It was hot.
I’d expected to find Sweden a bit on the chilly side. I’d packed thermal underwear and a winter sleeping bag. Instead I’d arrived in the middle of a tropical heatwave and found temperatures soaring. News reports were gleefully informing people that parts of Sweden were hotter than Bangkok and Istanbul.
Fortunately I’d also packed sunscreen and sandals.
I left the hostel and caught the subway to Gamla Stan, the old part of Stockholm. My plan was just to wander round and get a feel for the place before I caught the Arctic Circle Express train that evening.
But it was so HOT.
I wandered round colourful narrow streets dating back to the founding of Stockholm in 1252, watched buskers and window shopped.
Everyone seemed in a jolly mood and the ice cream shops were doing a roaring trade.
During my wanderings I stumbled across a lovely old church.
St Gertrude’s is known as the German Church because of the number of Germans who lived in this area during the Middle Ages. As St Gertrude is patron saint to travellers and cats I decided I liked her.
And I really liked the cool interior of her church.
Outside the church was a small cafe, shaded by trees. I sat for a while with a coffee. It was so peaceful and even the temperature felt quite pleasant.
Feeling rejuvenated, I headed back into the tourist melee that is Gamla Stan, for a last look around before heading back to the hostel to collect my backpack and catch the train to the Arctic. Surely it would be cooler up there?