Temperature: around 2° but windy.
Price of a coffee: 25kr
Book read: Le rouge et le Noir
I went with my Swedish friend Hanna and Ugglan (our new mascot)
To go to Stockholm from Gothenburg there is no other way than the train. By bus the trip lasts ages, the train goes fast and if you travel during the week (avoid the weeks near Lucia and Christmas) it costs less (I spent 350kr back and forth, for more info, click here for SJ or here for MTR).
Unfortunately, as for Oslo, I stayed around 24h and it’s not enough to get to know the city. And we also have to consider that you enjoy the city only during the sunlight, which lasts until 15, then the best is to visit some museum and, of course, have a fika.
So, I arrived at midnight in Stockholm. The following morning I was ready to enjoy the city. But I have to say, it wasn’t the traditional city sightseeing tour…it was a Christmas tour (shopping)!
Some advice: I like to walk in cities and see them without taking buses or the subway but with Stockholm it’s a bit different because this city is spread on several islands. So, if you have not so much time, just take the 24h subway card.
We started our tour in Södermalm and we went to the chocolate factory.
Then we walked along the coast of the island and we could see Gamla Stan (the old city) from there. The weather was very nice if you kept walking…otherwise it was freezing.
Then we went to the Pen Store (crazy stuff in there!)
After lunch, we took the subway and we went to Gamla Stan. It is a very nice place, with narrow streets, sweets’ and comics’ shops.
And then, we stopped in front of the Royal palace and the Parliament. Not far from these imposing palaces there was a lion statue. This statue was apparently much appreciated by a tourist who was taking pictures of her puppet sheep (new fashion). We both thought that this was the perfect place to take a picture of our dear Ugglan as well, so we waited. She spent a lot of time taking pictures to the sheep but she felt a bit stressed because we were watching her. She left as soon as she could. Hanna started taking pictures straight away and, when the tourist turned around she was shocked to see that we were copying her! In the meantime a lorry stopped near Hanna, inside there were three passengers dressed in the same way (green uniforms) staring at her and trying to figure out what she was doing. They started waving their hands at me and then they left again. Funny episode.
By the time it was 2 p.m., our program was to stop at the Vasa museum…but we lost the bus twice. When we arrived it was already the sunset. I enjoyed the sight of the city with this beautiful fading light:
Now let’s talk about the Vasa Museum. Before leaving I had studied my guide and I had found out that this was the best museum to see in Stockholm. So what is it about? It is about a war ship that was built at the beginning of the 17th century. It was inaugurated in 1628 and the same day (just some meters away from the coast) it sank in the cold Baltic sea. It was a beautiful ship painted in red and with statues everywhere. It had lots of canons and mariners on board. And for centuries it became an urban legend. People knew there was a ship underwater in the harbour of Stockholm…but where? Only in the 1950s they could locate it. For months they explored the ship under the water. I can’t imagine how it must have been…you are scuba diving in a 17th century boat: it must be scary but at the same time it must be a perfect travel back in time. Anyway, after a lot of work, the ship could see the sunlight again. A museum was built for the occasion and you can still see it today. The museum explains everything you need to know about it, from the mariner’s life, to the archaeologists’ job.
When we left the museum we found a city with plenty of lights, there was a Christmas spirit that was contagious.
After a long fika, it was time to go back home.