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While we were in Stockholm, we joined in on one of those free walking tours around Old Town.  It was a great tour – I highly recommend it. The tour guides pretty much live off of the tips that the walkers give and so they do an excellent job and are rewarded well for the way they conduct the tour, add local information and make the tour fun and entertaining.  Many times, these are students at the local university.  If you go, keep that in mind – they are scrapping by, so be kind and generous.  I promise the tour will be worth it.

On to the tour.  First stop – Parliament building.

parliament building, stockholmThe Parliament building, like most governmental buildings in Stockholm, is elegant, but not gaudy.  It gives the impression of stability.

parliament building, stockholmWe enjoyed walking along the grounds.  I think the thing that caught my attention the most was that there are only a few visible guards present around the building.  And there are no barriers surrounding the building.  This is unlike the US Capitol, which often has barriers around the building.  If the legislative branch is supposed to be the people’s house, then the people should have easier access to it.  That’s not even getting to the fact that we have created a protected class of citizens (our elected legislators) who, it seems, are just a bit more equal than the rest of the citizenry. (If you want to understand that statement, read Animal Farm).

parliament building, stockholmI think this guy’s facial expression says it all when you describe the difference between the US and Swedish legislature.