Royal Gardens of Stockholm

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May 21st 2016
Published: May 21st 2016
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We slept in and had another big Swedish breakfast to prepare us for some serious walking. We hoofed it though the city, taking it all in, and headed down the Strandvagen (a beautiful walk along the harbor) to book an Archipelago cruise for tomorrow. Then it was on to the Djurgarden, a huge island of green right in the city, like Central Park on steroids. These are “Royal Gardens” and are under royal jurisdiction and management due to their original history as Royal hunting grounds. It breaks even, almost like a cross between a non-profit and a National Park. It’s now home to many museums, attractions and beautiful trails. The museums ranged from odd and whimsical (ABBA, Snuf & Matches Museum, and Spirits Museum) to the historical (Nordic Museum and Biological Museums). We visited Skansen, the open-air museum which replicates all the areas of Sweden and its past, with historical buildings and animals. It was huge and we covered about five miles there alone. We were going to also visit the Vasa, a preserved ship that sank in the harbor on its maiden voyage in 1628. It was salvaged after 333 years on the bottom and is famous as the only preserved seventeenth century ship. We just ran out of time but did wonder what happened to that shipbuilder whose masterpiece sank on minute one! You could spend days here. We’ll have to listen to Abba when we get home since we had to skip them, too. As you can imagine, Brian is SO looking forward to that. Leaving the park, Brian helped a grandma with her baby buggy. The park planners designed a ramp/step combo that didn't quite hit the mark. We retraced out steps back to the hotel, stumbling into an Anti-War/Anti-Nato protest, including people wearing V for Vendetta face masks. All very well-behaved, in a Scandinavian way, but we scampered out of there quickly with Amy trying to take pictures as Brian pulled her away. We had just enough left in us for a combined “Fika” (Swedish Coffee/Cake), Gelato Break and Markowich Wine-Thirty at an outdoor café in the sun. Now, it’s time for resting for a bit. Tomorrow, it’s on to the islands of the Stockholm Archipelago.

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