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Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweden: Stockholm

I have been halfway across the world and I am expected to remember every little detail from my Sweden trip? I promise, I will do my best! As it is for my own memory as well! 

From the moment I landed in Stockholm at 7:15am, I was in good hands. The grooms brother, Perra, picked me up from the Arlanda Airport and drove me back to his humble abode, where I lived for the next three days. After a little tour of Perra's neighborhood, and a quick detour to drop off my bags, we headed to the hotel where all of the other wedding guests, who were also visiting Stockholm, were staying. 

I had no idea what an amazing group of people I was about to meet. After a quick Swedish brunch consisting of hard and soft boiled eggs, a variety of meats and cheeses, and yogurt and granola, we headed out to explore Stockholm. 

On day one, I got a mini driving tour of Stockholm, a boat ride down Ladugårdslandsviken, a visit to Djurgården, and a ferry ride to Gamla Stan. Followed by some more crazy adventures around the city into the wee hours of the morning. 

Our first stop of the day was Djurgården, The Royal Game Park. We walked down Djurgårdsbron over the bridge to the Vasamuseet, Vasa Museum. As you can see, here we have the Groom, Mathias, showing us where we were on the map in Djurgården and where we were headed. 

The Vasa Museum was one of the most spectacular things I had ever seen in my life. Jennifer had told me, in depth, about this boat for months along with everyone else in Sweden when we said that was our next stop. However, hearing all about it didn't prepare me for what I was about to see. None of the photos do this beautiful ship justice or show even close to the actual true size. It was so unbelievable, an hour and a half went by before our eyes.  

The Vasa, a 64 canon war ship, which was built by the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus, from 1626 - 1628, sunk on her Maiden Voyage, after sailing less than a nautical mile. 

In 1961, 333 years later, the Vasa, was found and final attempts to salvage the ship began. The Vasa was housed in a temporary structure called Wasavarvet ("The Vasa Wharf") until the completion of the Vasa Museum. The Museum officially opened to the public in 1988.
The Vasa is 69 meters long and 52.5 meters high. This impressive masterpiece is truly stunning. 

After our first amazing adventure of the day, we headed towards Tivoli Gröna Lund, The Green Grove Amusement Park, to catch the ferry to Gamla Stan, The Old Town. We sat outside and enjoyed a lovely lunch at Järntorgspumpen. Which was then followed by this tasty treat...

My first Belgian waffle of the trip. This one happened to be covered in strawberry cheesecake ice cream. This sweet treat still hasn't left my mind. It has made a few appearances in my dreams. 

We spent the rest of the afternoon walking around Old Town seeing Stortorget Plaza, Stockholm Cathedral, the Nobel MuseumRiddarholm ChurchKungliga Slottet Sweden's baroque Royal Palace and Parliament. 

After the long day of walking around, in which I was beginning to start my 36th hour awake, we reconvened with the rest of the crew and headed to East on Stureplan, the most famous modern Asian restaurant in Sweden.

Dinner was delicious and fun. We were not ready for the night to end! This group was ready to move on to the next place of the evening, the one place I had been looking forward to all day, Ice Bar. About the time we headed to Ice Bar, 10:30pm, it started to get dark outside.

Ice Bar was so cool. Pun intended. (Thank's Dad for that one!) Everything, literally including the bar and glasses were made of ice. Mary Anne and Kelly had open toe shoes. It was pretty impressive! 

Obviously we couldn't party all night at Ice Bar on account of wanting to keep all of our body parts, so we headed back to Stureplan to check out the neighborhood bars. 

Around 3:30am, on our way home, when I had officially been awake 42 hours, it started to get light again. This meant I got to go to bed as the sun was riding. Apparently it didn't matter at this point, once my head hit that pillow, I was out. 

Twelve hours later...

The gang, looking bushy and bright eyed, met at the dock along Strandvägen. Lucky for us and our day out on the boat, it was beautiful and sunny. We had planned to spend the day navigating our way through the Stockholm Archipelago which is made up of over 50,000 islands and one of the largest Archipelago of the Baltic Sea. 

After a wonderful tour of Stockholm from the water, we stopped at a little island called Fjaderholmarna for lunch at Restaurang Rökerie, ice cream and a little local shopping. Oh, and you can't forget the champagne!

I had the one item on the kids menu, Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberries. I can't visit Sweden without trying the Swedish Meatballs! When in Sweden!

After lunch we headed back out on the boat and further into the Archipelago. On the way back we took a little dip int he Baltic. Surprisingly, the water wasn't that cold. 

The other surprising thing, the water being salt water and all, wasn't salty! This explains the dog drinking the water...

The evening ended after a nice dinner in Stureplan. Again, I slept very well. It was well needed.

Wednesday morning I woke up bright and early. I wanted to get out, walk around and take some photos before the bus left for Skanör. There was no way I was leaving Stockholm without some photos. My parents would have killed me! 

Below, I mapped out my walking route with little Swedish flags. These are the areas where the photos were taken. Obviously, I didn't have time within the two hours I had to get to the other islands so, the photos were taken with me standing along Strandvägen. The photos are in order starting from the top of the map to the bottom. Enjoy!

Perra's apartment.


Strandvägen looking towards Nybrokajen.

Strandvägen looking towards Tivoli Gröna Lund.

Sjöhistoriska museet (left) and Vasamuseet (right) on Djurgården

Swedish Architecture Skyline on Strandvägen.

Swedish Architecture Skyline on Strandvägen.

View from Perra's Apartment.

View from Perra's Apartment of Engelbrektskyrkan.

After my little photography excursion around Stockholm, the bus made one last stop to pick me up, and we were on our way to Skanör to meet the rest of the wedding party! 

Until next time... a castle, a candy factory and friends!

1 comment:

  1. That waffle looks amazing! And I don't even like strawberry ice cream. LOL The meatballs look good, too.

    I really like the architecture in Europe. Their buildings seem so much more...welcoming? than the buildings in the USA. Maybe it's the color choices. Ours just seem so dark and gloomy compared to theirs.