Scandinavia 2013:
Day 5 - Stockholm, Sweden [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Scandinavia 2013: [Day 1 - Oslo] [Day 2 - Oslo] [Day 3 - Copenhagen] [Day 4 - Vilnius] [Day 5 - Stockholm] [Day 6 - Stockholm] [Day 7 - Umeå] [Day 8 - Umeå] [Day 9 - Umeå]

Wednesday, November 6, 2013: Good morning, Sweden! Our hotel offered free breakfast with our room, but we never did try it due to better options. This morning, our mission was to try McDonald's Swedish pancakes, ...
... or as they call them in Sweden, just pancakes. Breakfast was even better than we could have imagined, because 1) the large Coca-Cola Lights were actually close to large by American standards, 2) the breakfast menu included a skinka och ost frukostmackan (ham and cheese breakfast sandwich), and ...
... 3) the Swedish pancakes were the best Debbie's ever eaten. They were freshly made just for her and perfect in every way, just like her mom used to make for her on her birthday as a child. Lucky Swedes, who get to have this whenever they want!
We walked to Gustav Adolfs Torg to board the Stockholm Panorama bus at 10:00 AM. Our prepurchased Stockholm Cards entitled us to a discounted tour price. Here's one side of the square ...
... and here's the other side, ...
... and here is Gustav Adolf himself with the Royal Palace across the water behind him. This was taken from our seats on the second deck of the bus.
Speaking of the Royal Palace, one of the first places our bus tour went was along the water in front of the palace and Gamla Stan.
Next, we drove along the south side of the harbor with views of Skeppsholmen Island (on the left) and Djurgården Island (on the right), where we'd be visiting the next day.
We passed a McDonald's in fancy Södermalm.
A ceiling-mounted monitor showed us where we were in the city.
Marie Laveau, queen of New Orleans voodoo, here in Södermalm? Ja!
This is the first of many photos of Stockholm's City Hall (Stadshuset) on this page, viewed from across Lake Malaren.
We crossed the Västerbron (Western Bridge), ...
... and got a quick shot of the we're-in-love-padlock phenomenon that we first saw in Osaka in 2010.
Here's a skateboard park tucked under a bridge.
We circled back around to Stadshuset again. We visited it up close the next day.
Here's the tourist shop we had passed earlier in the day on our walk to Gustav Adolfs Torg. It contained the stuffed Dala horse we'd be buying the next day. It was right next to the Stockholm tourist center where we'd try in vain the next day to replace our not-just-yet-lost Stockholm cards.
"Var är Kungsgatan?" "Kungsgatan är här." Hours of introductory Swedish lessons had taught us how to ask where Kungsgatan is, but our bus driver just went ahead and told us without us having to ask.
Here's a charming farmer's market.
Lush Cosmetics! Alas, we wouldn't have time to visit Lush in this particular country.
We approached the bridge that leads to Djurgården Island and spotted one of the trams that runs from Djurgården to Sergels Torg.
On the island, we passed the Nordic Museum, ...
... and Grona Lund, ...
... and this blurry group of adorable schoolchildren wearing bright green reflective vests. We saw many groups like this and this is the closest we came to an identifiable photo.
We passed Skansen, ...
... and Hotel Hasselbacken, ...
... and ABBA: The Museum.
This blue gate is the entrance to the Blå Porten restaurant.
Here are some views of Stockholm.
More Stockholm.
This is the Royal Dramatic Theatre.
One last picture of Stockholm taken from the bus and our tour was over.
Next, we walked to the pier in front of the Grand Hotel.
Cute little Swedish birds.
The next activity on the schedule was the Royal Canal Boat Tour, which was free with our Stockholm Card, but unfortunately, the boat captains were on strike.
We had a 12:30 reservation at the Grand Hotel's Veranda restaurant but were running an hour early, so we asked if they would seat us early.
They were gracious enough to comply. It helped that the restaurant was empty. We started out with the house blend of hot tea to warm us up a bit.
The restaurant runs along the left side of the front of the hotel on the main floor. It has a view of the Royal Palace so we were able to watch the changing of the guard across the water.
For a starter, we ordered herring done four ways and served with Västerbotten cheese and potatoes. Västerbotten cheese is made in Debbie's grandfather's hometown, and it was at the Ostens Hus there in 2003 that we had learned that it is always served at the Nobel Prize dinner in Stockholm each year.
