For the first week of our April break, my housemate, Amanda, and I went to Stockholm. We left after Easter lunch on Sunday and spent four great days in the city!
On our first day in Stockholm it was snowing!!! Amanda and I weren't too thrilled about this and so we decided to go to the Vasa Museum and wait out the snow. The Vasa Museum is a maritime museum that is located on the island of Djurgården. The museum displays the only almost fully intact 17th century ship that has ever been salvaged, the 64-gun warship Vasa that sank on her maiden voyage in 1628. Vasa has been fitted with the lower sections of all three masts, a new bowsprit, winter rigging, and has had certain parts that were missing or heavily damaged replaced. The replacement parts have not been treated or painted and are therefore clearly visible against the original material that has been darkened after three centuries under water.
For the rest of the day, we walked around the area near our hotel because we stayed right off of the main shopping streets and they had some really cool department stores and little boutiques.
for our second day in Stockholm was much nicer: still a bit cold, but no snow! We went to the Old Town, or Gamla Stan, and walked around the narrow streets. Gamla stan consists primarily of the island Stadsholmen. The town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of medieval alleyways, cobbled streets, and archaic architecture. We went to Stortorget, which is the scenic large square in the center of Gamla Stan, which is surrounded by old merchants' houses including the Stockholm Stock Exchange Building. The square was the site of the Stockholm Bloodbath, where Swedish noblemen were massacred by the Danish King Christian II in November, 1520. When walking through the city we saw the Stockholm Cathedral, the Nobel Museum, and the Riddarholm church, and Kungliga slottet, Sweden's baroque Royal Palace, built in the 18th century after the previous palace Tre Kronor burned down. We went into the Royal Palace and were able to walk through the Royal Apartments, which consists of the Bernadotte Apaprtments, the State Apartments, and the Guest Apartments.
After a full day in Gamla Stan, we went out for dinner and both had a traditional Swedish dish: quenelles of reindeer meat in port wine
Later that night we went to the Absolut Ice Bar for a few drinks! All the furnishings in the ice bar, including the glasses, are made from 100% pure, crystal-clear ice from the River Torne, and the indoor temperature remains a constant -5 all year round. It was a really cool experience and after going there, I have put a visit to the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjärvi, Sweden on my bucket list!
Because Stockholm is surrounded by water, it was important to see the city from the water. Since it was still quite cold there and parts of the canals were still frozen, the only boat cruise available was the winter tour that took us out and around the island Fjaderholmarna and close to Gamla Stan to see the city from a new perspective.
We then spent the rest of the afternoon at the National Museum, which is the National Gallery in Stockholm. The museum is home to about half a million drawings from the Middle Ages to 1900, a collection of porcelain items, paintings, sculptures, and modern art as well. They also had an exhibit of Swedish design from 1500 to the present, which was really interesting
and fun to see all of the crazy designs they had!
We also went to the Nobel Museum, which is a museum devoted to circulate information on the Nobel Prize, Nobel laureates from 1901 to present, and the life of the instituter Alfred Nobel, and we went to the Stockholm City Hall.
A trip to Stockholm just wouldn't be the same without a trip to IKEA...and that's just what we did! Not only did we go to a Swedish IKEA, we went the biggest IKEA in the world!!!! We took the IKEA bus from downtown Stockholm and it delivers you right to the front door if IKEA. We looked around for a bit and tried to find some interesting things that they might only have in their Swedish IKEAs and then we enjoyed a delicious IKEA lunch of meatballs, mashed potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry sauce! It was great!!!!!!
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