Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stockholm in a Day

After a relaxing day at sea, we arrived in Stockholm early Saturday morning. The captain of the boat recommended we watch the ship sail in to the city, and I'm glad we listened. It was incredible to watch the boat navigate the hundreds of little islands outside of Stockholm. At some points we were so close to shore it felt like we could swim.

Sailing into Stockholm

Coming into the city from the water was stunning. I immediately fell in love with Stockholm.


Again Dan and I jumped on a free city tour. This one was a lot more crowded than our Copenhagen tour, but the guide did a great job keeping us all interested and informed. She gave us some great bits of trivia; did you know that 10 percent of all Europeans under the age of 30 were conceived on an IKEA bed? Also, IKEA uses Swedish words to name its furniture, but uses Danish words for its rugs. The Swedes like to say its so Sweden is always on top of Denmark.


Farmer's Market

I loved watching the changing of the guards at the palace. It was very crowded, but it was worth the hassle. It was interesting to see how many of the guards were women. You don't see that everywhere. My favorite part was when the guards did a sort of skip-run. It looked like they were prancing. Unfortunately that's not in the video.

We had a fantastic lunch at a great little spot. You know it's a local place when the menu is only in Swedish. Luckily a nice waitress helped us out. We had a lox sandwich and a delicious poached salmon with dill new potatoes. SO GOOD!
Swedish salmon
After lunch we headed to the Vasa Museum. We were on the fence about whether to visit it but our friend Jeff highly recommended it. I'm glad he did. It was awesome. The Vasa was a 17th century warship that sank on its maiden voyage. The ship sat in the brackish Baltic waters for 300 years until it was salvaged (whole!) in 1961. I loved seeing the intricate carvings on the ship and the  personal items saved from the workers' trunks.
The Vasa, built in 1628
To end our great day in Stockholm, I took part in a Scandinavian national sport: ice cream. I have no idea why they love it so much, but they really do. When in Rome Stockholm, right?
Enjoying a melon ice cream
Read about our other ports of call:
Third port: Helsinki, Finland
Fourth port: Saint Petersburg, Russia (day 1, day 2)
Fifth port: Tallin, Estonia
Sixth port: Gothenburg, Sweden

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