Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Part 2: Stockholm

For those of you who check our blog regularly (maybe that's no one and I'm just trying to make myself feel special) here's the long awaited Part 2 of our trip. Part 2 includes the overnight boat to Stockholm where we slept in tiny hot room located under the car park next to the engine room. The boat ride also included (we paid for it of course with our ticket) an all you can eat and drink dinner buffet and breakfast buffet. Fresh Salmon and lots of cheese, wine and beer on tap (for dinner only)! Do I need to explain more... we loved it!

Once we arrived in Stockholm we checked into our centrally located hotel, Frey's Hotel, and purchased our Stockholm cards from the front desk.We could use these cards for public transportation, enter most museums, and do some sightseeing things like a harbor tour. If traveling to Stockholm, we'd highly recommend them if you want to do a lot of sightseeing. Our hotel with good service, 300+ beers at the restaurant and great location, was spectacular as well.

So, we put our cards to work exploring the city. Our first day stops included the Vasa Museum, the Nordic Museum, a harbor tour, and a walking tour of Gamla Stan (Old Town) lead by our friend Rick. Who is Rick? Emily and David checked out the Rick Steves Scandinavia book and brought it along. Rick helped guide us to places and quickly became a resourceful travel companion.  While exploring all these places we soaked up the  nice cool (relatively speaking with highs around 80) weather and quickly fell in love with Stockholm.

Outside The Nordic Museum
Emily & David in front of the impressive  1628 Warship: Vasa. It was raised from the sea and salvaged in 1961. 

Impressive wood work. They think that all the details were painted with bright colors. 

On our walking tour of Gamla Stan. Stops included visiting the smallest public statue in Stockholm and exploring the cobblestone streets. Gamla Stan's cute cafes, well kept buildings, interesting sights, and quiet alleys had us returning there many times. 

Alleys of Gamla Stan. 
The other full day in Stockholm was started a great museum of photography, Fotografiska with the afternoon spent at Skansen. Opening in 1891, Skansen is a huge open air museum made up of over 150 houses from all over the country. Again, we recommend both of these places if you are visiting Stockholm.

We saw the pattern on the left painted in an 100+ year old farmstead house in Skansen. The pattern on the right was the wallpaper in our hotel room. It was neat to see the similarities in design across time.

Skansen Open Air Museum. Yes, that is a lemur in the bottom left corner. There was a small zoo on the grounds as well . We took the old tram in the middle back to our hotel. 

We headed to Gamla Stan for our last dinner and enjoyed the beautiful views of the city on the way home.
Before boarding our second overnight boat to head back to Helsinki, we spent our last day touring the palace's armory museum as well viewing the changing to the guard. We grabbed a lunch in Gamla Stan and  then headed to the boat for the beautiful ride back to Finland.

Emily and David brought me Swedish Fish from the US. I felt it appropriate to take a photo with them in their homeland.

Changing of the guard.

Emily in Gamla Stan. Good bye Sweden!

Scenes captured from the boat. 
Part 3: Helsinki, Again (which includes one of our favorite days in Scandinavia) is coming soon!

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