Along the Away

travel, dream, create, inspire, appreciate

Oh Stockholm!

August 10, 2012 Hej Sweden, Travel

Time for a mini-break, so off we hop on a train in Älmhult to Stockholm for a few days!

Quite unfortunately I was hit with a head cold just before we left and it really hit me hard while away. I tried getting cold & flu tablets in the chemist but to my surprise they didn’t have anything of the sort! Even my friend seemed a bit miffed when I tried to explain them to her. Never again will I travel without them, as I spent a torturous week being a stuffed up, snot filled cotton head :-( Despite this, Stockholm was a fabulous city to visit and definitely on the list to revisit another time.

It’s such a beautiful city, it’s actually 14 connected islands! We meandered around all day everyday, along the waterways, the old part of town (Gamla Stan), the Swedish Royal Palace, went on a boat tour and traveled the subway. I love a city that is built for wandering on foot, it’s my favourite way to explore a city.

So, let’s look at the highlights:

Waitin’ for a train in Älmhult – any time with my Sverige baby is a highlight, even hanging out on train platforms in the rain. Yes it is summer, despite the winter clothing.

Really can’t get enough of the wandering around in pretty European cities. We just walked and walked, stopping here and there to look in stores or take photos. Or drink coffee :-)

We went on a boat cruise around the islands – it’s a must in a city that’s made up of 14 of them! We listened to an audio tour while we cruised about which was filled with lots of facts about buildings, islands, parks and historical events as we passed them by.

Dusk was a magical time to go for our tour, so pretty.

We walked around Gamla Stan, the wonderfully preserved medieval part of town and where Stockholm was founded 1252 (1252 – holy-unbelievable!) We cruised down Riksgatan, which is the main street passing through the Swedish Parliament Buildings.

Stopping for a happy snap on Riksbron (upon Googling I found this means National Bridge or State Bridge, which I find a bit amusing as I come from a place with a famous city-named bridge that is quite a hell of a lot bigger than this one haha!)

We went to visit the Royal Palace and did a tour there which was time well spent. We were lucky to catch the changing of the guard when we were done with looking inside the palace. When the band marched through they played a number of standard marchy-marchy music pieces. Then something pricked at the ears – something familiar… what the! It was Euphoria, the EuroVision 2012 winning song which so happens to be by Swedish artist Loreen. That song played constantly on the radio when I was in Sweden, it was hilarious when the Royal Palace marching band started playing it too!!

Definitely a highlight was taking a look inside the Nobel Museum. The museum is a testament to Alfred Nobel (1833–1896) who was a fascinating man who seemed to have his fingers in everything. He was a scholar, engineer, chemist and an inventor (he invented dynamite!) In his will he left his fortune in trust to set up and bankroll the Nobel Prize which as we know, still awards a prize in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace each year to this day. A really cool element in the museum was the ceiling where a poster for each of the 800+ Laureates who have been awarded the Nobel Prize runs along a cableway. There are also computer stations around where you can read all about the achievements of Nobel Prize winners.

There was also a cinema showing some amazing short films – truly inspirational interviews and archived footage showcasing various winners and their work.

My favourite thing had to be in the cafe there – and no I’m not talking about food for once! Lucky I had read in my Lonely Planet book to look under the chairs – they are all signed by various Nobel Prize winners! How cool is that?

Back out into the sunshine, we had such lovely weather for wandering. Helloo there pretty Sverige baby, Helloo pretty Stockholm…

Such awesome people watching, and dog watching too. The bustling vibe in the laneways was really my favourite thing!

Oh God, and the architecture! Please can I live here? Please!!

We walked over to Djurgården, a big green island where a few of the most famous museums are.

Cities on the water are just the best. Feels a bit like Sydney in that respect, but oh so different in architecture and vibe. I really love it though, I wanted to come back here even before I left it.

Sverige went to the Nordic Museum while I went to the Vasa museum. If I had time I would have liked to go there, it was pretty on the outside.

Firstly a quick hello to Astrid Lindgren – author of Pippi Longstocking. Next time I will check out her museum too!

I am glad I went to the Vasa Museet, it was just awesome! There is a giant 17th century warship in there, all in one piece! It tragically went on a trip to the bottom of the seabed barely a kilometre into its maiden voyage. It was a very fancy warship built for battle but unfortunately built a little bit out of proportion! It sunk in 1628 and was raised back to land in 1961, where it was painstakingly reconstructed and now sits in the museum. There’s heaps to see at the museum aside from the Vasa itself – lots of exhibits about the history of seafaring and life at sea.

Stockholm at night was fun, though I so wish I had been in better health. My head cold really knocked me out at night, particularly the first night when I took Panadeine Forte then went out for drinks – do not recommend this combination! Went a bit loopy and do not remember much about that night at all! The second night we caught up with one of Sverige’s friends who lives in Stockholm, we went to a cosy pub in Gamla Stan and had such a nice night.

Oh I loved my Stockholm mini-break and hanging out with my friend discovering the amazing in her country :-)

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