No need for a separate ferry entry this time. This could be due in part to Finland losing to Canada in some sort of ice-based sport and them all going to bed upset. We stayed up until midnight watching the ship navigate its way through endless islands that make up the Baltic Archipelago. Arriving bang-on time at 06:00 we headed for our parking spot in downtown Stockholm. Except our Sat-nav thought we wanted to drive back to Turku by road and promptly navigated us out of town. It was only Tracy noticing we had a 1,500Km drive that alerted me to their being something slightly amiss. Panic over we cruised into a space and caught up on some zzz’s.
After paying our £10 to park for the day we mounted our bikes and cycled around the Island of Djurgarden. This is the old hunting grounds of the King and this urban oasis of parkland and woods is a must-do. It is like a vast superior version of Central Park in New York. It is peaceful and offers supreme vistas in all directions.
Boy in Loin Cloth
Docklands -Stockholm Style
Circuit complete we headed for Stockholm’s top tourist attraction; Skansen. This is the world’s first open-air museum founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius to give insight into how Swedes lived once upon a time. It comprises of dwellings, handicrafts and pastimes from all the regions of Sweden as they were at the turn of the 19th Century. Coupled to this is a Nordic Zoo showcasing all the native wildlife of the region. A bonus for us was the Brown Bears had just given birth to 4 cubs.
We spent most of the day here and had a jolly good time.
Boar and Piglet
Ready for Lunch
Come to Daddy
Sami Store House
Typical Swedish Homestead
Recreated Street and Nose-picker
English Garden and English Shadow
After we cycled back and had dinner in the van.
The next day we walked back the few hundred metres from our home to the other jewel in Stockholm’s crown; The Vasamuseet. This museum displays and tells the story of the warship Vasa. The ship built in 1628 was the pride of Sweden and was commissioned with the purpose of controlling the Baltic Sea. This wooden monster was a whooping 69m long and 49m high and cost nearly the entire wealth of Sweden to build. Less than 1Km into its maiden journey this over-elaborate, top-heavy, too-narrow piece of junk sank costing the lives of 30 crew. Here she lay until being discovered in the late 1950’s. She was finally raised in 1961 before being towed into dry-dock. Over the next 16 years this 14,000 piece jigsaw was put back together.
There is nothing like this in the world and words cannot describe your first view as you enter the museum. There are interactive exhibits, recreations of parts of the ship and the people who sailed in her. Films on the salvaging and restoration. It is top drawer.
From the Bow
Recreation of Gun Deck
The Pointy End
Be lovely to think that maybe the Marie Rose could be like this one day, but I doubt it. A world-class exhibit.
Next-stop on our visit was the old town of Gamla Stan, home of the Royal Palace, the Nobel Museum, streets of tourist tat and Cruising Passengers. It is pretty and the Tat shops are far higher quality than normal. But at the end of the day it is a Palace and one square. This holds no threat to Tallinn as a piece of old charm.
Tracy receiving the Nobel Prize for Map Reading. We were lost a minute later
Next we took-off for the trendy area of Sodermalm to grab ourselves a piece of Swedish Design in the shape of ceramic Bowl. There is a much better vibe here than you get in downtown Stockholm with far more interesting people, shops and bars. We did manage to bag ourselves a piece of pottery by an up-and-coming designer and hopefully after years of happy use it will be worth a fortune. Realistically, clumsy ass here will probably drop it the first time it is used.
Stockholm from Slussen
Soder & The Globe
We finished another glorious day in this beautiful city with a feast of Chinese Dumplings, some boiled, some fried.
We really liked Stockholm and thought a beautiful city. We did have it at its best with two days of hot weather. It is bloody expensive though.
Love to All