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Published: September 1st 2018
What a wonderful day we had today! We woke up at 5 which wasn’t too bad, considering our usual response to jet lag. So we made a leisurely start to our day. Breakfast is included so we went to the restaurant down near reception - it was an extensive buffet, with the usual cereals and cooked food for us westerners, but also an extensive meat and cheese section typical of the Scandinavians. the restaurant was quite crowded. And it seemed to be 90% Swedish people, which was nice.
After brekkie we had time to fill while we waited for our tour of Stockholm to start, so Tom put the telly on while I was reading my book, and weren’t we amazed to find Bondi Rescue with Swedish subtitles. Last night we had been watching the English ambulance show we enjoyed, with a Swedish voice over and subtitles. We’ve even seen an ad for Ikea!
We went outside just before 10 to the bus stop across the road and waited about 2 minutes before the first hop-on hop-off bus came along. This was a great way to see Stockholm with the headphones and the English dialogue explaining all of the
sites: the townhall; the Houses of Parliament; the royal palace and the church the royals marry in; the old town (established in the 1200s); the freshwater lake (Lake Malaren) that freezes over in winter for ice skating but also provides their drinking water; the opera house; the big theatre, and many more amazing things. The city of Stockholm sits on 14 islands, so they have many bridges and tunnels.
Our first stop was at the ABBA museum, which was just amazing, having the late 70s and their wonderful memories invoked by the music and film clips of this amazing hands-on museum. They had opportunities for people to make recordings, make movies of them dancing with hologram images of ABBA, take part in quizzes and heaps more I was just happy to wander along, reading the information. And loving the music. They had displays of their costumes, as well as their record albums.
After the ABBA museum we boarded another hop on hop off bus and proceeded to the museum of Scandinavian history, which was quite extensive Tom thought he’d use some coins leftover from a previous visit to Sweden (only 11 years ago) to purchase a postcard but
found they were no longer legal tender.
We boarded another hop on hop off bus and it continued our tour, down to the cruise centre, which we’ll get up close and personal with tomorrow. We also saw the Hall where the Nobel Prizes are awarded, adjacent to a market. We got off the bus at the stop near our hotel, but decided to wander up to the markets we had driven by earlier, next to the Nobel prize hall. We wandered back down to our hotel for a drink in the foyer bar and a discussion with the receptionist about Swedish restaurants. We ducked upstairs to freshen up and then walked up to a Swedish restaurant for dinner.
We had read that it was definitely better to make reservations but we decided to chance it at 5 when they openEd, and were lucky to be given a table instantly. During our time there we heard them turn down many customers (on the phone and coming through the door). We had a delicious meal, really flavoursome (I had scallops with picked avocado for entree, and cod for mains, Tom had an egg entree and meatballs for his mains!).
After dinner we returned to our hotel and went in to the Ice Bar. It’s the first permanent ice bar in the world and has been opened for 15 years and it’s kept at -5 degrees Celsius. Our entrance fee included a cocktail (and the thermal ponchos and gloves) - we chatted with some lovely ladies from the US. Had a lovely time - the cocktails were delicious (I had one based on gin, toms was whisky). The drinks were in a cube of ice with the middle hollowed out!
Tom has been amazed at the number of mercedes we’ve seen (especially as taxis) - more than Volvos!
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