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Gamla Stan is a lovely idea – the very center of Stockholm.  And by center, I mean the center geographically, politically, in terms of power, and culture.  It’s also where all the tourists go.  And for good reason too.  It’s beautiful.

Gamla Stan, StockholmWhen you walk through Gamla Stan, you feel like you are walking back in time to when Sweden was an empire and a major world power.

Gamla Stan, StockholmBut now, Sweden is like many other nations, just another great place to visit and probably a great place to live.  Sweden learned some time ago that it doesn’t pay to have an empire.

Gamla Stan, StockholmThe power actually weighs in on itself and can be crushing.

Gamla Stan, StockholmAnd so now, Sweden is another country in the family of countries.  It’s got its own challenges, but it is also stable and welcoming.  Sweden does what it can to stay out of wars, yet is willing to open its doors to refugees.