 4:00 in the afternoon.
Another bridge from Gamla Stan to Södermalm put me on the island for walking to Clarion Stockholm Hotel on Ringvagen. This was only my second time in Sodermalm in four trips to Stockholm since summer 2016.
Last November, in Napier New Zealand, I bought the Steig Larsson Millennium trilogy in a second hand shop. These are the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books about reclusive computer hacker Lisbeth Salander and investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist in Stockholm. Sodermalm comes up frequently in the books. The books were published by Norstedts.
Since reading the books and visiting Sodermalm in January, I found Sodermalm to be the part of Stockholm I enjoy most of the places I have been in the city.
Gamla Stan view from the heights of Sodermalm.
Sodermalm has rock cliff heights. This was a working class area in the 19th century and early 20th century. These days Sodermalm is an upscale, mostly residential area of the city, yet also plenty of shops, restaurants and pubs.
This part of the city also has some of the lowest restaurant and pub prices I have seen in Stockholm.
Sodermalm Lunch 69 SEK ($7.83 USD). Two hours later I paid 94 SEK for a similar lunch special meal with soda near train station.
I arrived at Clarion Stockholm and found myself in a hotel with loads of young athletes. Normally I would be upset when 8 people cram into an elevator I was riding alone to my room.
But I didn’t mind when packed inside a small space with eight Swedish women swim athletes.
Turned out to be an international 3-day swim event at the Eriksdalsbadet pool center behind the hotel.
I headed back outside to explore Sodermalm and more of Stockholm in the three remaining hours before 8pm darkness.
People around Stockholm appeared to be carrying on with their regular business. Diners were dining, shoppers were shopping, people were making their way home after work by foot, bike, car and public transportation.
Exercisers were running and cycling around the trails on the southwest side of Sodermalm. There are a high proportion of exercisers in Stockholm.
Some of the boats covered for winter were being readied for boating season. In one covered boat there were sounds of a violin sailing through the air.
After the noise of the streets walking three miles across Stockholm, I enjoyed finding myself on a calm and quiet path in the trees and by the water with only joggers and a few cyclists passing me.
I continued around Sodermalm to Marieberg and eventually to the terror attack sites on Drottninggaten, before taking the subway back to my hotel.
to be continued…