Friday, August 10, 2007

The Travel and Not the Destination

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Oh my, I actually did manage to get past that copy, paste blogger block, I deserve a reward! Like the Reward for not Being a Computer Nerd but Still Having Her Bright Moments. Or some chocolate. Or a handbag. Yes, that's it, this must definitely be considered a discovery quite groundbreaking and therefor calls for an apt and most befitting reward.

The public transportation system in Stockholm SL (Stockholms Lokaltrafik) isn't always what it should be, but still, it takes you where you want to be and *mostly* do that in time. Yes, it often means quite a lot of longer time from point A to B than with a car. But sometimes it's really the travel and not the destination itself that's the treat.
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Medborgarplatsen (Citizen's Square), s-station: Medborgarplatsen
I know, I know, it might seem kind of crazy to praise the Stockholm public transportation system, when it's so much easier to complain about all its faults, I suppose. Kind of like it's for some strange reason easier to be nasty than kind in general, for some, too many some... A topic of which I won't continue writing now...

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Årsta Torg/Square, an orgie in modern 50ies architecture. Tram Tvärbanan, station: Valla Torg
But at least we have a public transportation system... And a rather well extended one at that. And it works on a very regular basis. It is sort of clean by comparison and rather convenient. If you travel with monthly season ticket it's also very affordable.
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Hötorget, s-station: Hötorget
If you use the transportation system to get to and from work and don't use it mainly for pleasure-trips, I think it's the perfect place to get a lot of reading done, listen to music, relax and possibly nod off for a while.

When it's used for pleasure - I refuse to think of that as a contradiction in terms... - only, then I think it's kind of neat to plan a trip from point A to B, possibly with a quick stop at point A1 and why not at A2 also, and see how I can get there the most fun way.
Fun way mostly means by bus, it can really get you into the middle of nowhere, perhaps it's possibly not the quickest way to get from A to B. But it has the mostly offers the most interesting views just outside the window.
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The suburb of Bromma, s-station Alvik, then tram Nockebybanan, station: Ålstensgatan - where the unpretentious, serving lovely baked goodies and excellent coffees, café/bakery Gateau is situated.
I also very much like to go by the different trams and trains who takes you crisscross to different parts of town as well as the suburbs. The only truly original and old train of that kind nowadays being Lidingöbanan - which will take you from the end s-station Ropsten and to the lush part of town, Lidingö.
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A must stop at Lidingö is Millesgården, once the home and studio of world famous artist Carl Milles. It has a lovely park overlooking the inlet of Stockholm and quite a nice café/restaurant, with seating outside weather permitting. The sculptures above, Orfeusgruppen, is made by Milles, but is found outside Konserthuset/The Concert Hall, s-station: Hötorget

I'm not too fond of the subway - that's basically only endured by reading/music/nodding off - and the commuter trains I have to use in order to get anywhere from here, which makes it too much of a non pleasurable must.

Especially not when the different seasons - which has been the same and acted in the similar way with slight variations for centuries... - somehow surprise the public transportation system, every year. My personal favourite is when the trains are delayed because of "leaves-slipperiness at the tracks"...
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The Factory Outlet village, Barkarby, where the other IKEA store in Stockholm also can be found, c-station: Jakobsberg, then a walk or bus

So it's far from always a joy and delight to be dependent on the public transportation system. And yes I too get really annoyed about self-appointed petty kings and queens working in the gates and on buses. And when people acting like they have no more than one brain-cell in rush-hour. Possibly only a half. Or less.

I'm all for the much discussed congestion charge in Stockholm - although, as mostly when it comes to politics, it's been somewhat badly executed and sure leaves room for some intelligent improvements... Such as make sure the public transportation system is all ready for people changing their travelhabits to and from work...

But that aside, by comparison, I think we have something good here, transportationwise.

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Saltsjö Duvnäs, take Saltsjöbanan from s-station Slussen, get off at station: Saltsjö Duvnäs

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Part of the lovely Marabouparken - more about that place later - c-station or s-station: Sundbyberg, then a walk
The Stockholm Metro system is also said to be the longest art exhibition in the world, apparently 110 kilometres. From the 1950ies up until now about 140 different artist have helped in creating arts and crafts along the different subway stations. The enjoyableness of the "art" being very diversified...
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Art at Skärholmen s-station, the station you go to in order to get to Zeta's Garden and the classic IKEA-store at Kungens Kurva
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Having a walk in the city centre, with Rosenbad on the left and the main Parliament building to the right, s-station: T-centralen or Gamla Stan
The pictures above are teamed up with the closest subway-station, or equivalence, to get there. Though there are always different ways to get from A to B, and mostly using shank's pony really is the most rewarding, lovely, best-option-to-discover-new-places-and-details way to get around when in the city centre...
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The main hall of the Centralstation, to and from here you get by train, planes - well, at least the Arlandabanan, the train that gets passengers to and from Arlanda airport - and automobiles. Plus subway, c-trains, buses and shank's ponies.

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