June 27, 2001
I'm glad I did. I had a fantastic walk. The path winds along Norr Malarstrand, on a very wide berth between the road and beautiful Lake Mararen. I walked about 2 miles in and 2 miles out.
Along the way, there were two cafes placed at perfect distances to stop, rest, and have a drink. But as I walked, before it was time to rest, I was treated to great views of City Hall, Gamla Stan (see journal entries), and Lake Mararen.
The first cafe was the Strand Cafe, a great little outdoor cafe. They have a small indoor pavillion that hangs over Lake Malaren, but in the summer, the Swedes love to eat outside (so most of the seating was outside). The Strand Cafe had light eats and beer and wine.
When I sat down with my drink, I saw people at the tables around me with flannel blankets wrapped around them. I looked at them with envy, at how well they planned their evenings, and then I saw a large wood box the restaurant used to keep the blankets in to loan patrons (what a nice touch). After enjoying the view and the moment, I finished my drink and was off to continue my walk, where I saw more of Lake Malaren and several very nice small parks along the path.
Before I knew it, I stumbled onto another cafe on this footpath. This cafe also has outdoor seating, and it faces a huge park with large skateboard ramps and soccer fields. I saw some people playing a lawn game I had never seen before, and several of the locals introduced me to a Swedish yard game called "Kubb." Kubb reminds me a little of cricket (but there is no batter), and little like chess. Later, in my trip to the Archipelago (see other journal), I would see wooden Kubb pieces in the arts and crafts shops.
The path I was on eventually ended at a marina, where I ventured out to Norr Malarstrand (off the footpath to a busy street) to try to find a subway station to get back to my hotel near Central Station.
To find this footpath, from the front of Central Station, turn right, and go to Stadshusbron and turn right. Cross the bridge (you will see City Hall), and cross the street toward City Hall at a crosswalk. After you pass City Hall (or tour it), find the footpath to the west.
As with a lot of travel, some of the best things you see and find are unplanned or by accident. This great walk with no particular destination in mind was a pleasant surprise.
From journal Stockholm