Before landing in Stockholm, the pilot said that the weather down there was bad. Never heard these kind of honest comments from pilots before 🙂 Unfortunately, he was right. Stockholm welcomed us with low clouds, drizzle and fog. But that didn’t stop us. The agenda for the next 2.5 days was full. To kick things off, we took the Royal Canal boat tour and we were lucky to have sun for about 2 whole minutes.

Royal Canal boat tour
Royal Canal boat tour
Swedes enjoying the outdoors
Swedes enjoying the outdoors
Here is the sun peaking through the clouds
Here is the sun peaking through the clouds
Seemed like the sun was shining only on this boat
Seemed like the sun was shining only on this boat

We continued with a walking tour through the old city – Gamla Stan. Narrow cobbled streets, beautiful architecture and people walking everywhere.

Streets of Gamla stan - I assume the little house is a mailbox
Streets of Gamla Stan – I assume the little house is a mailbox
Streets of Gamla stan
Streets of Gamla Stan
Streets of Gamla stan
Streets of Gamla Stan
The smallest statue in Stockholm
The smallest statue in Stockholm
Evening in Gamla Stan
Evening in Gamla Stan

The next morning, we woke up around 4:30 am and it was already light outside. When I looked out of the window, I saw a huge cruise liner emerging from the thick fog like a ghost ship.

Cruise ship coming out of the fog
Cruise ship coming out of the fog

First, we headed to Drottningholm Palace – queen’s residence outside Stockholm. As expected – grandeur and opulence and no photography allowed.

Drottningholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace
Drottningholm Palace

Next on the list was Wasa Warship museum. It was interesting to learn about the massive boat that sunk on its first voyage due to poor design. It stayed on the bottom of the sea for 333 years until it was lifted to the surface in an almost intact condition. Next door, the Nordic museum was nothing to write home about.

On the way to the next stop, deep underground, we found a very impressive metro station.

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Skansen museum is like a window into Sweden’s past. Old houses from various regions of the country representing different trades were brought there to preserve the history of local crafts like glass blowing, woodworking, and baking.

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There is also a small zoo with Nordic animals in Skansen. We saw some very animated bears.

Mama-bear perched on a branchless tree.
Mama-bear perched on a branchless tree.

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For dinner we had a traditional smorgasbord (buffet) at Verandan with lots and lots of fish. Yummy!

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On the last day, we walked through the “new city”, marched along the parade for changing of guards at the Royal Palace, found the Iron Throne at the Royal Armory, took a guided tour of the City Hall and learned about their odd golden room, and ran into what looked like a parody of the Brazilian carnival on the way to a public library.

Changing of the guards marching parade
Changing of the guards marching parade
The Royal Palace
The Royal Palace
Statues surrounding the Royal Palace
Statues surrounding the Royal Palace
The golden room in the City Hall
The golden room in the City Hall
View of Stockholm from the City Hall tower
View of Stockholm from the City Hall tower
Street parade
Street parade
Rotunda at the public library
Rotunda at the public library

We ended the trip to Sweden with a lovely dinner at our friends’ place in Stockholm. Thanks for your hospitality guys and, as we said, you are welcome to CA!

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May 17, 2014

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