Chandeliers – Drottninholm Castle

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After our visit to Drottningholm Castle in Stockholm, I realized that about half of my pictures were of chandeliers.

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It took me a while but I whittled it down to a large handful to share here. I have not gotten over how much fun it was to visit this castle or how incredibly delightful it was to find out that we were allowed to take pictures inside. The last castle I visited in Stockholm had a no pictures policy that was rather disappointing. There was a throne in that one that was breathtakingly dwarfed by the room in which it sat and I have no picture of that.

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You might notice that some of the pictures are dark. Drottningholm allowed picture taking but no flash using, although we totally saw a guy using flash anyway and gave him a stern glare for it.

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I’d really like to have a loft someday that looks like one of these rooms. Just a small apartment with crazy tall windows and doors, gilded everything and a chandelier.

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Or maybe a few chandeliers… How many chandeliers would be too many?

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All of these were from Drottningholm. Just about every room we visited had at least one and I’m sure I took a picture of nearly all of them.

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The last picture of me was taken by my beloved travel buddy/favorite photographer, Linn.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures and if you ever find yourself near Stockholm, you should definitely check out Drottningholm castle. All of these pictures are still only a handful of what we got to see here.

 

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Sunday Tea in Umeå – Stora Hotellet

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Linn and I finally made it to Sunday tea at Umeå’s Stora Hotellet. This hotel is definitely something to check out even if you’re not lucky enough to stay there. They recently remodeled and have this great nautical theme going on with squids abound. They even had their own floor tiles designed with squids on them.

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They have a fancy restaurant (I have not yet tried) but they also have a cafe where they serve tea on Sundays. It’s located in a corner of the indoor (but outdoor feeling with a glass ceiling) square attached to the library. I do so love feeling like I’m outside without actually having to be outside. To make a long complaint short, the wind and I do not get along.

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You’re  given the choice between tea or tea and champagne. We went tea and vegetarian with our sandwiches.

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I heard that they had their own china printed. It was all very pretty.

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And they had two home made marmalades. One was orange and one was blueberry. If you visit Sweden, you’ll find a great abundance of blueberry going around. If it’s blue, it’s likely blueberry in flavor.

We started with the scones. Two different kinds, both yummy.

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Then we moved on to the sandwiches. I think we started with the artichoke, then the white asparagus and then the cheese. We decided to do the cheese one last because, well, cheese is pretty much always good.

 

The only downside to this entire visit was that we didn’t get out own pot of tea. The waitresses were really good about coming around to refill cups but I don’t think they were at all prepared for the amount of tea Linn can drink in one sitting. She was pretty much flagging them down between each bite until the waitresses would just smile and come over to check her cup.

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Desserts! The best part of anything. We had quite a conversation in deciding where to start and end with these. If I remember correctly we did the mini croissant first, because sometimes those can be terribly dry and we wanted to end with the best. And then we went for the chocolate macaroon because, despite their popularity, they just aren’t that good. Yes, I did just say that. This one wasn’t bad, it just, like all macaroons, was not amazing.

The mini cinnamon bun was third. I thought it was pretty classic to have a cinnamon bun in some form on the plate since this is Sweden after all. And that beautiful little lemon custard bit on the crunchy wafer was last. It was pretty great.

tea20150517_131248This was a really great experience and I would definitely take people here in the future or suggest it to anyone visiting Umeå. It wasn’t very pricey at all, but it is a Sunday thing so check the times if you’re going.

You got to choose between black, green or red tea and we switched somewhere in the middle from black to green I think.

Great experience and super cozy location on a calm Sunday.

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Drottningholm Garden

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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.

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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!

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Chinese Pavilion – Stockholm

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.)

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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!

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

 

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Drottningholm Castle – Stockholm

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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