Drottningholm Garden

gar2015_05_23_8286

Off the back of Drottningholm Castle is this great open park. By open, I mean that locals seem to be picnicking and taking their dogs for walks here. A portion of the park (the center with the neatly raked gravel for example) is for looking only.

gar2015_05_23_8280

The gates into the park. Who doesn’t want gold fringed gates?

gar2015_05_23_8282

It’s hard to resist combed gravel, isn’t it? It’s kind of like looking at smooth, untouched snow.

gar2015_05_23_8287

Pretty sure that statue on the fountain was of a man bludgeoning some sort of water creature.

garbanner2015_05_23_8442

Mazes in the hedges! There were short ones as well as tall ones.

gar2015_05_23_8435

As you can see, the garden went on for a ways and eventually led into an orchard and then to a path to the Chinese Pavilion.

gar2015_05_23_7600

As you can see, we had great luck with the weather during our garden trip. At times it was so sunny that we could barely take pictures without squinting angrily at the camera.

All pictures of me were taken by Linn!

Upcoming post- Sunday tea in Umeå!

gar2015_05_23_8256

Continue Reading

Chinese Pavilion – Stockholm

kina2015_05_23_7222

While Linn and I were visiting Drottningholm Castle we took a walk through the garden and to the Chinese Pavilion.

kina2015_05_23_8339

It’s basically a mini castle built in 1753 as a birthday present from the King to his Queen, Lovisa Ulrika. Obviously, he was good at giving presents.

kina2015_05_23_8338

The little chapel was a separate building. There was also a separate dining room.

kinabanner2015_05_23_8381

We noticed quickly that the rooms of the Pavilion were color themed. It even had a little upstairs room but it was very dark up there because they try to limit the lighting in order to preserve the rooms. So we only had filtered sunlight.

kinabanner2015_05_23_8363

We saw a lot of Chinese inspired art in Drottningholm castle, as well. (I’m saying inspired because at least the few pieces asked about during our tour of Drottningholm were not actually Chinese. It seems artists from different European countries made Chinese inspired works as it was in fashion.)

kinabanner2015_05_23_8351

Chandeliers! And I was very fond of the ‘green room’ as we took to calling it. Linn and I were incredibly lucky with this visit. When we were their the Pavilion was almost entirely empty, enough so that we were usually alone in the rooms.

This trip was so much fun! I always leave castles feeling incredibly inspired. I doubt that’s a surprise or at all uncommon.

Next blog post will be about the Royal Garden!

kina2015_05_23_7357

And, again, all pictures of me were taken by Linn.

 

Continue Reading

Drottningholm Castle – Stockholm

drott2015_05_23_8286

drottbanner1

Drottningholm castle! I had the pleasure of visiting this summer and it was lovely. Last summer I went to the Royal Castle in Stockholm, where the King works, this time we went to Drottningholm, where the Royal family lives. Of course, they only get to live in a portion of the castle because the rest is an amazing museum (super inexpensive to visit with English and Swedish tours) and they let you take pictures! But no flash. Don’t do it. They’ll get you.

drottbanner6

Grand is not quite a big enough word for the feeling of being inside these places. It’s so beautifully overboard. I always leave Stockholm wanting to paint my apartment gold.

drott2015_05_23_6600

We went on the Swedish tour (because it has less people in it than the English tour) and learned all sorts of interesting things.

drott2015_05_23_8097

Drottningholm is a little outside of Stockholm. We took the subway to a bus. It was about 45 minutes all together but it went really smoothly. In both of my experiences with Stockholm I’ve been crazy impressed with their public transportation. There’s a bus or train just about every five minutes. Subway stations are marked with a T, by the way. Think T for Train. It’s actually T for tunnelbanna (subway) but think T for Train. We bought 24hour cards so we could hop on any train or bus.

Of course it promptly started raining as soon as we got to the castle, so we ducked inside. By the time we could pry ourselves away from it to see the garden and the Chinese Pavilion, it was bright and shiny out again.

drottbanner4

I’m going to post pictures for Drottningholm (this post), the royal gardens and the Chinese Pavilion separately, but they’re all in the same location. There’s also a theater but we didn’t get a chance to see it.

drott2015_05_23_8123

The royal library! This was, hands down, our favorite room. It was built by a very feisty queen and I have to admit, she won a lot of points with me for it. I’d almost be willing to ignore her attempted coup.

drottbanner5

We were told that most of the books are in French. This was one of the few rooms we couldn’t actually walk around inside. There was a glass partition about waist high to keep us out while still allowing us to take pictures and oogle. I think it might have been a spit-guard to keep our drool off the books.

drott2015_05_23_8230

I want my apartment to have these crazy high doors and windows. And painted ceilings…

drottbanner2

And a chandelier. One day that’s going to happen. Just about every room we saw had a chandelier in it and I took pictures of all of them. There will be another post with just those, in case anyone else likes gushing over gaudy lighting as I do.

drottbanner3(Note to self: get a crest and have it sculpted into my ceiling.)

This castle was incredible. I would go again in a heartbeat and would certainly suggest it to anyone in Sweden. I know I’ve put up a number of pictures in this post, but it isn’t even close to as many as I took or how much we actually got to see.

drott2015_05_23_6452

As usual, all pictures of me were taken by Linn. She is an amazing photographer and should not be held accountable for any faces I make in pictures. I can barely be held responsible for those.

Soon to come will be a post about the royal gardens!

-cheryl

Continue Reading

Stockholm

stockholmblog3

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.

stockholmblog2

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.

mini2015_05_23_8461

Gamlastan! The cobblestones were really pretty the first day but a nightmare by the last!

mini2015_05_23_7791

mini2015_05_22_8033

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.

mini2015_05_22_8034

Never seen one of these before. I imagine it has a coffee maker inside and some cops taking a break?

mini2015_05_24_7944

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.

mini2015_05_23_7818

Many more posts with pictures to come! Including fancy Sunday tea in Umeå!

-cheryl

Continue Reading

Gamla stan – Old Town – Stockholm

gamlastan2

Gamla stan means old town and in Stockholm it happens to be found around the castle. We had lunch at one of the many, many cafes wherein an old Italian woman yelled at me for retrieving my plate of food because it seemed she wanted to skip the line and just pick up a plate- my plate. Of course, she was shouting in Italian so I can’t be certain what was said or if she was even angry. She may have just been loud and glaring at me for another reason so I smiled and slipped away with my sandwich.

gamlastan3

The section of gamla stan that we explored seemed to be really geared toward tourists. It was a lot of cafes, souvenir shops and antique stores.

gamlastan

I hope to spend more time wandering through here someday, the streets and houses were amazing.

Continue Reading