For our main course, Debbie had the salt cured salmon with dill creamed potatoes ...
... and Tom had linguini topped with parmesan. Along with the bread basket our server brought by several times, we were well fed and passed on getting dessert.
While we were eating, the sun started to come out, so we took a picture of it from our table in case it went away again.
After lunch, we took this photo to show where the restaurant is located -- it's behind that row of awnings.
Here's a pair of pretty swans being followed by a pack of ugly ones. Wait, maybe those are baby swans who haven't gotten their adult color yet.
Flat Orchy was invented this year by Orchard Software's marketing department, so we printed out our own copy to bring along. Here he is posing across the water from the hotel.
Having visited Gamle Stan several times in the past, our focus this day was on the Royal Palace area.
We took our trusty Stockholm Cards to our first museum of the day ...
... the Royal Coin Cabinet. It contained coins, obviously, ...
... but also contained paper currency. We did not see that coming!
This large metal rectangle was billed as the largest coin in the world. Try putting that in a vending machine. You would fail.
Next, we crossed the street ...
... and entered the Royal Palace grounds.
Here's the ceiling right inside the entry.
And the view directly to the right as you enter.
We turned left and entered the Royal Treasury. Photos are not allowed, but picture about a half dozen crowns that look almost exactly like the one in this photo, then do the same for the girl version of this crown and you'll get the idea. It was very pretty and dimly lit, as all Scandinavian museums seem to be.
Here's the inner courtyard of the palace.
Here's the statue of Kristina Gyllenstierna, leader of the resistance to Christian II of Denmark in the 1500s, last seen on our 2003 visit. We ducked into the doorway shown here and dropped a few kroner on some souvenirs in the Royal Palace gift shop, including an adorable baby bib for the granddaughter we didn't yet know we'd have one year later.
Here's the main part of the palace, dutifully guarded by one of the guys in uniform.
From there, we went down to the level below the palace to visit the Tre Kronor Museum.
This sculpture displayed outside the museum depicts the Tre Kronor Palace that was destroyed by fire in 1697. We're pretty sure that it was here that our Stockholm Cards disappeared when we received tickets but not our cards in return.
Of course, no photos were allowed, so we got this one on the stairwell that leads out.
A half block away from the museum entrance, we got some drinks at this French Hot Dog stand, whatever that means.
Fortified for the long walk ahead, we departed Gamle Stan via Riksgatan (National Street) ...
... and the Stallbron (Stable Bridge).
You guessed it: the bridge had its share of padlocks. According to the bridge, Nathalie hearts Patrick, or at least she did as of 2011.
After a little more walking, we looked back toward the beautiful circular Parliament building.
Then we continued toward our next destination: Stadshuset.
Here's the Stockholm Waterfront Congress, freshly built as you can tell.
We reached Stadshuset and took a photo of the Cenotaph of Birger Jarl which is next to the building for no apparent reason. It's a little bit of Egypt in Scandinavia.
We walked into the courtyard of the building and did our best to reproduce ...
... this photo of Debbie's grandmother on the same spot in 1937.
Then we headed to the park behind the building, passing this cool Dala horse statue.
In the park, we posed Tom in the exact same location ...
... as Debbie's grandfather had stood in 1937. Her grandparents had come to his homeland of Sweden the year after they were married so that she could meet his family. It was his first visit to Sweden since emigrating to America 12 years earlier.
Here's a fuller view of the park, ...
... and here's a pretty photo of Gamle Stan. After this, we headed back to the hotel and bought that stuffed Dala horse we had seen earlier.

That evening, our friend Marie joined us for dinner in the hotel restaurant. It was great fun to see her again.

Day 6 >

Scandinavia 2013: [Day 1 - Oslo] [Day 2 - Oslo] [Day 3 - Copenhagen] [Day 4 - Vilnius] [Day 5 - Stockholm] [Day 6 - Stockholm] [Day 7 - Umeå] [Day 8 - Umeå] [Day 9 - Umeå] [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

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