Stockholm, Sweden

We are back from traveling through the nordic countries for a couple of weeks, with Stockholm being the first stop. Stockholm is an extraordinarily beautiful (and clean) city. As are the other nordic cities we visited, as it turns out. 

It is a vibrant city, and with a population of just under 1 million people, it is the cultural, media, political and economic center of Sweden. Stockholm represents about 10% of the population of all of Sweden (about 10 million) but accounts for 1/3rd of Swedish GDP.  At 10 million people, Sweden is the 90th most populous country in the world. 

Sweden today is decidedly not the Sweden of the 1970s it was back when Bernie Sanders was a member of the socialist Liberty Union Party of Vermont. In the Freedom Index produced by CATO and the Fraser Institute, Sweden is tied with the U.S. at #17. To put this in context, New Zealand ranks #1, Switzerland #2, Hong Kong #3 Australia #4 and Canada #5. Toward the bottom is Russia, #119, and Venezuela at #160, just edges out Syria for last place at #161. 

The country’s population is largely homogenous, as are the rest of the Nordic countries, which may account for much of the nation’s sense of solidarity. But that might be changing as Sweden has recently had a good deal of trouble assimilating significant immigration from the middle east. 

During the winter months, Sweden only gets about 6 hours of sunlight a day. During the summer the Swedes are out in force to celebrate the warm and relatively sunny weather—they only get about 70 sunny days in a year. We were very lucky—we had terrific weather for most of the time we were there. 

Here (below) are some photos from our visit there. 

JFB

Stockholm, Sweden — July 16, 2019. Crowds of tourists in Old Town, Stockholm, explore a town square with colorful buildings.
Stockholm, Sweden — July 18, 2019. Swedish soldiers march in their ceremonial uniforms for the changing of the guard.
Stockholm, Sweden — July 17, 2019. A half-moon descends over Stockholm that is lit up for the night.
Stockholm, Sweden — July 16, 2019. A Street in Old Town is crowded with pedestrians, tourists and shoppers.
Stockholm, Sweden — July 16, 2019. On a cloudy day tour boats and ferries are docked in the Royal Canal near large hotels.

Two Days in Lyon, France

We spent a quick—too quick—couple of days in Lyon, France’s second largest city. According to Journal des Arts it is the second city for culture in France, coming in just behind Paris. The capital of the Lyon Metropolitan region, the city is a festival of museums, restaurants, cafes and historic architecture. We stayed in Vieux Lyon—the Old City—where we had stunning views of the town and could easily make our through the old streets to do some sightseeing. A quick ride in a funicular and we arrived at the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere, which overlooked the city.

 

Lyon, the gastronomical capital of France, is positioned between the Rhone and Saone Rivers, making it extraordinarily picturesque. In addition, Lyon is a college town. It is home to many well-regarded universities, and is ranked 34th in the world by students for desirability.

 

If you travel to France, it’s well worth a visit.

 

There are a few photos below of Lyon, taken in the Old City. Collections of photos taken in both Lyon and Paris are available in the galleries section. Licenses are available at www.evocativephotos.com

 

JFB

The Old City in Lyon, France
Lyon, France–November 6, 2017–Dwellings around the Old City section of Lyon. The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere is at the top of the hill. Editorial Use Only.

Building on the bank of the Stone River in Lyon
Lyon, France — November 5, 2017 — People, cars and colorful buildings on the bank of the Saone River in Lyon, France. Editorial Use Only.

Side street in the Old City of Lyon
Lyon, France–November 6, 2017–Shops and Restaurants clustered in the Old City section of Lyon. Editorial Use Only.

The Stone River in Lyon, France
Looking down the Saone River in Lyon, France, at dusk.

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