Day 5: After a luxurious breakfast at the hotel, we traveled into the city center of Stockholm, where we were given a guided tour of City Hall. A few highlights included the largest organ in Scandinavia (although it has 1000 fewer pipes than the Woolsey organ), the conference room with a massive Viking boat suspended from the ceiling, the 'Oval' in which Swedes can marry and/or divorce in under 5 minutes, and the Golden Hall, covered in over 18 million gold and glass mosaic pieces. We were then driven to a restaurant for dinner, where many of us were introduced to another new dish, reindeer (see left). Stuffed with delicious meat and chocolate cake, we rehearsed for our concert in the Adolf Frederik kyrka. A few hours later we performed in the beautiful gold and white church for an enthusiastic crowd (Emily once again sang her verses of Eli Yale in Swedish, and I have yet to figure out what she's been saying...). After the concert most of us stayed in the city to explore and experience Stockholm nightlife! A few YGC members even got to walk the 7-mile journey back to the hotel.
Day 6: The next day was a free day to explore Stockholm. We started off at the Vasa Museum exhibiting the ship, Vasa, which was built in 1626 and then sunk immediately in the Stockholm Harbor. It was recovered about 300 years later- we got to see the enormous restored ship and preserved bones of those who died in the accident, and learn about its history and restoration. YGCers also spent the day observing bears, reindeer, and owls at Skansen, and canoeing/kayaking/paddleboating on the rivers (Lauren and Aria pedaled while Henry conducted our paddleboat with a twig baton, Mari and Helen apparently 'beat' the Connors at canoeing, Markus and Dylan had a smooth ride until the last minute when one of them may or may not have ended up in the water).
We were also graced by the presence of party trucks filled with dancing and cheering college grads parading around the city. From our unofficial poll, we extrapolated that at least 50% of Swedes are blond. 100% are beautiful, friendly and at least somewhat fluent in English (for which we are immensely grateful). We're sad to be leaving this dreamlike country, so full of sunlight, lilacs, and unreal beauty, but we're excited to exchange our Swedish kronor into Danish kroner and continue onto Copenhagen!