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November 28th 2009
Published: December 24th 2009
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The sun was shining over Stockholm early in the morning as our ship docked and I could tell Stockholm would be a very pretty city. We were one time zone closer to home on our journey, getting ever nearer! The challenge was almost complete - Thailand to England with no planes.

We took a train and a bus to our hotel - it had been impossible to get a youth hostel in Stockholm. We realised that our train/bus ticket was valid for an hour, so dutiful budget travelers that we are - we hopped straight back on the bus and the train, and went exploring in Stockholm!

Gamla Stan, the old town area was beautiful with narrow cobbled streets and pretty shops and cafes. We stopped for lunch in a 700 year old prison which was unique. I enjoyed visiting the royal apartments and the treasury of the much revered Swedish royal family. I think that's part of what made it interesting - that it is still in use today.

Stockholm central was pretty with all the Christmas lights and pedestrian streets. There was a lovely Christmas market but sadly it was not cold enough for us to ice skate there as it was too slushy. The Ostermalms Sallehalle inddor food market took us a while to find, but it was lovely inside, and very popular, which meant we couldn't dine there. We left in search of something else, soon to realised we were in a very expensive area at peak Saturday lunchtime!

As we left the market there was some sort of demonstration going on, but it was all under control. No wonder Sweden is so peaceful...there were ten times the number of police compared to protesters. Police on horse, on foot and in vans!

On both evenings we balanced the expense of Stockholm with our cosy hotel dinners, seeing as our hotel had a kitchen area and dining table, we made the most of it! Small things like that become essential if you are traveling on a budget, and it's fun too.

Stockholm was beautiful and once again we spent a lot of time just walking to see it all. On our last morning we left our big rucksacks at the luggage storage in the main station and it was mad trying to find a locker - they were all taken. We literally had to stalk the aisles in the hope of coming across someone removing their stuff, and people were holding lockers and calling their friends to come with the luggage - and there was rows and rows of lockers, hundreds of them! Clearly luggage storage mid-Sunday is popular!

And so, it was time to board the overnight bus to Copenhagen, good bye Stockholm!
J x x

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(Food Hall)

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