Stockholm: “The Venice of Scandinavia”

Our journey from Copenhagen to Stockholm wasn’t the best. We were unlucky enough to have backward facing seats on our 6 hour train journey to Stockholm. The rocking and rolling of the train soon caused Thomas and I to start feeling sick. We both couldn’t wait to get off that train..

Well what a sight to behold! From the moment we jumped off the train we were all truly impressed.

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We checked in to The Hotel Stureplan and planned our stay.

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After dropping off our bags we couldn’t wait to take a stroll through the city.. We took a walk to Gamla Stan, the oldest part of the city. Located on Stadsholen island, a bridge connects it to Norrmalm. The old Stockholm has old and narrow streets and began in the 13th century.

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20130709-220009.jpg The ugliest dog in Stockholm!

Stockholm was nice and reminded me of a mix os several other places we’d been to, it had the architecture similar to London and Paris but with sun and nicer weather. Fortunately through our whole time in Stockholm, I’ve only seen 3 people wearing socks and sandals. We did several walking tours of Stockholm which we learned that in the past, getting shot in Stockholm was commonplace for anyone who was politically active and had money, examples are Gustav III and a Prime minister in the 80’s. We also learned more of the constant medieval warring between Denmark and Sweden and several stories of what happened when one actually managed to take control, only to be deposed and have the wars start again another few months later.
Stockholm didn’t fit the stereotypical description of a Scandinavian city in my opinion (if it were covered in snow I’m sure it would) but it was beautiful in its own exotic and unique way.

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We did the customary visit to the Royal Palace. Very elaborate and boast that it is the largest palace in Europe. The story goes that in 1697 the original Royal Palace “the Tre Kronor” was destroyed by fire apparently rumour has it that a Swedish architect who had been hired by the King to renovate part of the castle wanted to make a name for himself so set fire to the castle so he could build a new one from scratch. After the fire when the royals were homeless he presented a blueprint of his view of what a palace should look like! He had already been planning years prior.. Coincidence?

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Lucas playing dress ups in The Royal Armoury

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What’s a visit to Sweden without visiting the Abba Museum. The boys opted out on that one so mum and Allanah set off on their own for a few hours to get their dose of Abba!. Of course for the rest of the day Allanah played Abba songs on her IPod on full volume! aargh

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There is no other country I know that celebrates their failures. That’s right…failure…. The swedes have a museum dedicated to one of their biggest. On 10 August 1628, Vasa ( a ship commissioned by the king for war agains Poland) set sail on her maiden voyage and less than 20 minutes later sank in Stockholm Harbour.

The wreck was salvaged in 1961 after 333 years under the sea. A museum as been built around the reconstructed ship. One of Sweden’s engineering faux pas.

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We just had a glimpse of what Stockholm has to offer in Summer( I’m sure winter is very different) but we all agree we want to come back and see more. The Swedes embrace Summer with open arms, everyone enjoying the open air cafes, families picnicking on rugs at the park. We even felt like one of them when we stumbled upon a festival and joined in for a while..Sweden we will be back!

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3 comments

  1. Dear Terrific Travellers, great photos with a lovely cast of characters. And ABBA rightfully memorialized! Have you thought of forming your own band (Allanah as lead singer and Lucas on drums) whilst you all wander these wooded lands? Thanks for the pics and commentary. Look forward to your next stop. Love Cas and Joel

    Like

    • Yes, definitely so! With only a short summer and a 9 month winter most Scandinavians are making the most of every ray of sunshine they can get. There are many organised festivals and concerts throughout the cities to celebrate..

      Like

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