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Friday, August 5, 2011

Running in Stockholm

We left Odenplan and after a  couple of blocks turned left into Haga Park, where Gustav III used to have his summer residence A trail around a lake in the park was simply irresistible. Running trails in the Stockholm! How cool is this!? I lost concept of time. Exiting the park we turned right into Sveavagen street heading to Gamla Stan, the old town. Annika and Caren were leading our small group at a blazing  pace that somehow felt very comfortable. We passed Riksdagshuset, the Parliament,  Kungliga Slottet, the Royal Palace, Operan, National Museum, Dramatiska  Teatern, and were running on Strandvagen street toward Djurgarden island that attracts millions of visitors every year with its Nordiska and Vasa museums, as well as a theme park, and Royal summer residences. The island is also a popular destination for runners who can enjoy soft gravel path along the island's shoreline.

It was an early morning, but many tourists were already lining up to get on board of one of the tour boats docked along the canal. "Dream city for running", I thought, with so many parks and paths for runners, walkers and bikers. Running today seemed unusually effortless, but something was a little bit odd. Why was I the only guy in our group? And running barefoot in plaid Levi shorts and orange polo shirt? "Well, I'm on vacation", I thought as we were passing by an old church. A distant sound of its bells grew louder, and louder, and louder, and ... I woke up. The alarm clock was displaying a blinking 6:00 AM. Time to get ready for my first run in Stockholm. A beautiful city that is both old and modern. A city that is very friendly and even on the first day of our visit seemed strangely familiar.

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