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April 1st 2010
Published: April 8th 2010
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 Video Playlist:

1: Changing of the Guard 25 secs

Sunk on its maiden voyage - and they knew it was going to!
With the prospect of a long weekend over Easter and guaranteed bad weather Sally and I looked on sky scanner for cheap flights to a destination neither of us had been to before.

Ryanair came up trumps with a good deal to Stockholm and we duly booked the flights not wanting to miss out on what we perceived to be a bargain! We hadn't been before and had heard great things about the city so couldn't wait to get out there!

Only after the flights were paid for did we realise that what we had saved on the air fairs would be eaten up (and more) by everything else we would have to spend! It isn't often that you go anywhere more expensive than the UK/London but Stockholm was something else!

Arriving late on Thursday night in true Ryanair fashion - about 100km from the city we eventually got to our hotel which was perfectly located in the centre of town at around 02:00am! Our room was nice and a snip at £90 including breakfast.

We slept in a bit on the Friday morning and then went down to breakfast which was a buffet of just about everything you could possibly imagine! I tried the pickled Herring, smoked Herring and Gravidlax (cured Salmon) which was all good, but to be honest much preferred the bacon and scrambled eggs. There was fruit, cereal, bread etc etc and all you could eat so we stocked up for the day ahead and then set off exploring.

First stop was the boat trip ticket booth. The city is built on numerous islands which are connected by bridges but the best way to see everything is from the water! Every other tourist in town had the same idea so the boat was pretty busy but we managed to get a seat on the outside deck so the view was fine! We were in luck with the weather and the sun was shining throughout our time there - it was however still pretty old! There was ice floating in the harbour and with the wind we were chilled to the bone!

Boat trip over we wondered through the old town and back the hotel for an afternoon siesta.

Dinner that evening was pretty good, we found a tiny restaurant in the old town and once we were over the shock of the cost ate delicious steak and sea food casserole washed down with beer. Most restaurant menus served pretty much the same dishes except for Italian so while choice was limited it was still pretty good. Not wanting to break the bank we headed back for an early night.

The next day we spent walking around the open air museum Skansen
The weather again was stunning and the museum pretty cool. We saw glass being blown, cakes being baked, bears, wolves, moose, old buildings and lots of push chairs! Stockholm must be the home to the most number of push chairs in the world!

We then went to the Vasa Museum to see the recently (relatively) restored Vasa war ship. Built some time in the 1600's it sank on its maiden voyage - which wasn't surprising based on its top heavy design. It was raised from the deep in the 60's and what you see is an amazingly preserved old ship - most of which is original!

We were by this time museumed out and headed across the harbour on a ferry to the cool

part of town. We found a nice roof top bar and enjoyed the view over a bee and coffee. Tired from all the sight seeing and having only ticked off 2 of the 70 museums in town we returned to the hotel for another siesta and then out for a meal. I ate a delicious sea food extravaganza of lobster, crayfish, prawns, monk fish, halibut, and salmon while Sally opted for the adventurous pasta course.

Another early night bypassing the busy bars we slept for 10 hours in preparation for another day of walking before flying home.

In fact all we managed to achieve was to climb the city hall tower to appreciate views over the city before heading back to the airport (which was the other side of Sweden) and then flying home.

All in all a great weekend break. Stockholm is a beautiful city and well worth a visit. Perhaps we are getting a bit old as we spent longer sleeping than visiting places and enjoyed that just as much but what we did see and do was good fun.

Additional photos below
Photos: 22, Displayed: 22


8th April 2010

The pics were all very nostalgic for me...I haven't "done" Stockholm for about 35 years or so now, although did go back there for an afternoon almost 20 years ago. The king's guards,outside the palace, at least when I was there, wore hairnets under their helmets if on duty (it was the 60s/70s), at least one of them did, a friend from the north of the country where I lived for two years (1973-75). In 1968 I spend a great five or six weeks based in Stockholm, over on Sodra, just behind Slussen and could look down on Gamla Stan on my early morning constitutional visits to konditori for my coffee. I spent all of three weeks or so wondering bare foot around Skansen and the rest of the city, basicaly just being a hippy, hanging out and falling in love with the place. My friends there had the use of an old converted English fishing boat ( a converted trawler) which we took out into the archipelago. The sun shone non-stop, almost 20 hours a day, for the whole time we were there, and, today, looking back, it was the best holiday ever........ We went to various islands by ferry from Stockholm, to Turku and Helsinki in Finland for a while too, but all our fun centred on Stockholm and the archipelago. We left the city to hitch-hike westwards for our ferry home at exactly the same moment as Russia invaded Czechoslovakia. Sweden mobilised its forces, and suddenly, from sheer heaven we were stuck in Gothenburg for five days feeling very threatened with WW3. I'm sure you're too young to remember all that but it was great to see your pictures and think back to that time-Summer '68. Tack sa mycket.
9th April 2010

Changing of the Guard
Had to note that the regimental band have concealed all the fat musicians in the centre rank, they weren't pulling the arms to the rear and were not at all on the heel. The Ensign was in bad order which is in common with the Foot Guards in the UK. Oh and your sun glasses are very Elton John!!!
12th April 2010

Very interesting little blog. I have never been but you make it sound worth a visit. Glad you had a good little holiday.

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