Monday 24 August Stockholm (Sweden)

This morning we woke to another sunny day with blue skies, and after a leisurely breakfast, we disembarked the ship at 9.15am for our tour of Stockholm and Drottningholm Palace.
Stockholm is made up of 14 islands and the city dates back 700 years. It was founded at the point where the fresh water of Lake Malaren meets the salt water of the Baltic Sea. It was originally founded as a fortress in the mid 13th century and evolved into a town, gradually spreading to nearby islands and the mainland until it finally became a city and the capital of Sweden.
We boarded buses and our guide Lina gave us lots of interesting history and stories about Stockholm as we drove along. We drove through the City Centre and saw the Royal Palace, the Swedish Government Buildings and we drove past Drottingatten, a pedestrian mall before heading west out of Stockholm. We crossed several bridges between the islands out into the suburbs to Drottningholm Palace.
Drottningholm Palace is the private residence of the Swedish royal family and is where some of the King and Queen’s official receptions are held. The Palace was originally built in the late 16th century and served as a residence of the Swedish royal court for most of the 18th century.
We entered the Palace by the Main Entrance from the lake side, climbed the staircase to the first floor and started our tour. The part of the Palace that the King and Queen live in was closed off to visitors of course. We visited the State Apartments and our guide took us from room to room, pointing out the interesting paintings etc and telling us stories about each room. We went down to the ground floor and continued our tour, going from room to room, hearing interesting stories. We enjoyed our tour through the Palace, which was nowhere near as opulent as the palaces that we have seen recently.
We were then taken out into the Gardens, where they had wonderful Boxwood Hedges that were very regular and straight. We walked through the English Garden and the Baroque Garden, walked down the Avenue in front of the Palace, saw several fountains and a pond with White Cheeked Geese.
We were then driven back into the City Centre and take to a viewpoint over Stockholm an some of its islands. Lina pointed out each of the areas eg City Centre, Old Town etc and interesting buildings around the waterfront areas.
After we were dropped back at the boat the two of us had a quick lunch and then disembarked the ship to go exploring. We walked along the waterfront, past the numerous ferry and sightseeing boat docks, around to the other side of the harbour, where there were dozens of restaurants, outdoor cafes, etc. We continued walking along the path beside the harbour, crossed over the Djurgardsbron Bridge and walked around to the Vasa Museum.
The Vasa Museum is a maritime museum that displays the 17th century Sailing Ship, the 64 gun warship, the Vasa. The Vasa sank on her maiden voyage in 1628, less than a mile from her starting point, as she was grossly top-heavy. The wreck was salvaged in 1961 after 333 years under the sea and the reconstructed vessel is 98 percent original. The ship is now kept in a controlled temperature and humid environment to protect it from deteriorating.
We enjoyed our visit to see the Vasa and were surprised at how big it is – there were 7 floors/viewing levels, which gave different views of the outside and inside of the ship. We were also surprised at how many carved sculptures and decorations were on the boat. We also saw a 1:10 scale model of the fully rigged Vasa with sails set.
We wandered slowly back along the path beside the large harbour, stopping to look at some interesting old boats docked there.
We could also see the MS Island Sky, our beautiful home for the past 24 days, moored on the other side of the harbour.
We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon doing our own thing in Stockholm!
At 6.00pm, the ship sailed away from Stockholm and the passengers were invited up to the top deck at the front of the ship for a sail away party – champagne and nibbles – while we listened to old ABBA hits and looked at the beautiful scenery as we sailed towards the Baltic Sea.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in Stockholm.

6 Responses to “Monday 24 August Stockholm (Sweden)”

  1. Gail Rounsefell says:

    We really loved the Vasa. You will recognise lots of my photos in the photobook I have just completed now that you have visited the same countries.

  2. Janet says:

    I like the giraffe cranes, especially coz that’s what we’ve always called the ones you can see in the Brisbane port πŸ™‚ I don’t have many memories of Stockholm coz I was sick. But I’m glad you got to go to the Vasa Museum.

  3. Katharine says:

    The photo of the “majestic building” as you’re leaving Stockholm is a nursing home! Brad & Kat sent us the same photo and suggested it as a possibility for Don & Lesley in the future!

  4. sandy says:

    That is hilarious Katharine! We didn’t know what the building was but really thought it was lovely, so wanted to put it in the album for Stockholm. xo

  5. sandy says:

    Yes Janet, I thought the Giraffe Cranes were great too – I told everyone that is what we call the Port Cranes in Brisbane. I had forgotten you were sick in Stockholm. Thanks for telling us about the Vasa Museum – we loved it. xo

  6. sandy says:

    Hi Gail. I can’t wait to see your photo book when we see each other again!! Keep enjoying your holiday. Ours is coming to an abrupt end. We will be home on saturday night. πŸ™

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