My beloved friend, Linn, surprised me with a weekend trip to Stockholm while Phong and I were visiting in Umeå last month! We had an incredibly fun time and didn’t even come close to seeing everything we wanted to.
Many blog posts are to come including: Drottningholm castle, the castle gardens, The Chinese Pavilion (mini castle), a whole post with just chandelier pictures and, of course, a flurry of cafes and a little hotel review too.
Above are some pictures of my new favorite street. It’s so little! And below are some snapshots around the city just to get started, mostly from Gamlastan (old town) and the edge of Södermalm.
All pictures of me were taken by Linn.
Gamlastan! The cobblestones were really pretty the first day but a nightmare by the last!
Starbucks is always an exciting and interesting find for me. They aren’t very common in Sweden, at all. I’ve only ever seen 3 and they are all in Stockholm (one here in the city, one in the train station, and another in the airport). There are a lot of cafes I like more, including the Swedish version of Starbucks, Espresso House, but getting a caramel frappuccino always reminds me of home.
Never seen one of these before. I imagine it has a coffee maker inside and some cops taking a break?
Starting to think I might pass for a giant if I ever traveled back in time. Not that I would ever sign up for such a thing. I like my time just fine.
Many more posts with pictures to come! Including fancy Sunday tea in Umeå!
While my mom and aunt were visiting, we went to the Royal Castle. You’ll notice that I don’t have many pictures of the experience because cameras were not allowed inside- not even in the gift shop. They also don’t allow umbrellas, not sure what that’s about but luckily it was a sunny day so I had left mine at the hotel. Unfortunately, it was so nice out the whole trip that I never once got to use my umbrella!
The castle was quite large and had entrances to the different sections and tours around the building. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to all of the available museums, including the antique museum that I was really itching to see so I’ll just have to check it out again another time. We did go on the Royal Apartments tour. You have the option of wandering through the areas alone and reading the plaques or following a guide. I’m not sure which I feel is better. The guide definitely has other information but they also skip a lot of things and don’t really take a lot of questions in order to stay on time. Plus the tour group is so large it’s hard to hear and see everything. My favorite part of this tour was the throne room where it began. The hall was amazing and somehow managed to dwarf what was honestly a very large silver chair. I could have sat in that room all day.
As I mentioned in a previous post about the Opera House, everything was much more lavish and detailed than I could have imagined. I think this might be the only case wherein Hollywood completely downplayed the grandeur of something. I’m not sure if it’s because the detail would be a terrible amount of work or if it’s because an actual castle is a hodgepodge of fads creating a place that changes drastically from room to room. Either way, my excessive movie watching did not lead me to be overly excited about seeing a real castle. I think the architecture, sculptures and painted ceilings were my favorite.
This particular picture was taken at the last spot before the no camera signs (as well as no briefcases or umbrellas). It’s an entrance room with a door leading into the throne room on one side and an identical door on the other side that will possible forever be a mystery to me.
It was a fun trip and I hope to go again sometime to check out the antique museum on the other side. We did see the treasury in the basement which had a distinct dungeon feel to it. My mother managed to fall on the stairs on the way down and mentally scar Phong with the trauma of it all. She recovered quickly but he was hyper-vigilant the rest of the trip.