Stockholm is one the most beautiful European capital cities build on 14 small islands with numerous inlets, canals, and waterways weaving under small bridges and along gorgeous parks. It’s a fun and lively atmosphere with a good amount of bikers and very clean and colorful buildings. We were privileged to come in through a river via zodiaks and although it was lightly drizzling, got some beautiful views of the city from water.
After a bus ride tour through the historic “Old Town”, I spent the morning in the well known, Vasa Museum, learning about the historic Swedish 17th century ship that was resurrected and salvaged in 1956. The Vasa was a warship that had been launched in 1628 from the shipyard in Stockholm, but met a quick fate as she sank and was lost within 20 minutes of it setting sail! It the ship cost a many pretty pennies to construct and the king wanted it to be the most elaborate of all ships, hence the fine details and carvings. I liked the very colorful stern, which was painted in bright colors when the ship first sailed the photo to left is a mini model of how it looked). Today the Vasa in the museum contains 95% of the original material and is an incredible site to see! We watched a film about how the ship was found underwater, what they did to pull it up, then how they got the artifacts and pieces cleaned and preserved. I cant believe one guy in the 1950’s made it his life mission to find the Vasa ship, and after years of searching, he eventually found it! It was fascinating.
Next, it was on to the city hall, and a guided tour through this magnificent building. The lobby is where the Nobel Prize Dinner is held on December tenth each year; this is the first stop. Then we were able to see most of the second floor, and enter different rooms, like the Council Chambers and the Golden Hall. Each room was very unique in both architecture and design, from the elaborate truss work in the ceiling of the Council Chambers, to the incredible tile mosaic walls of the Golden Hall.
My Afternoon Solo Adventure
I spent the afternoon wandering the streets of Stockholm with just my purse and camera. It was great. The streets are lovely, with cobblestoned streets, bikers everywhere, and very colorful buildings. I nestled into a cafe and watched people bustle around the shops as I got wifi. Then I walked through the shopping district more and to my surprise found out the H & M is a Swedish company. I saw a few and looked in some, seems like the prices are a bit more than in America, and maybe the same style? The shopping district is Stockholm is grand. I found myself in a six story indoor mall at one point when I was searching for a bathroom. After climbing to the top story, paying about 10 franks, I found one. The mall was not too interesting for me though, many of the same brands and clothes as in America. I always enjoy boutiques and street shopping anyways. After too many shops I decided to drift toward the sea and walk along the water. I people watched for a while, and eventually wandered over to the famous old town, or “Gamla Stan.” This is the most historical part of the city, and probably one of the quaintest with many tourist shops, small cobbled alleys, and restaurants.
Facts about Sweden-
– They love architecture and have a lot of variety of styles, emphasizing Italian
– The city build with 14 islands
– There are 2 million people in Stockholm, 9 million in all of Sweden, and Sweden is the 5th biggest Europe Country
– Swedish people love nature and the water
– About 1 in every 8 people owns something that floats
– Sweden has 1/3 water, 1/3 parks, and 1/3 buildings
Below are some photos from Stockholm, including Swedish food, streets, buildings, the City Hall, Waterways, etc. We had dinner out both nights and ate at some fine restaurants, and I even tried Swedish meatballs! Although it was probably the only meat I ate on the trip, it was delicious and the potatoes were perfect. I want to know why Europe Potatoes are so much better than California potatoes! We also checked out a restaurant/lounge that we were told locals went to for a drink. The interior was decorated red and the downstairs, main bar area, was quite elaborate. However, we just sat up in the main lounge, after all, it was just Monday night.