I don’t drive often in Stockholm. I don’t do well with big cities. So I park the car and let it sit until I want to go somewhere far away. Or buy lots of groceries.
But I’m in the process of moving to a new apartment. So I need my car. In town.
First, I had no idea how to get to my new place by car. Which is always a rough start to moving. But I checked out trusty Eniro.se. Eniro told me I was going to make six kilometers in eight minutes. Through the middle of Stockholm. So I should have been skeptical to start.
Having loaded up my car I started my drive. And after the second turn was immediately told by Eniro to drive the wrong way on a one-way. It was at this point I began bending the traffic laws in my favor. No I didn’t actually drive the wrong way on the one-way, instead I decided that, since I was carrying cargo, I was essentially a bus and took the bus lane. Of course the bus lane was going the wrong way.
And so, I followed a taxi in a somewhat questionable maneuver in the face of traffic. The U-Turn. At least now I had managed to get myself where I was supposed to be according to Eniro. Of course, the eight minutes had already passed and I was nowhere near my new place.
Before leaving for my journey, I wasn’t worried about this part of the drive. I was worried about Slussen. So the fact that the easy part of the drive was already causing problems wasn’t exactly a good sign.
I have never driven through Slussen. For good reason. It can best be described as a jumbo cluster fuck. Apparently, it was designed when Sweden was still driving on the wrong side of the road. So, as my old man says, the fact that it is still in use is damn near miraculous. Of course, it is being redesigned. And after my drive, the sooner the better.
Driving through Slussen was no small feat for me. And I thought I had it. I thought I was going to get through Slussen without any problems. But I was wrong. Because suddenly I was faced with two signs. Two signs which seemed to give conflicting directions. I chose the left.
I chose wrong. Damn it. I have wandered around enough in Stockholm that I have a pretty good idea of the layout. Unfortunately, while it sometimes transfers wonderfully to driving, sometimes it doesn’t. Because of such problems as the aforementioned one-way. But I was convinced there was a road that took me to where I needed to be. And that is to say, off of Södermalm. The island that Slussen connects with Gamla Stan.
Well, that road exists. Unfortunately, there was a dead end keeping me and my Saab from getting to that road. So I turned around and headed back to Slussen. This time I knew what I was doing though. Last time I had a 50-50 chance and chose wrong. This time I still had a 50-50 chance, but I had already eliminated one of the 50s. I liked my chances.
So I stayed right, and got myself off of Södermalm. Thirty-five minutes later I was at my new apartment. Not eight minutes. Even with my foray into the world of Slussen, the trip was pushing 20-25 minutes.
All in all, I’m pretty sure I bent several traffic laws in my favor. Slussen beat me once, but I won in the end. And now I know how to get to my new apartment from my old apartment. Which will only do me good for a couple more days.
Welcome to Sweden. And driving in Stockholm.
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