Our cruise ended in Stockholm but we had a few days to really get a feel for the city.
Day 1: we took a shuttle bus into the city and then walked through the ‘Old Town’ which is a rabbit warren of cobblestone alleys, shops and cafes. The Stockholm Cathedral appeared out of nowhere so we ventured inside and were thrilled with what we saw.
We then wandered through the streets looking for somewhere to have lunch. The choice was enormous but we decided on an Irish Pub called Wirstroms. And as we walked inside I heard the unmistakeable voice of Ray Warren who was obviously about to start calling the State of Origin. We quickly found a table in the back, with several ex-pat Aussies, and ordered food. Not only did we watch the entire game, but the Maroons (Queensland) won!!!
Feeling very pleased with ourselves we then walked several kilometres to the Stockholm History Museum. The collection includes pictorial and interactive information and artefacts relating to the history of Sweden from the most ancient of times and includes the Viking era. Sweden has the largest collection of rune stones in the northern hemisphere and the museum has wonderful displays of Viking daily life as well as a year by year record of the country’s history.
Day 2: we took a bus tour of the city passing by important buildings like the Royal Palace and the Parliament. We also saw the Stockholm panorama from one of the highest spots in the city; Stockholm is situated on 14 islands, a little known fact, so there is plenty to see.
But the best attraction was the wonderful WASA Museum. There lies the WASA ship which, with her compliment of 64 guns, sank in Stockholm Harbour on her maiden voyage in 1628 and was raised in 1961. In fact she’s the only almost fully intact 17th Century ship that has ever been salvaged. And our interest was probably more than most as we have a model of the WASA in our rumpus room. Jim had been waiting many years to see the real thing, and neither of us was disappointed - she was breathtaking!
Day 3: we purchased tickets for the hop-on hop-off ferry which took us around the Harbour and allowed us to rest our weary legs a while. We did spend couple of hours at Stockholm’s answer to Old Sydney Town, the Skansen Outdoor Museum, and we spent another hour walking the Old Town. And we found wonderful indoor fresh food markets where wine and beer were flowing - if only we hadn't already had lunch...
Day 4: the weather had deteriorated just in time for the Stockholm Marathon. We stood, out of the rain, under a bridge and cheered with the crowd as the first group of runners came through. But after watching an hour or so of the 21,500 runners competing, we were starting to freeze so we escaped to the warmth of the Ahlens Department Store. That afternoon we caught an express train to Arlanda Airport and later flew out to Edinburgh. We loved Stockholm, a vibrant and beautiful city.
Sailing into Stockholm
Outdoor food markets
Our favourite Espresso House coffee shop
Drinks and dinner at The Bishops Arms Hotel
At Skansens Outdoor Museum
Indoor fresh food markets
Stockholm Marathon leading runners
The 'fullest' shop we've ever seen
Stockholm Cathedral complete with a model of the WASA
Watching the State of Origin
Stockholm History Museum